Martin Whitfield MSP has welcomed the success of rural businesses in the South Scotland Region in being named among this year’s Scottish finalists in the Countryside Alliance Awards.

The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food and farming, enterprise and heritage through our hard-working small businesses.

The ‘Rural Oscars’, as they are also known, are now in their seventeenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to highlight why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.

The awards received thousands of nominations this year, with the following businesses from South Scotland being named as finalists in their respective categories:

Foston’s Fine Meats, Duns (Butcher)

Donaldsons Butchers, Earlston (Butcher)

Martin Baird Butchers, Melrose (Butcher)

The Gordon Arms Bar and Kitchen, Gordon (Pub)

Black Bull Hotel, Lauder (Food & Drink)

Scott Country International, Castle Douglas (Rural Enterprise)

Carfrae Farm Shop, near Haddington (Village Shop / Post Office)

Commenting on the finalists, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“Being named a finalist in these prestigious awards a real testament to all the hard work and dedicated service these businesses provide to their customers and communities throughout the year. I congratulate all the finalists from South Scotland on their success so far and wish them well for the rest of the competition.”

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. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition.”

More information about the awards can be found at