The search for the UK’s Best Rural Retailers is hotting up.
Regional judging is about to start in the Countryside Alliance-run contest, with 200 shortlisted retailers vying for a regional title and a chance of national glory.
Now in its third year, the Best Rural Retailer competition – supported by Farmers Weekly – seeks to celebrate rural communities through their retailers.
A record 2,500 nominations were received from across the UK and have been whittled down to these regional finalists (Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to declare their shortlists).
By mid-December overall regional winners will be announced in four categories: Best Local Food Retailer, Best Diversification, Best Village Shop/ Post Office and The Daily Telegraph Best Traditional Business.
Four overall national winners will then be chosen by the national judging panel, which is chaired by Countryside Alliance Chief Executive Simon Hart.
“The competition is highlighting the huge diversity of rural enterprise and determination – we have Post Offices threatened with closure, village shops run by whole communities, farriers, gunsmiths, saddlers, a stile maker and dozens of butchers,” says the Countryside Alliance’s Jill Grieve.
“Farm shops are also a huge favourite – and highlighting the hard work of our farmers and producers, and the quality of UK produce, is a major factor in the competition.”
See the shortlists.