Scottish Rural Awards finalists announced

Portrait of Jim Smith, photo credit Eilidh Robertson
Norette Ferns

Rural businesses from across the country have been announced as finalists for the Scottish Rural Awards 2020.

The Scottish Rural Awards celebrate the enterprise, innovation and community spirit of those who live and work in Scotland’s countryside. Shortlists have been announced for 12 award categories including a new award for Best Countryside Digital Innovator.

Award winners and runners-up will be unveiled at a ceremony and gala dinner hosted by comedian Jim Smith at the Glasgow Hilton on 2 April 2020.

Bake Off star Flora Shedden and previous winner Sir Ian Grant will be joining the Scottish Rural Awards judging panel for 2020. The other judges are: Richard Bath, editor of Scottish Field, Jamie Stewart, Countryside Alliance director for Scotland, Alan Laidlaw, chief executive of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) and Charlie Shentall, director of The Lodge at Perth Racecourse.   

 Early bird tickets for the event are available until 20 December 2019. 

Scottish Rural Award 2020 finalists

Best Rural Tourism Initiative Award

Foraging Fortnight, Eilean Dorcha Festival, Logan Botanic Garden, The Colonsay Festival of Spring, Senwick Alpaca Trekking, Grantown East: Highland Heritage and Cultural Centre, Midlothian & Borders Tourism Action Group, Stranraer Oyster Festival, Uist Gifts & Information, HebHolidays

Best Rural Business Start-Up Award

Taste of Argyll, Machars Veterinary Services, Harvey’s Hotel for Dogs, Grantown East: Highland Heritage and Cultural Centre, The Sheep Shed, Preston Professional Services, Secret Stills, The Great British Food Hub, Fidra Gin, Slàinteach

Best Countryside Digital Innovator Award

Smart Village Scotland, Balquhidder Community Broadband CIC, Cyber Security Scotland, Smart Farmer Limited, The Great British Food Hub, Wholesome Pigs, Scarletts Honey, Growbiz, Mossgiel Farm, SmartRural Cooperative

Best Scottish Artisan Food Award

Clootie McToot Dumplings, Errington Cheese, Bogrow Farm, Errichel and Thyme, Wee Isle Dairy Ltd, The Post Office Bakehouse Douglas, Huntly Herbs, Salar Smokehouse, Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd, Scotland The Bread, In House Chocolates, Earth’s Crust

Best Scottish Artisan Drink Award

Kinrara Distillery, Buittle Tea Garden, The GlenAllachie Distillery, Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky, Kingsbarns Distillery, Redcastle Spirits Ltd, Buck and Birch, Highland Boundary, Slàinteach, Gin Bothy 

Best Rural Innovation Award

Grantown East: Highland Heritage and Cultural Centre, Green Grow Aurora Sustainability, Agriforest, Vanguard Campervan Conversions, The Bus Stop, CuanTec, Growers Garden, SoilEssentials, Annie Kenyon Developments, Left Coast Culture 

Best Rural Skills Educator Award

Scottish School of Forestry (UHI), Job Farm, ReTweed, Neil Moffat Drystone Work, Rural Skills Training, Lesley’s Kitchen Bread School, Sealy MacWheely, Askivel of Strathearn-Kilt College, Equido Horsemanship, H&W Forestry Services

Best Farming Business Award

Downfield Farm, Incheoch Farms, Allan Wilson Ltd, SoilEssentials, Forest Farm Dairy, Bogrow Farm, The Buffalo Farm, Inverlochy Farm, Kingdom Farming, The Scottish Goat Meat Company

Rural Hospitality Award

The Three Chimneys, Invercassley Cottage B & B, The Majestic Line, Glenegedale House Islay, RiverBeds Luxury Wee Lodges, Carradales, Nethy House Café and Rooms, Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa, The Coll Hotel, Tigh na Mara Guesthouse

Rural Business Diversification Award

The Bus Stop, Balgove Larder, Creeside Escape Shepherd’s Hut, Down on the Farm, Newton Farm Holidays & Tours, A & J McDowall Ltd, The Buffalo Farm, Heads of Ayr Farm Park, Bowhouse on Balcaskie Estate, Cardross

Most Sustainable Rural Business Award

Lynbreck Croft, Cardross, Loch Ken Eco Bothies, Forest Farm Dairy, Nc’nean Distillery, Naturally Useful, Ben Cruachan Power Station (Drax), CuanTec, Highland Boundary, Mossgiel Farm

Best Rural Employer

Auchrannie Resort, Bad Girl Bakery, Farne Salmon, Jewellery Casting Scotland, Strathtyrum Estate & Balgove Larder, Clark Integrated Technologies, 2G Events, Loch Leven’s Larder, Ben Cruachan Power Station (Drax), Loch Fyne Oysters Ltd

Visit the Scottish Rural Awards website to find out more

Photo credit: Eilidh Robertson