Ceridwen Centre & Crwst – Finalists In The CLA Rural Business Awards

19 Jul

Ceridwen Centre & Crwst are two of only three Welsh finalists in the Country Landowners Association, CLA Rural Business Awards together with ET Landnet.

I had to share this with you, I actually think in a way it comes under the blow-your-own-trumpet-banner, but so what? Of the three of the Welsh businesses named as finalists, in the Rural Business Awards, Ceridwen Centre and Crwst are advertisers with Welsh Country magazine. But here’s a further gloat, we sent the press release from CLA about the Rural Business Awards to our advertisers and that prompted these two superb businesses to apply, so please excuse my crowing, but just so pleased for them. I passed the press release through to wag, but not sure if wag did anything with it or not, but chuffed we did!

Here’s the CLA press release about the three Welsh winners:

A quirky wedding venue, a micro bakery and a rights of way consultancy from Wales are all in with a chance of being named three of Britain’s best countryside-based firms after making the final stages of the Rural Business Awards 2017. The Ceridwen Centre in the Teifi Valley, ET Landnet of Llanelli and Crwst of Pembrokeshire have been named one of five nationwide finalists in separate categories of the awards. Ceridwen is a finalist for Best Rural Tourism Business; ET Landnet has been named for Best Rural Professional Services Business and Crwst is up for Rural Entrepreneur of the Year. The awards, run in partnership with the CLA and Amazon, are the only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses. Now in their third year and with nearly three times as many entries as in 2016, they are split into 13 sections with one category winner also crowned overall Champion of Champions on the night.

“Congratulations to the Ceridwen Centre, Crwst and ET Landnet for being shortlisted for the awards this year,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “It was great to see a record number of fascinating and inspirational entries this year, all of which are a true testament to the creativity and talent of rural businesses. I wish the Ceridwen Centre, Crwst, ET Landnet and all the shortlisted companies the very best of luck for the awards night.”

Ceridwen Centre Ltd is an eco-minded holiday, course, retreat, event and wedding venue on a 40-acre organic farm in the Teifi Valley in West Wales. With the potential to accommodate more than 60 people in glamping accommodation including yurts, a Romany caravan, a double decker bus, eco pod, upcycled static caravans as well as converted traditional stone buildings, Ceridwen is licensed for wedding ceremonies in The Old Dairy and Green Oak Pagoda and holds receptions in a giant tipi, attracting more than 2000 people a year to Wales. The farm is fully organic and still has 12 acres of oats, wildflower hay meadows and a small organic market garden growing veg for visitors and courses. Holders of the Gold Award for Best Sustainable Tourism Business in the Carmarthenshire Tourism awards for the last four years, Ceridwen’s owners greatly about the rural environment with energy demands served by biomass, solar thermal and solar PV. Employing up to 20 local staff, judges thought Ceridwen was an interesting, unique idea with “brilliant green credentials”.

Co-owner Simone Broome said, “We’re a family business based on a very small organic farm here in darkest north Carmarthenshire. Traditionally this is a farming area with very little employment outside farming and with all the difficulties associated with farming in the 21st century. We entered the awards because we’re wholly committed to being and working where we are and we want to grow a sustainable business for future generations of our family and for the local community. We’re trying to do this with the lightest possible footprint we can. Being recognised for an award like this which is rooted in rural values would mean a great deal to us, and would both boost our profile and would be a reward and a stimulus to our fabulous, enthusiastic team. And, of course, as my rather irreverent spouse has already said, it would be a very effective investment of £50 for our little business!”

ET Landnet Ltd is a leading consultancy specialising in Rights of Way, advising and representing landowners throughout England and Wales. Based in Llanelli, it offers legal and technical expertise, dealing with everything from footpath and bridleway diversions to modification orders and challenging path claims as well as public inquiries, representation cases and advice on gates, stiles, surfaces and structures. ET Landnet understands that managing public access to land is a significant issue for landowners and is there to help. Judges thought ET Landnet was a highly specialised business giving a level of expertise for its rural clients.

Michael Wood, director of ET Landnet, said: “Whilst there seem to be many awards platforms at which business may gather, the focus on those specifically working in the rural economy seemed to be absent until the creation of the Rural Business Awards.  We have watched the development of the awards and have previously thought of entering but as a small consultancy, we worried whether we were too small and too niche.  Well this year, rather than thinking, we are doing and we hope to be proved wrong! To win the award for best Rural Professional Services would be fantastic. It would be the recognition that what we do is to a very high standard and has real value to our clients and makes a positive impact on their lives in the rural community. It would highlight the benefits to landowners of engaging small specialist consultancies to handle intricate issues to achieve positive, cost effective results.”

Crwst is a micro-bakery based in Pembrokeshire at a home kitchen. Co-owners Catrin and Osian Jones produce handmade real bread and seasonal bakes all from home, with the aim of bringing London’s modern and trendy bakes to rural West Wales. Crwst supplies up to 10 local businesses in the area and uses local produce in the bakes, for example: Pembrokeshire Sea Salt. The couple grow vegetables used in bakes and uses online tools such as social media to promote the business. The whole concept of Crwst impressed judges, who felt Catrin and Osian showed vision and ambition for their relatively young business.

The RBAs 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 – a sector of the economy they felt was all-too-often overlooked in favour of large city-based firms.

The awards are organised by rural businesses for rural businesses and judged by people who understand the rural sector, which is growing rapidly and employs in excess of 3.4 million people in more than 600,000 businesses across the UK.

Awards co-founder Anna Price said: “The Rural Business Awards gives rural enterprises of all sizes the opportunity to showcase their success and the contribution they are making to our thriving rural economy – just the firms that have entered in 2017 have combined turnovers well in excess of £70m.

“Tourism is such a vital part of the British rural economy, with businesses the length of Isles helping the whole country flourish by encouraging visitors to enjoy our glorious, green, diverse rural scenery. This was the most popular category of our awards this year and we really have seen some stunning entries, from a range of business which demonstrated not only strong financials but a deep commitment to things that really matter: accessibility and the environment. When it comes to entrepreneurship, this may be traditionally associated with the bright lights of our big cities, but the truth is that business acumen is alive and well in the Great British countryside too.

Helen Woolley, director general of the CLA, said: “Each of these outstanding rural businesses deserves a place in the final. They have shown great expertise in their field and have a real understanding of how their business fits into the rural economy. I wish each and every one good luck at the awards ceremony in October.”

I can only add from the Welsh Country team, the very best of luck for the awards ceremony in October. Even getting to the final is an achievement, but we’ll keep you updated for sure.


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  1. BOW

    July 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

    What good news, hope they win their categories.
    Good of you to send things like this around to your advertisers and think we can guess wag didn’t bother to promote this.
    My only concern is that you are having to do so much unpaid work

  2. Ted

    July 19, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Wish I’d have entered
    but pleased to know about it, thanks for doing that.

  3. admin

    July 19, 2017 at 10:31 am

    It shouldn’t concern you, it’s my choice to take on this extra work for free but really don’t think it’s sensible of me!
    Yet if I hadn’t done it these 2 companies would not have known about it. Can’t speak for the third finalist as he’s not an advertiser with Welsh Country.

  4. BOW

    July 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Great news.
    Sure you’re grateful to Kath & Ian for passing that awards news onto BOW.
    Kath that goes above and beyond the call of duty, or actually what you guys are being paid for.
    sure wag food did nothing to help

  5. Jane

    July 21, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    Well done and good luck for the finals

  6. Mr B

    July 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Terrific news
    well done both

  7. BOW

    August 1, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Would those two companies have entered without you two doing the work?
    Of course not
    They are lucky to have you working for them.

  8. admin

    August 1, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Here to help our producers if we can

  9. tom

    August 2, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Brilliant news – well done them.
    Kath, you and Ian should take great credit from this and wag should know about it too.
    You & Ian are wag food’s unpaid servants and that’s not fair.

  10. bow

    August 2, 2017 at 9:40 am

    good luck for the final guys

  11. admin

    August 2, 2017 at 9:43 am

    It’s our choice, not wags to support our best of welsh advertisers

  12. Jane

    August 2, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    hope you both win in the final run down
    well done the team here

  13. Tom

    August 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Good luck
    hope you both win
    great news
    thanks for putting this up Kath

  14. admin

    August 14, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    they are both advertisers with us
    so we do what we can to help
    including telling them about this competition!
    our fingers are crossed for the final

  15. admin

    August 15, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Hi Tom
    It’s my pleasure and I was so impressed with your set-up when we visited I can understand why you were selected
    I was telling some folk about it on Saturday at a food festival and another whose looking for a wedding venue
    I do hope it continues to go well….it’s so exciting!
    shout if we can help further