Published: 10:13, 01 March 2021
| Updated: 10:17, 01 March 2021
Two Kent companies have scooped top national awards in a competition designed to celebrate businesses in rural areas.
The Rural Business Awards highlights entrepreneurial spirit in the countryside, with this year's event being held in partnership with online giant Amazon.
Among the winners were the Oak Barn, Frame Farm in Benenden which was named Best Sustainability and Environmental Impact Business.
It provides a setting for weddings, parties and events and transformed redundant Grade II-listed farm buildings into an energy efficient destination.
Tim Maw from the firm said “Sustainability and the environment were at the forefront of our restoration plan and it is so fulfilling to now host weddings, corporate events and retreats with minimal impact on our fragile world. Every decision we make, however small, has an impact on our future and we will always strive to do better”.
Also emerging triumphant was Romney Marsh Wools from Aldington. It was named Best Rural Creative or Artisan Business at the first ever virtual national final of the event.
It uses its flock of sheep to produce wool for throws, cushions, hat, scarves and gifts.
Kristina Boulden from Romney Marsh Wools, said: “We are passionate about British wool and are so thankful for the opportunity to show off the beautiful natural resource that our business is built on. Romney Marsh Wools winning this award shows that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
This year, businesses could enter 13 categories, ranging from Best Rural Start-Up Business and Best Rural Diversification Project, through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and The Triumph Over Adversity Award.
The winners were decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies and rural charitable organisations.