Awards seek best examples of rural community action

Awards seek best examples of rural community action
Plunkett Foundation
September 2016


National charity Plunkett Foundation launches Community Ownership Awards 2016


Community owned businesses around the UK are being urged to enter the Community Ownership Awards which have been launched today by national charity Plunkett Foundation.


The Awards (including are designed to celebrate the most inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to improve their communities, to raise awareness of the issues that many rural people face and how they can overcome them through collaborative action.


We’re looking for great examples of community co-operation from all over the UK and Ireland. There are 9 geographic categories to enter including, for the first time, a specific Scotland category.  The awards, and they’re open to all forms of trading activity, from shops and pubs to farms, woodlands and broadband projects. The important thing is that they are trading primarily for the benefit of the community, and that it is controlled by the community though open and voluntary membership, on the basis of all members having an equal say.


Nominations are also being sought for the popular People’s Choice award. This award asks for nominations for individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to their community, through their dedication to their community co-operative.


Launching the Awards, Plunkett’s Head of Frontline James Alcock said: “All over the UK and Ireland, people living in rural areas are taking matters into their own hands to address some of the challenges associated with rural life. Many rural people are experiencing loneliness, isolation or poverty because it’s difficult to access a lot of the things that are needed to participate fully in society and modern life – things like a regular bus service, being able to buy affordable food at a local shop, having reliable access to the internet, or somewhere to socialise and meet people.


“At Plunkett we’ve seen first-hand the huge difference that co-operation can make, which is why we help people to set up businesses that are owned and run by the community and that address some of the biggest challenges facing our rural communities today. The Awards will help celebrate the many fantastic examples all over the UK, and raise awareness about the co-operative model to an even wider audience.”


Plunkett will welcome applications from Thursday 1 September to Friday 14 October, and winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in London on Monday 28 November.



For more information please visit


About the Awards – The Community Ownership Awards are run by the national charity Plunkett Foundation.  Plunkett Foundation helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together. We support people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community. They help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including shops, cafes, pubs and land-based initiatives, and everything in between.