Countryside Alliance Awards 2024: plaudits for rural businesses across NI

There was cause for celebration at The Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast this week as businesses from across Northern Ireland were presented with accolades in the Countryside Alliance Awards 2024 ceremony.

The Countryside Alliance Awards – now in their 17th year – recognise rural businesses across five categories -‘best local food’, ‘best butcher’, ‘best pub’, ‘best rural enterprise’ and ‘best village shop/ post office.’

Thousands of nominations from around the country were whittled down via a public vote, with the final few being honoured at the Northern Irish finalists’ awards dinner and ceremony on Monday, March 25.

The winner of each category will go on to represent Northern Ireland in the national champions reception at the House of Lords in June, competing against other finalists from Wales, Scotland and England.

Gary McCartney, Director of the Countryside Alliance Ireland, said: "Running a business in a rural community isn’t easy, particularly in recent times. The evening was all about celebrating the valued role these rural enterprises have in their communities.

"Their continuing promotion and defence of Northern Irish produce, skills and rural life deserves all the credit it gets. We at Countryside Alliance Ireland are proud to be honouring a group of people who are passionate about their countryside and passionate about providing quality goods, services and employment to rural communities and beyond.”

Check out our gallery of category winners and other businesses from across the province who received highly commended awards.

Well done to everyone who made the shortlist.