Four Welsh Companies among award winners at UK-Wide Rural Business Awards

The Rural Business Awards, supported by Amazon, is the only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses

Four companies from Wales have been named four of the best businesses in rural Britain after each winning an Amazon-backed Rural Business Award at the first ever virtual national final.

The companies are:

• PM Training and Assessing from Brecon (Best Rural Innovation Business Award)
• The Ladies Working Dog Group from Aberdare (Triumph Over Adversity Award)
• Moody Cow Welsh Kitchen and Farm Shop from Ceredigon (Best Rural Diversification Business Award)
• Accessible Holiday Escapes from Flintshire (Best Rural Start Up Business Award)

Husband-and-wife team Paul and Pam Martin set up PM Training and Assessing in 2005 to provide assessor training to those in railway signalling. The company has now expanded to provide Trainer, Assessor and IQA (TAQA) qualifications, as well as Professional Development Courses. In 2009, PM Training and Assessing established an IRSE Assessing Agency and in continuing to expand into Signalling Training and Apprenticeships.

The Ladies Working Dog Group provides monthly dog training lessons to help women train their working dogs. The society provides a membership which includes lessons created by experts to help grow dog handling, virtual ‘Happy Hours’ and regular events with like-minded people.

Moody Cow Welsh Kitchen and Farm Shop was opened in 2017 by the Thomas Family in the heart of Cardigan Bay. The Kitchen and Farm Shop offers sit in dining and local produce on retail.

Accessible Holiday Escapes is a multi-award-winning website with over 50 accessibility filters to choose from to help guests with disabilities find quality accommodation to suits their needs. The business was started by husband-and-wife team Becky and Phil Hamilton. The couple love having holidays and days out, but often found it difficult to find accommodation that suited the needs of their eight-year-old daughter, who has a rare metabolic disorder called CDG Type 2, and their 13-year-old son. The couple was surprised to discover how often access information is missing from websites, so decided to set up Accessible Holiday Escapes to help other families facing the same problem.

The Rural Business Awards 2020/21 marks the Awards’ sixth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural sector, which contributes £299bn in Gross Value Added to the overall UK economy.

This year, businesses could enter 13 categories, ranging from Best Rural Start-Up Business and Best Rural Diversification Project, through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and The Triumph Over Adversity Award.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, this year’s competition was run entirely online. The finalists attended the Awards’ first ever virtual final ceremony, which was held on Thursday 25th February 2021.

The winners were decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies and rural charitable organisations.

Speaking after winning the Best Rural Innovation Award, Paul and Pam from PM Training and Assessing said: “We are proud to win the Best Rural Innovation Award at the national final of the Rural Business Awards. We are committed to creating a safe railway by giving the people who work on it the skills, abilities and attitudes to maintain high standards in whatever role they have. This recognition is just what we needed to push us onto even greater things.”

Speaking after the Best Rural Innovation Award, Jo Perrott, from The Ladies Working Dog Group said: “We are truly humbled to have received the Triumph Over Adversity Award. This award wasn’t just me, my team or the dogs, it was every single lady who participates in our community. The ladies are what make us The Ladies Working Dog Group and without every single ambassador we have, we would never be where we are today. Thank you too to every gentleman who tells women to join us, and to every business who supports what we do. We want the success of The Ladies Working Dog Group to be a glimmer of hope for anyone who is struggling or who has struggled in the past. A massive thank you to Amazon and the Rural Business Awards for this amazing opportunity.”

Speaking after winning Best Rural Diversification Project, Geraint Thomas from Moody Cow Welsh Kitchen and Farm Shop said: “The standard of entries for Best Rural Diversification Project this year was exceptional, so it means all the more to us at Moody Cow to receive this national award from the Rural Business Awards and Amazon. We are always looking for new and exciting directions to take the business alongside offering great food and produce, and this recognition is just what we needed to help showcase how we’ve diversified during this challenging year.”

Speaking after winning Best Rural Start Up Business, Becky from Accessible Holiday Escapes said: “We are so excited to win the National Rural Business Award for Best Rural Start Up Business. The past year has been the most challenging yet for small businesses, so to be recognised in this way gives us a huge boost of encouragement as we seek to grow and expand. Thank you, Rural Business Awards and Amazon!”

“It’s an honour to support the Rural Business Awards’ efforts to showcase the incredible talent of British rural business,” said John Boumphrey, UK Country Manager, Amazon. “On behalf of Amazon, I would like to congratulate the four companies on the achievement, and I wish each of them further success in the future.”

The Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.

Co-founder of The Rural Business Awards, Anna Price, added: “On behalf of the Rural Business Awards, I would like to congratulate the businesses on the well-deserved wins. I would also like to extend my congratulations to all the businesses who made it to the final and wish them well in their future endeavours.”

The 2021/22 Rural Business Awards, to be run in partnership with Amazon, is now open for entries so, to enter or find out more about the Awards, visit