As an energy supplier to businesses with no mains gas, LPG specialist AvantiGas knows the special challenges faced by rural businesses – and the company has now strengthened its ties to the sector by becoming a key sponsor of the Rural Business Awards.

After three years devoted to recognising the UK’s best rural businesses, the RBAs are expanding to include six regional heats building up to the 2018 national final to be held in Spring 2019. AvantiGas has signed up to be prime sponsor for both the Eastern region and the Midlands.

The combined territory takes in a total of 17 counties – Shropshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, and Rutland for the Midlands plus Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk in the East.

Rural businesses which make it to one of the six regional finals held around the country next October have the chance to qualify for the national finals.

The awards were created and are run by Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who themselves run rural businesses and felt with a passion that there was a pressing need to give more recognition to and more of a platform for rural businesses that contribute 19% of Gross Added Value in the economy in


“We are thrilled that AvantiGas has decided to become a Regional Sponsor of the RBAs for our 2018 programme,” said Anna.

“Partners like AvantiGas, who identify closely with rural business and understand the challenges we face, really do help us to further raise awareness of the breadth and depth of businesses operating in the rural sector.

"We very much look forward to working closely with AvantiGas over the coming months."