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MP for Penrith and the Border Rory Stewart is reminding constituents that the eighth annual Countryside Alliance Awards – dubbed the 'Rural Oscars' – have opened for entries.The awards, which celebrate rural life, produce, heritage and character, are led by public nomination across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Members of the public are invited to vote online until 29th October 2012.
Rory Stewart said: "These awards are testament to the incredible hard work that has been put in - and continues to be put in, each day - in maintaining local businesses, which are the backbone of our economy and our constituency. I was extremely proud that two businesses from Penrith and the Border won north-west region awards last year - Crosby Ravensworth's Butcher's Arms community pub, and Milburn's butcher NB Taylor and Sons - and really believe that some of our businesses deserve to be national winners also. Please do think about an inspiring rural enterprise that you feel is worthy of this recognition, and I will be glad to support any constituency nominations."
The Countryside Alliance commented: "If you have been impressed by a rural business recently then please tell us about them. It is our great privilege to praise the countryside's unsung heroes, and the Awards have quickly become the definitive rural award to win."
The awards run across five categories:
• Local Food
• Village Shop / Post Office
• Start-Up Award
The Start-Up award is new for 2012. It seeks to recognise new rural businesses that have been trading for less than 18 months and are already making their mark. Awards will be judged at local level first this winter, with each of ten regions declaring a winner in each category by the early New Year. Local judging is carried out by Countryside Alliance directors across the home nations. Regional winners will then go forward to a grand final. An experienced judging panel, including celebrity chef Clarissa Dickson Wright, will select the overall UK & Ireland Champions in each category.
Paper nomination forms can be obtained by calling 0207 840 9340 or email@example.com with your name and address. For more details, please visit the Countryside Alliance Awards website at http://www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk/.