Two Suffolk butchers vie for Countryside Alliance crown
PUBLISHED: 12:48 22 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:48 22 January 2020
Two Suffolk butchers are among a host of businesses to make the cut at a prestigious regional awards event.
Lavenham Butchers and Thurston Butchers - both from the west of the county - will be battling it out along with two other finalists to be crowned best butcher at the Countryside Alliance's 2020 regional awards.
Four finalists are chosen for each award - selected from 18,000 nominations around the country, making it the rural lobby group's most successful year to date.
Two pubs from Suffolk and Essex will be hoping to toast victory in the pub category - The Crown at Stowupland, near Stowmarket, and community-owned Colchester local The Great Bromley Cross.
Hollow Trees Farm Shop at Semer, near Hadleigh, is up for a local food and drink award, and Barn Farm Drinks at Manningtree is in the running for the rural enterprise title.
Park Street Stores, Colchester, will be hoping to scoop the village shop or post office award.
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"Whittling the nominations down to our regional finalists was not an easy task. Competition has been extremely tough this year," said the awards organisers.
The Countryside Alliance Awards, sponsored by Howden, celebrate rural businesses that go the extra mile, support their local economy and are the unsung heroes in communities.
Members of the general public nominate their favourite rural businesses, and put them forward to be considered for an award.
Applicants are judged on a range of criteria including their passion and commitment, sense of community, championing local food and the energy and diversity of their business.
The regional winners will be invited to attend a champions reception at the House of Lords in Westminster in June, at which the national winners will be announced.
The Countryside Alliance said the awards can have a "real impact" on rural businesses.
"Most importantly, those businesses which go on to become finalists or champions, will receive regional and national recognition, strengthening the reputation of their brand," it said.
"Nominating in the Countryside Alliance Awards is a chance to celebrate the huge impact rural businesses have on communities, and help them build for even more success in the future."
Last year's recipient of Countryside Alliance's Clarissa Dickson Wright Award was Suffolk Market Events.