Countryside-based manufacturers are being urged to put themselves forward for the UK’s first ever Rural Business Awards, in the “Outstanding rural manufacturing business” category.

The awards are the brainchild of Be Rural founder Jemma Clifford and management consultant Anna Price.

Supported by the Countryside Land & Business Association (CLA) and sponsored by the Sturgess Motor Group, they are the first ever in the UK to be especially dedicated to the rural business sector.

Now the awards founders are keen to see businesses step forward in the “Outstanding rural manufacturing business” category, which will reward inspiring innovators in this important field.

The manufacturing section of the awards is one of ten categories which it is possible for rural businesses based all around the country to enter.

To be in with a chance of winning in this sector, judges are asking entrants to think about the following:

·         Demonstrate success – “whatever that looks like to you”

·         Consider innovation in approach or technology

·         End product use

·         Efficiency in manufacturing processes

They have also asked candidates to show how and why their business has had an impact on the rural sector through any or all of the following:

·         Job creation

·         Contribution to the rural and wider business economy

·         Service and infrastructure development

·         The impact on communities or people

·         How the product, service, project or offering makes life easier or better for people living or working in rural locations

Companies entering the awards will get a chance to gain recognition as a rural business, a sector of British economic life which is all too often overlooked, despite making a huge positive impact on the country’s finances.

The Rural Business Awards aims to put more focus on the many British businesses which choose not to base themselves in the big cities, instead bringing greater diversity and economic prosperity into the great British countryside.

It will be particularly interesting to see as many entries as possible in the manufacturing sector, which is generally associated with large urban areas.

Rural Business Awards joint founder Anna Price says:

“These awards will acknowledge the vital contribution rural companies make, encourage the countryside’s superb entrepreneurial spirit and recognise business excellence within the rural sector.

“We are celebrating ten categories from start-ups to renewable energy and farm diversification to agricultural innovation. The awards will be judged by an independent panel of judges, including CLA Director General Helen Woolley, and we are encouraging all businesses, whatever their size to get involved in the Rural Business Awards and get the recognition they deserve.”

CLA Director General Helen Woolley says:

“We are delighted to support these awards. It is vitally important we recognise the innovation and excellence that I see present every day in businesses across the countryside. These awards will showcase some of the inspirational businesses that we can all learn from.”

There is an easy online application process for entering the awards, for each category of which there is a nominal £50 entry fee. Businesses can nominate themselves or someone else, and entries must be in by 5pm on August 7, 2015, with postal entries postmarked no later than this date.  There will be an awards ceremony on October 1, 2015, at the Grade 1 listed Stapleford Park and Hall in Leicestershire. For more information about the awards and how to enter, visit

The Rural Business Award’s ten categories consist of:

1.    Best New Rural Start-up

2.    People’s Choice Award

3.    Best Renewable Energy Project

4.    Outstanding Farm Diversification Project

5.    Best Rural Apparel Product or Brand

6.    Outstanding Agricultural Innovation

7.    Outstanding Manufacturing Business

8.    Best Rural Professional Services Business

9.    Best Rural Construction Project

10.  Best Rural Field Sport, Equestrian or Rural Recreational Business