Buccleuch Arms picks up top rural hospitality award

Award sponsor Bruno Berardelli and Billy and Rachael Hamilton with host Fred MacAulay.
Award sponsor Bruno Berardelli and Billy and Rachael Hamilton with host Fred MacAulay.

A St Boswells hotel is celebrating following an award win at the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards last week.

The Buccleuch Arms picked up highly commended status in the rural hospitality category of the awards held at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh last Thursday, March 16.

Owners for the last nine years, Billy and Rachael Hamilton, said: “There was a huge amount of entries for this so we are delighted with this. One of the big things we try to pioneer is local produce and using local suppliers. We couldn’t do without them.

“As always it is down to every single member of staff who works with us and our thanks must go to them.”

Comedian Fred MacAulay took to the stage as compere for the evening, hosting over 400 guests across 11 open categories.

The Scottish Rural Awards are the ultimate benchmark of success in Scotland’s countryside, highlighting the enterprise, skill and innovation of those who live and work in rural areas.

Jamie Stewart, director of the Scottish Countryside Alliance, said: “Land-based businesses contribute over £2billion to the Scottish economy. Despite the multiple challenges they face, they are hugely valuable brand ambassadors for Scotland, and many provide vital support to their local communities.

“These awards give Scotland a chance to recognise the resilience, innovation and contribution that rurally-based people and businesses make to its success.”

Scottish Field and the Scottish Countryside Alliance hosted the awards in association with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.

Richard Bath, editor of Scottish Field, added: ‘More than ever before, Scotland’s rural communities are displaying a quite remarkable amount of energy, innovation and imagination as they diversify existing businesses and create new and exciting opportunities from scratch. As a magazine we are constantly writing about the rural entrepreneurs who are bringing wealth and jobs to the countryside, so it’s exciting for us to be able to honour the men and women who are doing so much to make the economy of rural Scotland a true success story.”

Nominations for the 2017 Scottish Rural Awards officially launched at the Scottish Parliament in September 2016, with over 200 entries received before the closing date of Friday 14th October 2016. Businesses were able to self-nominate, or be nominated by someone else - a friend, family member, customer or member of the public.

Finalists in each of the open categories were announced in December 2016.