Three Devon companies in the running for national business awards

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2022 - 10:12pm

Three outstanding businesses from Devon are preparing to attend the national final of the UK’s leading rural business awards programme, where they’re shortlisted for their outstanding accomplishments in business.

Thorverton-based Rull Orchard, The Outdoors Group from Shillingford Abbot and Dartington’s Apricot Centre have been shortlisted in the national final of the Rural Business Awards, held in partnership with Amazon, which will see them compete against fellow businesses from across the UK to be named among the best rural businesses in the country.

The national final of the 2021/22 Rural Business Awards takes place virtually on Thursday 24th February, following a series of regional finals in late 2021. During the online presentation, the overall winners in each category will be announced.

The 2021/22 Rural Business Awards features 13 categories including Best Rural Start-Up Business and Best Rural Diversification Project, Best Rural Professional Services Business and The Triumph Over Adversity Award.

Rull Orchard from Thorverton has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Small Business category, The Outdoors Group from Shillingford Abbot has been shortlisted in the Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business category and the Apricot Centre from Dartington is up for Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project.

Apricot Centre works with families and schools to offer farming processes to help with wellbeing.

The Apricot Centre Team approach involves experienced Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) practitioners from different fields in collaboration to deliver high quality therapies and support such as Clinical Psychology, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, Creative Psychotherapies (Art, Music, Drama) and Counselling.

Rull Orchard is the brainchild of Mike and Claire Shorland. The company started making cider in 2020 and has now expanded the business to offer juices, honey and sparkling drinks. 

The Outdoors Group is a Scandinavian-inspired Forest school based around learner-led, project-based experiential learning. It offers a wide range of outdoor activities for kindergarten children, toddler groups, home education groups, holiday clubs, birthday parties, school groups, adult training, and team building. 

Speaking ahead of the final, Mike Shorland, Founder of Rull Orchard said:

“We were very proud to win at the regional final of the Rural Business Awards. We are passionate about what we do, and it was a great boost to win the regional award. We’re looking forward to competing again at the national final.”

“We are proud to continue our support of the Rural Business Awards. They are a great way to highlight the entrepreneurial spirit and the achievements of the many fantastic businesses in the rural sector across the UK,” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “On behalf of everyone at Amazon, I would like to wish all of the finalists from Devon the best of luck ahead of the final.”

The Rural Business Awards 2021/22 will mark the Awards’ seventh year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural sector. 

The Rural Business Awards are the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.

Anna Price said: “We are excited to host a seventh year of the Rural Business Awards, and every year the competition gets tougher to judge. It’s an honour to showcase the fantastic talent of the rural sector in the UK and we wish all three Devon businesses good luck ahead of the final.”

The award winners will be announced during the virtual ceremony, to be held on Thursday 24th February 2022.

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