Awards seeking best examples of rural community action from across the UK

Plunkett Foundation are encouraging rural community owned businesses to enter the Community Ownership Awards which have been launched to celebrate the successes made by community owned enterprises throughout the UK.

The UK has some truly fantastic and inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to take action to improve their communities, save services and assets that are vital to their area and tackle issues that impact them. Headline sponsored by Hastoe Housing Association, these awards will celebrate their amazing achievements and celebrate the hard work and success of all involved.

This year, the Rural Community Ownership Awards consist of 5 ‘thematic’ categories which are; Community Story of the Year, The ‘Little Things’ Award, Investing in local people, Diversifying to make a difference and the Horace Plunkett ‘Better Business’ Award. 

Last year, the People’s Choice Award was won by Ronald Thorne from Chittlehamholt Village Shop, who was nominated by his community who said:

“When, in 2008, the village Post Office was given notice of closure, Ron called a public meeting in which the majority gave the go ahead to explore possibilities of our own shop. With much perseverance Ron led the negotiations and secured a fifty-year lease on our preferred site. He led the committee tirelessly through this, keeping calm and measured. The village now has a social hub and provides a meeting place for all, particularly the elderly and lonely. The shop is much valued and the untiring work of one man, Ron Thorne, has made it all a reality.”

James Alcock, Executive Director at Plunkett Foundation, says “We have seen first-hand how community businesses have transformed the lives of people throughout the UK and we are delighted to be running our awards again this year. We see some incredible stories and we hope that these will inspire others to consider starting their own community business.”

Plunkett is delighted to be working once again with Hastoe Housing Association as headline sponsor for the Rural Community Ownership Awards. The awards are also made possible through the continued support of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Applications will be welcomed until Friday 14 September with winners to be announced at a special awards ceremony later this year.

Whether you are part of a community business, have supported one in the past or have a favourite you can nominate them by visiting