The Countryside Alliance Wales held its annual ‘Rural Oscars’ awards ceremony, where several Welsh rural businesses were crowned champions.

But while Boughrood Stores in Brecon didn’t win, they did receive high commendations in their village shop category, won by Llanymynech village shop in Powys.

Speaking to The Brecon and Radnor Express, shop owner Lorraine Davies said: “We had a lovely time at the awards evening at the Senedd and were joined by James Evans our local MS. Awards were presented by well-known Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones. The evening highlighted the importance of independent rural Welsh businesses that truly are the hub of the community. We feel humbled that we were nominated and that we reached the final. Our thanks must go to our loyal customers for all their support.”

Speaking in January, Lorraine told The Brecon and Radnor Express: "It has come as a complete surprise that we were nominated and have got this far. We are totally delighted to discover that Boughrood Stores has been shortlisted to the top four in the best village shop category, in the Countryside Alliance Awards.

"We are a small team but we have been committed to supporting those who live in our wonderful community and thank our customers for their constant support."

Lorraine took over from Derek, who passed away during the pandemic. "We’ve had a tough time over the last few years, what with Covid and losing a major member of our team," Lorraine said. "Derek was the owner of the business and sadly passed away from cancer, during the pandemic. He is missed by us all greatly and would have been so chuffed. Since Derek’s passing, I have taken over the business, with help from Liz and Caroline.”

The Countryside Alliance Awards – now in their 17th year – recognise rural businesses across five categories, including ‘best pub’, ‘best village shop/ post office’, ‘best butcher’, ‘best for local food a drink’ and the ‘rural enterprise award’. These businesses go the extra mile within their communities, supporting the local economy and championing local goods and services.

Thousands of nominations from around the country were whittled down via a public vote, with the final few being honoured at the Welsh finalists’ awards ceremony on Tuesday 27 February at the Senedd, Cardiff Bay. The awards were presented by Gareth Wyn Jones and Director of the Countryside Alliance Wales Rachel Evans, and attended by a number of Senedd members.

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