A record number of Cumbrian businesses are in the running to be named the best rural business in the UK.

The nine firms have been shortlisted for a regional Rural Business Award – meaning Cumbria has more nominations than any other county in the north of England and Scotland.

The Rural Business Awards 2019/2020, in partnership with Amazon, celebrate the success of businesses across the UK’s rural economy – which employs in excess of 3.4 million people in over 750,000 businesses in England alone.

The nine local companies will battle it out against fellow rural businesses, entrepreneurs and enterprises from across the region for a place at the national final.

The regional final will be held at Newcastle University on October 11, with the National Final taking place early next year.

The shortlisted companies are:

· Dodgson Wood (Best Rural Diversification Project) and Shed 1 Distillery from Ulverston (Best Rural Creative, Artisan or Crafts)

· Mini Eden from Kirkby Stephen – Best Rural Retail Business

· Lake Mill Consulting Services from Wigton – Best Rural Professional Services Business

· The Rural Law Practice from Milnthorpe – Best Rural Professional Services Business

· Sally’s Cottages from Kirkby Lonsdale – Best Rural Tourism Business

· Newlands Adventure Centre from Keswick – Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits

· Hawkshead Relish from Hawkshead – Best Rural Food or Drink Business

· Rinaldo’s Speciality Coffee and Tea from Kendal – Best Rural Food or Drink Business

Linnhe Harrison from Mini Eden said: “We’re thrilled to be shortlisted for a Rural Business Award.

"Mini Eden is a young business that started on a shoestring budget, so knowing companies like Amazon support and recognise what we are doing gives us a great boost.

"We’re really looking forward to attending the Regional Finals of the Rural Business Awards later in the year.”

The Rural Law Practice is part of Thomson Hayton Winkley solicitors.

It employs 10 people and has an office at J36 North West Auctions specialising in agricultural law.

John Cooke, director at Thomson Hayton Winkley, said: “This is fantastic news for the Rural Law Practice.

"We have developed the business over the last three years and now have a growing and dedicated team that focuses its time on all aspects of rural, agricultural and agribusiness law.

"We are based at the auction market at J36 and this allows us to very accessible to the clients we serve. Being short listed for this prestigious award is a great accolade for the team and recognition of all their hard work and expertise.”