First ever Rural Community Ownership Awards launched

Applications are now open for the first ever Plunkett Foundation Rural Community Ownership Awards. The Awards recognise the wide range of rural social and community enterprises that help rural communities through community-ownership to take control of the issues affecting them.

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Building on the success of the Plunkett Community Shops Awards held last year, nominations and applications are welcomed from Wednesday 16th April to Friday 7th May. The shortlist will be announced on Monday 2nd June with the winners being announced at the award ceremony on the 1st July.

James Alcock, Head of Frontline at Plunkett, said: “We are really excited to be launching today the first ever Rural Community Ownership Awards.  Last year we were overwhelmed by the response from community shops that entered the Community Shops Awards and it is a natural progression to hold awards to encourage applications from all forms of community enterprise.” 

He continued: “We are encouraging more enterprises to apply in celebration of what makes community-owned enterprises great – their co-operative ethos, their community engagement and their approach to overcoming the problems they face together. Plunkett would also like to thank our awards’ sponsors: Hastoe Housing Association, Triodos, Ecology Building Society, Community and Co-operative Finance, Wine Box Company and Suma Wholefoods”.

The Rural Community Ownership Awards aim to commend the committed teams of people who come together to deliver vital services to their community whether a community land trust or wood, community shop or bookshop, café or co-operative pub; commodities and services that are becoming increasingly more important.


For more information contact Claire Keith-Anderson on 01993 810730 or email

Notes to editors:

Find out more about the Plunkett Foundation Rural Community Ownership Awards at

The Plunkett Foundation ( is the centre of expertise for rural communities across the UK looking to take control of the issues affecting them. Plunkett helps communities to set up enterprises in rural areas that are owned and led by those communities. We also support existing rural community enterprises by providing a range of support services.  We do this by:

•    Helping rural communities across the UK to set up and run community-owned shops and establish a wide range of other community-owned rural services such as co-operative pubs

•    Promoting and supporting the development of community food and farming enterprises

•    Advocating and raising awareness amongst policy makers, support organisations and rural communities themselves of the ability of rural communities to take control through community-ownership of the issues affecting them.

To-date 322 community-owned shops and 25 co-operative pubs have opened. Further information on the Plunkett Foundation’s support for community-owned village shops can be accessed on and co-operative pubs at

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