North East Rural Awards

Award categories are:

  • Rural diversification award;
  • Best rural start-up Award;
  • Rural hero award;
  • Land-based apprenticeship award;
  • Tourism and hospitality award;
  • Farm Award - Small farm of the Year (up to 150 hectares);
  • Farm Award - Large farm of the year (150 hectares and over);
  • Farming and the environment award;
  • Artisan food and drink award;
  • Farmer of the year Award.

Award Categories & Criteria:
We welcome your entries for our 9 unique categories.

Rural Diversification Award
This award is for a rural business which has broadened their operations into a new field to provide further income and succeed to the benefit of all. The judges will look at a business’s ability to focus, re-focus and diversify in order to stay ahead of the competition. The scheme must have been running for more than 6 months and must be based in the North East to qualify.

Best Rural Startup Award
The judges will be looking for inspiration, innovation and application from new businesses in the rural sector. The business has to have been running for less than 18 months and must be based in the North East to qualify.

Rural Hero Award
In this category, the judges will ask the following questions in pursuit of a ‘Rural Hero’:

  • What makes this individual remarkable?
  • What is the impact of this individual on others?
  • Being specific, detail why the term 'Hero' should be applied to this individual

Nominations can be accepted from a friend, colleague, family member or member of the public (not the nominee themselves). The Rural Hero must be based in the North East to qualify.

Land based Apprenticeship Award
With rural industry once the leading source of employment in the region, this award seeks to recognise any size of rural business that run apprenticeship schemes which keep young people in the rural sector. The employer and apprenticeship scheme must be based in the North East to qualify.

Tourism & Hospitality Award
This category looks at a business that has made a difference to rural tourism and hospitality, whether they are a visitor centre, an attraction or accommodation. The judges will look at their communication (i.e. social media, marketing), the quality of the attraction as well as visitor numbers and what marks the nominees as different from others. The judges will also look at how nominees work within their community; engage with their local resources and what value they bring to the area in terms of local suppliers, employment, integration and positive development. The business must be based in the North East to qualify.

Farm Award
This award is broken down into two categories; Smaller Farm - anything up to 150 hectares and Larger Farm – anything over 150 hectares.

Judges will be looking for farms that work with the rural environment; maximising, yet protecting natures resources, providing the base for successful farming and diversified businesses, whilst future proofing the farm for generations to come. Farms can be arable, livestock or mixed; hill, upland or lowland; tenanted or owner occupied and must be based in the North East to qualify.

Farming & the Environment Award
This award will be given to the organisation, business or individual who goes beyond the expectations set out – producing, developing, innovating and succeeding in enhancing the countryside by sustainability (i.e. renewable energy), protection (i.e. sympathetic in construction), rescue, introduction or re-organisation. The scheme and the business must be based in the North East to qualify.

Artisan Food & Drink Award
This award is designed to recognise the hard work, innovation and development of a small producer or retailer that champions and supports other local producers, helping to put a local community on the map. The judges will look at whether the produce has had a valuable impact on the community and local economy and also whether the craftsmanship would have been lost without the efforts of the producer – although this will not be requisite to entering. The business must be based in the North East to qualify.

Farmer of the Year Award
This award recognises the self-motivated individuals involved either independently or as part of a team in growing a thriving farming business. The judges are looking for those with a passion for developing a lucrative business enterprise and farmers who are making the most of the opportunities presented to them to help shape the future of the farming industry. This award will be given to an individual whose influence has improved the lives or environment of others, without whose efforts an absence would have been felt. The business must be based in the North East to qualify.

Making a Nomination:
Complete the form below to make your nomination.

All entries must be submitted by midnight on 15th May 2016.

All nominations will be considered during a preliminary judging process which will lead to a shortlist from which the winners will be chosen. The winners will be announced at a gala awards dinner at Linden Hall, Longhorsley, Northumberland on Thursday 7th July 2016.

Please note: The business reporters at The Journal & The Chronicle will have access to all applications in order to write editorial and company overviews to support the awards. If your entry includes any sensitive information you do not wish to be published however is important to your application, please attach this information to a clearly marked email and send to or

The Judging Process:
All nominations are reviewed by a team of judges consisting of independent experts in the field and category award sponsors. Judges have a wide range of experience and backgrounds in the rural industries. The judges review each nomination in depth before meeting for a panel session where each nomination is scored and assessed against criteria. Once the judging process is complete the events team at The Journal & The Chronicle contact the shortlisted finalists to deliver the good news and invite them to attend the awards ceremony on 7th July to find out if they are victorious.

. The awards are run by Northumberland newspaper, The Journal, and aim to recognise businesses/individuals achievements in the agricultural sector. Users can place nominations until May 15th at the following link: