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Suffolk cheese makers, distillers and rural accountants set to be celebrated at rural enterprise awards

PUBLISHED: 14:43 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:01 09 August 2018

Jonny Crickmore holding his Baron Bigod brie cheese at Fen Farm Dairy, Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHY

Jonny Crickmore holding his Baron Bigod brie cheese at Fen Farm Dairy, Bungay Picture: KAT MAGER PHOTOGRAPHY

Kat Mager Photography/Fen Farm Dairy

A Suffolk dairy farmer-cum-cheesemaker and an estate’s retail diversification are among a host of rural businesses to have made it through to the regional finals of an awards event celebrating enterprise in the countryside.

A Tudor at Kentwell Hall. The business is in the running for a Rural Business Award Picture: GAVIN MILLSA Tudor at Kentwell Hall. The business is in the running for a Rural Business Award Picture: GAVIN MILLS

Now in their fourth year, the Rural Business Awards, supported by Amazon, recognise the contribution of firms to the regional and national economy. They reward excellence across a range of categories, including start-ups, manufacturing, food and drink, retail, education and training, and rural professional services, with 13 awards up for grabs.

The eastern regional final, which covers the counties of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Essex and Hertfordshire, takes place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, on October 25 and the national finals are on February 28, 2019.

Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager, congratulated those firms in the east to have won through. “The Rural Business Awards recognise and reward the great work of rural businesses across the region and pay tribute to the important role they play in contributing to the local economy. We look forward to welcoming all the finalists to the event at Trinity Park.”

Among those in the running are Suffolk Distillery at Glemsford, Sudbury, named in the Best Rural Start Up and Best Rural Drink Business categories, and Fen Farm Dairy at Bungay, up for Best Rural Retail Business, Best Rural Manufacturing Business and Best Rural Food Business.

Owner Lord Iveagh at Elveden Courtyard Picture: GREGG BROWNOwner Lord Iveagh at Elveden Courtyard Picture: GREGG BROWN

Creative manager Becka Wright at food consultancy Appetite Me on the Ampton Estate, Bury St Edmunds, which is shortlisted for Best Rural Professional Services Business, said: “We are so pleased to have been shortlisted for the Rural Business Awards, we put a lot of hard work and passion into what we do and its amazing that it has been recognised. The whole team is so excited.”

Accountants Larking Gowen, shortlisted in the Best Rural Professional Services category, said they were “delighted” at the accolade. “This is a real pat on the back for the team,” said partner Ashley Smith.

Best Rural Start Up finalists are: E-horse, Hertfordshire; Hornbeam, Cambridgeshire; Puddingstone Distillery, Hertfordshire; Suffolk Distillery, Suffolk; Yagro, Cambridgeshire.

Outstanding Rural Diversification Project finalists are: Barleylands Farm and Village, Essex; Explore 4x4, Suffolk; Grange Farm Leisure, Buckinghamshire; Kentwell Hall, Suffolk; South Farm, Hertfordshire

Best Rural Retail Business finalists are: Back to the Garden, Norfolk; Elveden Courtyard, Suffolk; Goodies Food Hall, Norfolk; Pecks Farm Shop, Bedfordshire; The Essex Herb Company, Essex.

Best Rural Manufacturing Business finalists are: Chiltern Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Hertfordshire; Fen Farm Dairy Limited, Suffolk; Norfolk Shepherd Huts, Norfolk; Pyes Farm, Essex.

Best Rural Professional Services Business finalists are: Appetite Me, Suffolk; iThinkMedia, Hertfordshire; Larking Gowen LLP, Norfolk; Spring, Suffolk; Wangford Veterinary Clinic, Suffolk.

Best Rural Creative or Media-based Business finalists are: Essential Suffolk, Suffolk; Hornbeam, Cambridgeshire; Spring, Suffolk; The Edible Museum, Essex; Vidoo Film, Suffolk.

Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project of the Year finalists are: Anglia Care Farm, Cambridgeshire; BigBarn CIC, Cambridgeshire; Creative Arts East, Norfolk; Shotley Heritage, Suffolk; The Askefield Project Ltd, Lincolnshire.

Best Rural Tourism Business finalists are: Norfolk Outdoor Adventures, Norfolk; The Dairy at Burghley, Lincolnshire; The Shepherd’s Hide, Essex; The Suffolk Escape, Suffolk; Wiveton Hall, Norfolk

Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business finalists are: Archery Adventures, Suffolk; Bush Adventures UK, Suffolk; Coda Falconry, Essex; Essex Outdoors, Essex; Explore 4x4, Suffolk.

Best Rural Education or Training Business finalists are: Abberton Rural Training, Essex; Ark Farm Limited, Bedfordshire; Coach for School Improvement, Norfolk; Dandelion Education Ltd, Norfolk; E-horse, Hertfordshire; Red Stag Training Limited, Suffolk.

Best Rural Food Business finalists are: Crush Foods, Norfolk; Fen Farm Dairy Limited, Suffolk; Heath Farm, Suffolk; The Artisan Smokehouse, Suffolk; The Norfolk Deli, Norfolk.

Best Rural Drink Business finalists are: Puddingstone Distillery, Hertfordshire; Suffolk Distillery, Suffolk; The Willow Tree Distilling Company Limited, Bedfordshire; Whin Hill Norfolk Cider, Norfolk; Wibblers Brewery, Essex.

Rural Employee of the Year finalists are: Administration Team, Elveden Courtyard; Karen Watson, Barleylands Farm and Village.

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