The Rural Business Awards is proud to have attracted prominent businesses to sponsor each award category and one of the well-known companies that has decided to support this year’s RBAs as a category sponsor is Openreach. But why are they dedicating their time and resources to get involved; and why did they choose the Best Rural Creative or Media-based Business Category to focus on? Read on, to find out more…

Openreach knows more than most that business is all about connections, and getting fibre broadband to more and more rural areas plays a massive part in creating a level playing field for firms up and down the country, with this being particularly apparent in the creative and media sector. Of course, the rural sector has traditionally encouraged freelance and home-based workers, but in the digital age these firms rely on being able to share massive media files like hi-res photography, design files and video content. Without a fibre broadband connection, that becomes almost impossible and businesses struggle to provide their customers with what they need.

Openreach’s Director of Fibre Broadband Clients, Steve Edwards, is presenting the Creative and Media-based Business Award at the Awards Ceremony and he explains why it was important for BT to get involved.

Mr Edwards says:

“I’m absolutely delighted to be part of the awards. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get together and celebrate the very best rural businesses and to hear some of their inspiring stories.  This year has seen entries from 52 counties in the UK and there have been nearly three times as many entries for the Rural Business Awards as in 2016.”

“The Rural Business Awards were established to recognise businesses that operate across the rural sector. And because we’ve helped get so many communities connected to faster broadband, we’re just as passionate about firms that value their rural roots.”

This year’s shortlist of finalists in the creative and media category includes: Farm Creative, a marketing agency based in a working farm; Holdsworth PR which specialises in rural and equestrian businesses; Rural Maps, which has a global customer base; Rural Roots PR which is on a mission to get millennials into the countryside; and The Artisan Food Trail, which works to raise awareness of rural food and drinks brands. You can find out more about all the finalists on the Rural Business Awards website.

Rural Business Awards co-founder Jemma Clifford said: “The Rural Business Awards, now in its third year, 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.”

“Media businesses are often associated with the bright lights of the city but with this category of our awards we wanted to showcase the creative talents that shine a much-needed light on the British countryside. Cutting edge media savvy doesn’t have to wear an urban suit and carry a briefcase to work – beautiful rural Britain also boasts a wealth of these fabulous design and marketing agencies who make such a difference. This category has unearthed some brilliantly diverse finalists, it’s going to be tough to choose the winners!

“We are thrilled that Openreach has decided to support this category and would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment to supporting the rural economy, as well as the Rural Business Awards. By helping us to shine a light on the best rural media and creative businesses the countryside has to offer, Openreach is illustrating its commitment to firms of all sizes across the UK.”

The Awards Ceremony takes place 5 October 2017 at Denbies Wine Estate, Surrey.

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