Kirdford shop nets itself a ‘rural Oscar’ in regional awards

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KIRDFORD villagers are celebrating after hearing their community shop has won a ‘rural Oscar.’

The Countryside Alliance Awards are now in their seventh year of recognising the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work to make it tick.

The community store has won the regional award in the village shop and post office category and now goes forward to the national finals.

The ten regional finalists from across the UK, including Kirdford Stores, now go forward to the House of Lords to hear if they have scooped a national title.

The awards are public nomination-led, with each business put forward by a supportive customer.

The south east’s winners for 2011 were introduced by Michelle Nudds, CA regional director for the south east, who said: “Kirdford is community-owned and managed and has only been open for 18 months, but has made a serious impact.

“Local produce, a tearoom, an art wall, post office, internet, Kirdford is a haven for the community. One nomination said simply the shop has put the heart into the village while another enthused that the local book club now has somewhere to meet. Village shops are always so much more than the sum of their parts – produce, facilities, all of that is vital, but what matters most is people, and Kirdford’s focus is spot-on.”

The ‘rural Oscar’ is the latest in a string of prestigious awards won by the community shop at Kirdford.

Chairman of the shop management committee Sue Ransley told the Observer: “We are amazed and delighted to receive this award – this is such a popular and well-supported initiative run by an organisation that is so well-respected among rural communities.

“It is also testament to the good folk of Kirdford who supported our nomination by voting for us, and obviously acknowledges the quality of the management of the shop by Craig Ramus and his team, the range of products they offer, and the warmth of the welcome.”