HOVINGHAM Village Market has been crowned winner of the Yorkshire Region Enterprise Award by the Countryside Alliance.

Known as the Rural Oscars, the Countryside Alliance Awards are now in their seventh year of celebrating the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside.

The awards are nominated by the public, with each business put forward by a supportive customer.

Simon Hamlyn, CA regional director for the North of England, said: “Hovingham Village Market is something rather special.

It is a community market and cafe run entirely by volunteers on a not-forprofit basis.

“More than 100 volunteers are part of the market, which is impressive in itself, but what has happened here is remarkable – the project has not only brought people together, it has also given the many exceptional local food producers, farmers and growers in the area an outlet.

“Only two years old, the Countryside Alliance is proud to support this enterprising community and we wish it well in the future.”

Mark Woolley, chairman of the Hovingham Market Group, said: “To win this award is fantastic recognition for our community’s achievements in running a sustainable local village market, which promotes local produce and supports local rural businesses and artisan craftspeople.

“The whole community, the stallholders, our volunteer market team and our loyal shoppers must be congratulated collectively for the market’s success, their support is testament to us achieving recognition in these prestigious annual awards.”

In addition to the community and social benefits the market creates, it aims to be as green as possible and in 2010 was awarded the title of Britain’s Greenest Market by the National Market Traders Federation and last year was judged as Britain’s most Improved Green Market for its ongoing green initiatives.

The community cafe is run each month by a different local community group, with each group keeping all the profits, and since October 2009, more than £20,000 has been raised.

The market, which runs on the first Saturday of the month, will now go forward as regional winner to the Countryside Alliance National final to be held on Wednesday, March 7, at the House of Lords.