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The Rural Business Awards have announced that North of England based law firm, Ward Hadaway, will be joining Openreach as sponsors of the North region of the awards. 

With firm roots in the countryside and its traditions, Ward Hadaway is one of the UK’s Top 100 law firms and a major player in the North of England with offices in Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester. With a thorough understanding of farming and its related industries, Ward Hadaway offers sound, practical advice on a wide range of issues affecting the agricultural sector and the people and businesses who work within it.

The Rural Business Awards 2019/20 will mark the Awards’ fifth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural economy – a segment which employs in excess of 3.4 million people in over 750,000 businesses in England alone. The Awards are organised by rural business for rural business with the aim of celebrating the achievements of rural people and developing a strong network for business owners

Representatives from Ward Hadaway were included in the Rural Business Awards’ select judging panel, handpicked experts in the world of business and the rural sector.  They included the head of Ward Hadaway’s Rural Land and Estates team, Stefan Bainbridge, who has nearly 20 years of experience in handling complex agricultural property transactions in the North East and beyond.  He was described in Chambers and Partners as “an absolutely excellent and reliable operator”.

Ward Hadaway have the knowledge and experience to ensure that they can deal with the changing face of agriculture and its shifting demands.  Good, commercial legal advice requires them to understand clients’ personal circumstances or the context in which their businesses operate. Their thorough understanding of the agricultural sector enables them to provide a pragmatic and commercial approach. It also provides them with the expertise necessary to judge the entries of the Rural Business Awards.

The panel’s results will be announced at the regional award presentation, taking place on Friday 11th October and held at Newcastle University.

One of the entrants who will be waiting with bated breath is Lionmouth Rural Centre. Located in County Durham, this business is a candidate for the North’s Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity, or Community Project award.

Set in seven acres of rural countryside, the Community Interest Company offers a safe place where people with mental health, social and learning disabilities are encouraged to take part in practical and meaningful activities. The centre teaches its clients important skills that empower them, improve their confidence and give them qualifications – transforming their lives for the better.

The Lionmouth Rural Centre will be joined by the likes of Tilda’s Tribe, based in West Yorkshire and in the running for the Best Rural Start Up award, who hand-make decadent goat’s milk soap and shampoo bars from their small herd of goats who roam freely on the family farm.

Loch Duart, a finalist in the North’s Best Rural Food Business category.

Another exceptional entrant in the Best Rural Food and Drink category is Loch Duart. This Scottish salmon farm, now in its twentieth year, takes its environmental and welfare responsibilities very seriously, applying unique approaches and techniques to create delicious salmon that is sought after by leading chefs and restaurants across the globe. 

Jemma Clifford, co-founder of the awards, said: “We’re incredibly pleased to have the support of Ward Hadaway for the North region of the 2019/20 Rural Business Awards, legal firms can often be the backbone of rural business communities, ensuring their clients are able to grow and thrive. We are thrilled to welcome such a prestigious firm as Ward Hadaway as a sponsor, and are looking forward to working together to promote rural business.”

Stefan Bainbridge, Partner in the Built Environment Team at Ward Hadaway, said: “We’re delighted to be backing the Rural Business Awards to help shine a spotlight on the best of rural businesses, small and large alike.”

The Rural Business Awards is hosting a series of regional finals in the North, East, Midlands, South East, South West, Wales and Northern Ireland, throughout October and November 2019, ahead of the National Final next February.

Ward Hadaway provide the legal services needed by the modern rural landowner.  From wind and solar options to registering manorial rights, and from complex agricultural tenancy surrenders to the sale and purchase of estates, farms and agricultural land, they have the expertise and experience to deliver positive results.

To find out more about Ward Hadaway, go to www.wardhadaway.com or to learn about the Rural Business Awards visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk

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