Eight community businesses across the UK have been recognised by the Plunkett Foundation in this year’s round of its Rural Community Business Awards.
Selected from 24 finalists, including community-owned farms, woodlands, shops, pubs and community hubs, the businesses were praised by Plunkett for helping rural communities tackle local issues such as isolation, loneliness, employment and wellbeing.
Plunkett says the annual awards “recognise the dedication and success of all types of community-owned businesses and hope to inspire other communities to take ownership of the businesses essential to them”.
The awards were supported by headline sponsor North Barnes Farm in partnership with Welbeck Land and Eton College.
The winners are:
Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC (Lichfield, Staffordshire) winner of the Community Food & Local Supply Award sponsored by Suma Wholefoods
Westbury Community Shop (Westbury, Buckinghamshire) winner of the Employment Award sponsored by Adnams
Farmborough Community Shop (Farmborough, Somerset) winner of the Environment Award sponsored by Power to Change
Islip Village Shop (Kidlington, Oxfordshire)winner of the Inclusivity Award sponsored by Co-op
Menter Ty’n Llan (Caernarfon, North Wales) – a community pub / social hub, winner of the Technology Award sponsored by Anthony Collins
The Bank (Chopwell Regeneration CIO, Chopwell, Tyne & Wear) – a community-owned pay-what-you-can cafe, shop and office space, winner of the Volunteering Award sponsored by Allied Westminster
Emily Thompson (from Tthe Bank, Chopwell, Tyne & Wear) winner of the Young Person Award sponsored by Abri
Isle of Canna Community Shop (Isle of Canna, Scottish Inner Hebrides) winner of the Horace Plunkett Award, dedicated by the Plunkett team, trustees and advisers.
Each winner received a trophy and an award of £250, presented at a ceremony on 17 November.
Plunkett CEO James Alcock said: “Community businesses across the UK put their communities first, they help transform the lives of the vulnerable and provide a thriving future for many isolated rural towns and villages. These worthy winners have worked selflessly to improve the wellbeing of everyone in their local community and we are incredibly proud to recognise, and to have supported, their work.”
Damon Turner, partner of Welbeck Land, said: “Community businesses are leading the way in creating inclusive and impactful rural places for everyone to live and work. Everyone at the North Barnes Farm Partnership, supported by Welbeck Land and Eton College, would like to share their heartfelt congratulations with all the winners.
“We recognise the dedication and hard work that goes into running a community business each and every day while putting the needs of their local community first. This is an ethos we are committed to embedding at North Barnes Farm and we are inspired by the success of the whole community business sector to help us create a thriving community where the needs of its residents are met through investment in local food, services, employment and leisure opportunities.”