“The depth and breadth of this year’s shortlist demonstrates the incredible creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of rural businesses,” said Doug Gurr our UK Country Manager as the shortlist for the Rural Business Awards was revealed today.

Created by an entrepreneurial duo of countryside-based business women, Jemma Clifford and Anna Price, and backed by the CLA and Amazon, the Rural Business Awards are the only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses – a segment which employs more than 3.4 million people in over half a million businesses.

A record number of nominations were received from hundreds of innovative and diverse businesses across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, breaking the previous record and doubling year on year. Entries came from fifty-two counties across the UK; with Devon, Lancashire and Leicestershire businesses submitting the most entries.

Whist Rural Britain’s food and start-up sector make up a large percentage of the entrants, overall the highest number of entries came from businesses in the tourism sector, representing 14% of all entrants. Shortlisted companies today include a thriving wedding venue born from a derelict sheep farm, an environmentally conscious construction company and a rural healthcare service.

Jemma Clifford, Founder of the Rural Business Awards, added: “Business success is often associated with the bright lights of our big cities, but the truth is that rural Britain is a flourishing hotpot of business zeal, imagination and buoyant bottom lines. The Rural Business Awards, now in its third year, gives rural enterprises of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their success and the contribution they are making to our thriving rural economy – just the firms that have entered in 2017 have combined turnovers well in excess of £70m. Congratulations to all of our shortlisted organisations; they are yet another reason to be proud of our outstanding rural economy.”

For more information on the shortlisted companies, visit: https://www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/.