Strichen Lodge ‘highly commended’ at Rural Oscars

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Scotland’s Champions in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) were announced at a Holyrood reception earlier this month.

Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP handed out the coveted awards to five inspiring Scottish businesses.

The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses.

Finalists from across the country were in Edinburgh for the reception, sponsored by Angus MacDonald MSP, to celebrate reaching the final and to hear if they had triumphed. While not winning it’s category in the ‘Enterprise’ section, The Lodge at Strichen was highly commended by the judges. Mr Ewing MSP told the reception that the Government is prioritising the rural economy and that its growth is key to Scotland’s future.

He also paid tribute to the unsung heroes and heroines of rural business and the contribution they make to our communities.

The Village at Machrihanish, Machrihanish, Campbeltown, took the Enterprise Award.

Other winners from the North-east corner included A & G Collie of Inverurie, who picked up the Butcher Award and Formartines Visitor Centre at Tarves which picked up the Start-up Award.

Commenting on The Lodge success, First Minister and Strichen resident, Alex Salmond, said: “As a local resident, I am well aware of the excellent reputation that The Lodge has cultivated for its quality fare and good service since opening in 2011.

“This is a well-deserved tribute to a community-centred initiative, which has breathed new life into Strichen and the surrounding area.”

He added: “As constituency MSP, I am well aware of the warm welcome that Formartine’s has received from local residents and suppliers. Furthermore, it shows off the area particularly well to visitors as bastion of good taste and quality produce in the North East.”

As winners of this gong, Formartine’s will now represent Scotland at the UK and Ireland finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards – to be held at Westminster. It’s not the first time it has tasted awards success: last year the centre was granted a Gold Award by the Green Tourist Business Scheme for their efforts in building a sustainable visitor attraction.