The UK’s first ever Rural Business Awards (RBAs) have described the response from Scotland as “disappointing”, despite the numbers of rural businesses operating north of the border.
There were no winners from Scotland for 2015 due to a shortage of entries and lack of enthusiasm from Scottish companies.
Each of the nine categories was won by rural businesses in England and Wales, including The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company and Cambridgeshire-based Zettlex, which landed the Best Rural Food & Drink Product or Brand and Outstanding Rural Manufacturing Business titles respectively.
The other categories were Best Rural Apparel, Product or Brand; Best Renewable Energy Project; Best Rural Professional Services Business; Best Field Sports, Equestrian or Rural Edication Business; Most Outstanding Rural Diversification Project; Best Rural Construction Project, and Best Rural Start-Up.
Despite the lack of Scottish support, organisers say they were pleased with the quality of entries.
Awards co-founder and judge Anna Price said: “When Jemma Clifford and I set up the Rural Business Awards this year, we wanted to showcase the vast range of entrepreneurial talent in the Great British countryside, which we felt was all-too-often overlooked by urban-based business.
“We wanted to see some great entries, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. The sheer range of enterprises that are thriving in rural areas is so inspiring.
“Each and every story was a great one, and we hope it will encourage other businesses to consider starting up in countryside locations.”