A Cumbrian activity centre is celebrating after picking up top honours at a national award ceremony.
Firms from across Britain took part in the Rural Business Awards 2020/21 were held online for the first time due to lockdown.
The ceremony was hosted by Jules Hudson, the BBC Escape to the Country presenter, yesterday.
Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall took top honours winning the Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business in the prestigious national awards.
It was the second year running that the Newlands team had picked up the accolade.
Debbie Beament from Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall, said: “A huge thank you goes to Amazon and the Rural Business Awards for recognising Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall as Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business again.
“We are passionate about the British countryside and are so thankful to be able to share the beautiful natural resource that our business is built on with others. This award is a team award and without our fantastic staff who always go that extra mile, we would not be so successful.”
Debbie added: “After the difficult year we have all had this award is a great way to remember exactly why we are here and of the value of what we do. We will hit the ground running when we reopen on March 29 and can’t wait to get adventuring again.”
The judges were very impressed with the centre and commented that ” Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall is an outstanding long-lasting business which has shown adaptability and the ability to diversify to stay alive through this most testing of times. Impeccable green credentials ensure that the business is a good friend to the rural landscape and economy.“
The awards aim to recognise and celebrate the successes of businesses operating in the UK’s rural economy; a sector which in England alone contributes £261bn to the nation’s GVA (Gross Value Added) – nearly a fifth of the country’s total economic activity.
“It’s an honour to support the Rural Business Awards’ efforts to showcase the incredible talent of British rural business,” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “On behalf of Amazon, I would like to congratulate Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall on this achievement, and I wish them further success in the future.”
Founded by rural-based business-women, Jemma Clifford and Anna Price, the Rural Business Awards are backed by Amazon and judged by an independent panel, drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations.
Jemma Clifford, director and co-founder of The Rural Business Awards, said: “The last year has been tough for all rural businesses, but we remain amazed at the high calibre of entries to the RBAs and this has certainly continued in the 2020/21 year.
“The judges had a real challenge on their hands when picking the winners and every business shortlisted should be very proud of their achievement of reaching the National Final.
“Our winners have all shown great determination and have bright futures ahead – on behalf of everyone at the Rural Business Awards we congratulate them all.”