2 July 2021
Vara Champions Rural Businesses for Countryside Alliance Commendation

Shailesh Vara MP is delighted that Gidding Den, in Great Gidding, and Abbots Ripton Store and Post Office, in Abbots Ripton, have been Highly Commended after reaching the finals for the 2020 Countryside Alliance Annual Awards.

The annual awards, also known as the ‘Rural Oscars’, are now in their sixteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. They are set apart from other award schemes as they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to say in their own words why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.

Over 18,000 nominations were made and achieving such recognition is testament to both Huntingdonshire businesses for the quality of service they provide to their communities.

Following the announcement Mr Vara said:

“After an immensely difficult time for retailers, I am delighted the hard work of both of these small independent retailers has been recognised in the Countryside Alliance Awards. Providing continued service throughout the pandemic has shown them both to be cornerstones of their communities. These awards celebrate those businesses that go the extra mile and now more than ever rural communities depend on local businesses.”

Samantha Wardman, owner of Abbots Ripton store, commented:

“We are honoured to be recognised as a highly commended business by the Countryside Alliance ‘Rural Oscars’. Through what has been a very tough year, it has been a privilege to provide a safe and accessible service to our community. The past year has shown the strength and importance of small independent retailers in the present day.”

Katie Morgan, owner of Gidding Den, added:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been highly commended by the Countryside Alliance in the annual awards. The support we have received from the local rural community has been amazing over the last 18 months, in one of the most difficult times in living memory.”