Sir George has congratulated Abbotts Ann on having the best village shop in the Southern region - see Press Release below.
"When shops in villages up and down the country are closing, Abbotts Ann have shown how a new shop can take root and flourish. The key to success in Abbotts Ann is a sense of ownership of the shop - the village are proud of it and use it; then there is the friendly and helpful service provided by those who work there; and finally there is an attractive range of goods on offer, meeting local demand."
"I shall be at the National Final in February, when I hope Abbotts Ann will win Gold."
Best Rural Retailer in Southern Region
The Abbotts Ann Village Shop first won the Best Village Shop/Post Office category of the 2006 Best Rural Retailer competition in Hampshire and has gone on to win the Southern Regional title in in competition with winners from Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
The judges said "The calibre of retailers this year has been phenomenal and judging has been exceptionally difficult, but you have impressed the judges by the way you serve your community and are , as one of your nominations said of you, 'an absolute credit to the village and a deserving winner in this category' ".
Regional winners will go forward to the national final at the House of Lords The competition is run by the Countryside Alliance.
Congratulations to the whole village shop team!
The shop supports 12 local suppliers and provides free home delivery for the elderly.