News Release: Winners of the Rural Community Business Awards 2022 announced

Eight inspirational community-businesses from across the UK have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to their communities and as being the most inspiring enterprises of their kind by the Plunkett Foundation through its Rural Community Business Awards.

Selected from 24 finalists, representing a wide range of businesses from across the UK – including community-owned farms, woodlands, shops, pubs and community hubs, these businesses help rural communities tackle local issues such as isolation, loneliness, employment and wellbeing.

Held annually by the Plunkett Foundation, the Rural Community Business Awards recognise the dedication and success of all types of community-owned businesses and hope to inspire other communities to take ownership of the businesses essential to them. This year’s Awards are supported by headline sponsor North Barnes Farm in partnership with Welbeck Land and Eton College.

The Eight Rural Community Business Awards Winners:

i) Woodhouse Farm and Garden CIC (Lichfield, Staffordshire) winner of the Community Food & Local Supply Award sponsored by Suma Wholefoods

ii) Westbury Community Shop (Westbury, Buckinghamshire) winner of the Employment Award sponsored by Adnams

iii) Farmborough Community Shop (Farmborough, Somerset) winner of the Environment Award sponsored by Power to Change

iii) Islip Village Shop (Kidlington, Oxfordshire) winner of the Inclusivity Award sponsored by Co-op

iv) Menter Ty’n Llan (Caernarfon, North Wales) winner of the Technology Award sponsored by Anthony Collins

v) The Bank (Chopwell Regeneration CIO, Chopwell, Tyne & Wear) winner of the Volunteering Award sponsored by Allied Westminster

vi) Lucy Turner (from The New Inn, Halse, Somerset) winner of the Community Contribution Award sponsored by Thakeham

vii) Emily Thompson (from The Bank, Chopwell, Tyne & Wear) winner of the Young Person Award sponsored by Abri

viii) Isle of Canna Community Shop (Isle of Canna, Scottish Inner Hebrides) winner of the Horace Plunkett Award, dedicated by the Plunkett team, trustees and advisers.

The winners were presented their awards at a ceremony held on Thursday 17 November 2022 hosted

by TV presenter and auctioneer Charlie Ross. Each winner receives a trophy and an award of £250.

James Alcock, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, said “Community businesses across the UK put their communities first, they help transform the lives of the vulnerable and provide a thriving future for many isolated rural towns and villages. These worthy winners have worked selflessly to improve the wellbeing of everyone in their local community and we are incredibly proud to recognise, and to have supported, their work.”

Damon Turner, Partner of Welbeck Land, said: “Community businesses are leading the way in creating inclusive and impactful rural places for everyone to live and work. Everyone at the North Barnes Farm Partnership, supported by Welbeck Land and Eton College would like to share their heartfelt  congratulations with all the winners.  We recognise the dedication and hard work that goes into running a community business each and every day whilst putting the needs of their local community first. This is an ethos we are committed to embedding at North Barnes Farm and we are inspired by the success of the whole community business sector to help us create a thriving community where the needs of its residents are met through investment in local food, services, employment and leisure opportunities.”

The importance and benefits of community-owned businesses are recognised and supported by our event sponsors. Headline sponsors of the awards North Barnes Farm in partnership with Welbeck Land and Eton College are joined by award sponsors Abri, Adnams; Allied Westminster; Anthony Collins; the Co-op; Power To Change, Suma Wholefoods and Thakeham.

Community businesses are businesses that are owned and run by their community for their communities, their primary purpose is to provide vital services on which people depend, such as access to food and essential goods, cash and postal services, health-related services and social meeting spaces. The awards celebrate the unique contributions these community businesses make creating resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities.

For further details about the Rural Community Business Awards visit

For media information & images contact:

Liz Woznicki, Communications Consultant, Plunkett Foundation tel: 07977 459913 email: 

or/ Chris Cowcher, Head of Communications, Plunkett Foundation tel: 01993 630022 email: 

Plunkett Foundation is a UK-wide charity with a vision for resilient, thriving and inclusive rural communities. To achieve this, we support people in rural areas to set up and run a wide range of businesses that are genuinely owned by local communities, whereby members have equal and democratic control. Today, we represent over 800 ‘community businesses’ throughout the UK, from shops and pubs through to woodlands, farms and fisheries.

The North Barnes Farm Partnership is a growing team committed to delivering a brand-new community, made up of homes and jobs alongside nature, leisure and food growing in Lewes District Council.

North Barnes Farm will be a new small market town with food and farming, delivered by the Partnership, headed by Welbeck’s team of experienced property professionals, and Eton College as a land-owner with a strong sense of social responsibility, with support from charities and professionals committed to the long-term success of the community and its environment. As well as our dedicated green space, buildings at North Barnes Farm will be designed around walkable neighbourhoods that provide a mix of everyday amenities complemented by a larger town square and centre with independent shops on the high-street and in the town centres, supported and championed by our Partnership. The Partnership is committed to creating a legacy and social value for the widest group of people, whilst protecting and enhancing the environment for generations to come. The plans are currently being promoted as part of Lewes District Council’s Local Plan by the Partnership

Details of the awards:

  • Community Food – stocking local produce or using local energy or services – community businesses play a key role in supporting local producers. Sponsored by Suma.
  • Employment & Training – community businesses offer employment, training and apprenticeship opportunities that help rural villages to thrive. Sponsored by Adnams.
  • Environment – many community businesses operate in sustainable ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Sponsored by Power to Change.
  • Inclusivity – community-owned businesses really are a friend to everyone, offering a friendly-welcoming place to go, volunteering and employment opportunities for all. Sponsored by Co-op.
  • Technology – plays a key part in making services more accessible and helping communities stay connected. Sponsored by Anthony Collins Solicitors.
  • Volunteering – without the daily efforts of thousands of volunteers many community-businesses simply wouldn’t exist and essential shops, pubs and services would be lost for good. Sponsored by Allied Westminster.
  • Community Contribution Award – recognising outstanding and selfless work in helping others. Sponsored by Thakeham
  • Young Person Award – recognising the commitment and value of young people. Sponsored by Abri.
  • Horace Plunkett Award – recognising the outstanding core values of impact, innovation and inclusivity of the Plunkett Foundation. Dedicated by the Plunkett team, trustees and advisers.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!