Businesses recognised in rural awards

Maggie Boswell and Jane Holdsworth from Radway Riding School who were judged runners up in the Best Sporting Rural Business Category at the Rural Business Awards 2017.

RADWAY Riding School has been hailed for its contribution to the local rural community at the Rural Business Awards 2017.

It was crowned runner up in the Best Rural Sporting Business category.

Cotswolds Distillery, based in Stourton near Shipston-on-Stour, was also a runner up, in the Best Rural Start Up.

The categories were won by Divoky Riding School, based in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and HS Products Ltd, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, respectively.

The 13 awards are organised by the Country Land and Business Association and Amazon, and supported by the government’s Rural Affairs Minister, Lord Gardiner.

This year’s awards saw nearly three times as many entries as in 2016, with businesses from 52 counties in the UK sending in their applications.

Radway Riding School is situated on part of a working 100-acre farm from where a team of British Horse Society (BHS) qualified instructors teach riders from the age of four, with facilities including an indoor school with training mirrors and a large outdoor arena with a full set of show jumps.

Maggie Boswell, from school, said: “The competition for this year’s Best Rural Sporting Business was really tough and we’re really happy to be taking home the runner-up prize. It has been great being involved in this year’s Rural Business Awards programme and maybe next year we’ll be back and go one better to take home the top prize!”

Cotswolds Distillery is the first full-scale distillery in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and produces Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky and Cotswolds Dry Gin, as well as a selection of other small-batch spirits and liqueurs, using local raw materials and traditional techniques.

Spent grains from the distilling process go to feed the cows at the farm four minutes up the road.

Founder Daniel Szor said: “Being involved in this year’s Rural Business Awards has been a wonderful experience for us.

“Cotswolds Distillery was born when I fell in love with the local area and wanted to spend more time with my family. We have built a great team here, with the perfect blend of forward thinking, passion and the experience of tradition. This year has been a huge success and we’re really excited about what the future holds for us.”

The full list of Rural Business Awards 2017 winners:

  • Champion of Champions & Best Rural Tourism Business: Hoe Grange Holidays, based in Matlock, Derbyshire.
  • Best Rural Start-up: Herdy Sleep, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
  • Outstanding Rural Diversification Project: T.Mellor and Son (Wold Top Brewery), based in Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire.
  • Best Rural Clothing or Accessories Business: Derriere Equestrian Ltd, based in Broadway, Worcestershire.
  • Rural Innovation of the Year: Zettlex (UK) Ltd, based in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire.
  • Best Rural Manufacturing Business: James Kittow Butcher & Grazier, based in Par, Cornwall.
  • Best Rural Professional Services Business: Greenway Training, based in Lyneham, Wiltshire.
  • Best Rural Creative or Media-based Business: Farm Creative, based in Preston, Lancashire.
  • Social Enterprise / Community Project of the Year: Rhubarb Farm Cic, based in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
  • Best Rural Sporting Business: Divoky Riding School, based in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
  • Rural Employer of the Year & Best Rural Food & Drink Business: T Soanes & Son Poultry, based in Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire.
  • Rural Entrepreneur of the Year: Marsh Farm Animal Adventure Park, based in Chelmsford, Essex.