Harrogate district shop shortlisted for countryside award

The Dale Stores in Birstwith has been selected as a regional finalist in the Countryside Alliance Awards to win a 'Rural Oscar'.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 11:46 am

The awards are the Countryside Alliance's annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage through small hard working businesses. The Dale Stores has been shortlisted for the Village Shop/Post Office category.

The awards are in their fifteenth year and are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to say why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.

The team at The Dale Stores in Birstwith.

The Dale Stores has been operated by husband and wife team, Matthew and Andrea Walwyn since 2006.

It has developed over the years by supporting local businesses and producers to help sustain a thriving local economy.

In 2014 the shop was part of a nationwide improvement programme for Post Offices, which saw The Dale Stores become one of the first to transfer to a Post Office Local.

The Dale Stores in Birstwith.

Countryside Alliance Awards Director, Sarah Lee, said: “We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year. The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services. They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight.

"These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition."

Dale Stores owner Matthew Walwyn said: "“We are very excited to have been nominated by our wonderful customers. The recognition is something that we feel very humbled by, from myself, Andrea and our team, Hayley, Karis, Jane and Julie. We shall continue to strive to provide first class facilities to our community and keep vital services alive in our village.”

English regional champions will be announced in May propelling them to the Grand Final to be held at Parliament in June 2020.