Dame Prue Leith DBE Joins the Plunkett Foundation in Celebrating the UK’s Best Rural Community Businesses

To celebrate the UK’s finest examples of community-owned businesses and their amazing contribution to the communities they serve Plunkett Foundation, supported by Dame Prue Leith DBE, has launched its annual Rural Community Business Awards.

The awards are an opportunity to recognise the inspiring achievements and selfless commitment of community-owned businesses and the kind-hearted individuals involved in supporting them. Plunkett Foundation is seeking nominations to find outstanding examples of community businesses that despite the difficulties of the Covid-19 pandemic, helped to create thriving and inclusive rural villages through helping the vulnerable, providing jobs and training, tackled issues of isolation and improved the wellbeing of all. Award nominations should be submitted by Friday 1st October and winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday 25th November 2021.

Dame Prue Leith DBE, restaurateur, chef, television presenter, journalist, businesswoman, cookery writer and novelist, has joined with the Plunkett Foundation to celebrate the success of community businesses and will host its Rural Community Business Awards ceremony.

Commenting on the awards Dame Prue Leith DBE said: “Plunkett’s awards celebrate the hard work of everyday people who come together and create extraordinary businesses that make their communities a better place to live. During the pandemic they gave selflessly of themselves in order to establish thriving rural businesses that can provide a future for communities that desperately want the heart of their villages to survive.”

One year on from the launch of Plunkett’s vision for rural recovery beyond Covid, the Rural Community Business Awards will reflect on the opportunities outlined in this vision and celebrate what communities are doing to build a stronger, more resilient future for rural communities.

Awards will be given for the following categories:

  • Employment & training
  • Environment
  • Re-localisation of produce
  • Technology
  • Volunteering
  • Community Contribution Award
  • Young Person Award Mf…

The Plunkett Foundation is calling for all community businesses, partners and friends to put forward their nominations in order to recognise someone within their community for their efforts as part of their local community-owned project.

James Alcock, Chief Executive at Plunkett Foundation, said: “We’re incredibly honoured that Dame Prue Leith has added her voice in support of community-owned businesses. Their impact and inclusivity continue to transform the lives of people across the UK. Year on year we see incredible stories of the positive impact of their work and we hope these will inspire others to start their own community-owned business.

A judging panel made up of sponsors will come together to select the five Rural Vision Award winners and identify three finalists for the Community Contribution and Young Persons awards.

The importance and benefits of community-owned businesses are recognised and supported by our event sponsors. Headline sponsors of the awards campaign Hastoe Housing Association are joined by award sponsors: Adnams; Ancora Law; the Co-op; Co-operative & Community Finance; David Wilson Homes; KeyFund; MJD Hughes, MO Architecture; Power To Change, Suma, The Retail Mutual; Thakeham; Triodos Bank and Your Coop.

Headline sponsor Mark Balchin, Policy & Research Officer from Hastoe Group, said: “As a rural housing provider we understand many of the issues rural communities face and the vital importance community organisations and businesses play in sustaining the vitality of our rural towns and villages. We are delighted to support the awards in 2021, which has been a challenging year for so many, to help shine a light on the great initiatives, selfless volunteers and successful businesses which have not only persevered through the pandemic, but been at the heart of community response”.

Taking part in the Rural Community Business Awards:

Award nominations should be submitted by Friday 1st October and winners will be announced at an award ceremony on Thursday 25th November 2021.

For further information and to submit nominations for the Rural Community Business Awards click here