The annual awards, also known as the rural Oscars, are now in their fifteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. They are set apart from other award schemes as they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to say in their own words why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. Gidding Den is one of four businesses that has been shortlisted in the East of England region in the category of Rural Enterprise. The shop offers a range of goods such as animal feed, horse requisites, coal, country clothing as well as a large selection of gifts and cards for every occasion and aims to give local communities the opportunity to shop locally without the need to venture into the larger towns and cities. Regional winners will be announced at the end of May and they will be invited to an awards ceremony in the House of Lords in June. Following the visit Mr Vara said: "These rural awards celebrate those businesses that go the extra mile and are the cornerstone of rural communities. I am delighted that Gidding Den has been recognised for their hard work in offering a bespoke service to the community and will be championing for them to go all the way in their category." Katie Morgan, owner of Gidding Den added: "We are delighted to be a regional finalist for the Countryside Alliance 'Rural Oscars', the support that we have received from the local area and the wider rural community since opening last year has blown us away and shows that there still is a place for small independent retailers in the present day." Mr Vara added: "These rural awards celebrate those businesses that go the extra mile and are the cornerstone of rural communities. "I am delighted that two businesses in my constituency have been recognised for their hard work in offering a bespoke service to the community. "I have visited both businesses and was very impressed. I will be championing for them to go all the way in their categories."