Rothbury, Belford and Hexham firms shortlisted for rural business award
Three Northumberland companies have been shortlisted for a regional rural business award.
Otter Handmade from Rothbury, Calibrate Energy from Belford and Langley Furniture from Hexham are up for the 2021/2022 Rural Business Awards, held in partnership with Amazon.
They will battle it out against fellow rural businesses, entrepreneurs and enterprises for a place at the national final.
Otter Handmade, makers of bespoke wooden furniture, is the brainchild of John Holt and was set up early in 2020.
John, who had worked as a chartered accountant for the previous 25 years, has loved handcrafting wooden furniture for over 40 years and decided to act on his dream of turning his love of design, craft and construction into a business.
He walks, photographs and sketches every day and says he is inspired by the peace and nature that surrounds him.
"Northumberland provides inspiration in shape, texture and colour that continually influences Otter Handmade’s work.
"I sponsor otters in wildlife sanctuaries and decided to use this play on my surname to name the business.”
John’s materials are natural, his techniques traditional and his pieces designed to become clients’ family heirlooms.
“Each piece is handmade using traditional techniques such as dovetails and mortice and tenon joints: they are nail and screw free. Upholstery is handmade in our sewing studio using natural fabrics especially silks, linens and wools.”
Much of Otter Handmade’s bespoke work has so far been designed for old houses reflecting their rural heritage.
Calibrate Energy is a finalist in the best rural innovation category. It is a leading provider of intelligent commercial renewable energy systems, designed to provide maximum energy and cost savings for commercial businesses.
Langley Furniture is up for best rural creative or artisan business. It is a cabinet making and specialist joinery company which ensures that the customer is part of the design process.
The Rural Business Awards 2021/2022, in partnership with Amazon, will mark the awards’ seventh year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural economy.
Winners will be decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies, and rural charitable organisations.