The Rural Oscars Champions for the North of England in the 2016 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) have been announced. Businesses will now head to Parliament in March for the British finals and a shot at national glory. The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are now in their twelfth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. In 2016 we received over 7,500 public nominations which have been whittled down and judged and mean that these Champions are truly the cream of rural business. The Awards are public-nomination led across five categories: • Local Food & Drink • Village Shop/ Post Office • Tourism Enterprise • Farm Enterprise • Butcher
Northern Champion in the Tourism Enterprise category Beverley Food Festival, Beverley Town Council, Beverley, East Yorkshire
Judge Charlotte Cooper said: “The energy behind Beverley Food Festival is inspiring. The main festival attracts 30,000 people to Beverley town centre, boosting tourism and the economy. The festival is underpinned by a total commitment to local produce and producers, and this has really put Beverley on the map as a “foodie” hub. The festival ties in with allotments and farmers markets, as well as a weekly market in the town and there are strong links with supportive local businesses. There is also a smaller festival in the run up to Christmas which draws in 10,000. There was nothing like this before the team created the festival and it is an excellent example of local people coming together to promote their local area and produce, and creating something that is much more than the sum of its parts.” The Mayor of Beverley said that Beverley Town Council are proud to coordinate the Beverley Food Festival, now past its 10th year. This event could not be delivered without a large group of volunteers and their contribution is invaluable. The festival brings many people to the town from near and far, resulting in a great deal of profile and income not only to local food and drink suppliers but also local hotels, bars and restaurants. We now face the kind of problems it’s nice to have – how to make space for the vendors we cannot currently accommodate and how to ensure the growing event remains safe and enjoyable for the public. Come and see beautiful Beverley, explore the town, try great food and drink – make a weekend of it!