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Who's the big cheese?


Hampshire Cheeses has been crowned 'Rural Business of the Year' at the Inspire 07 Business Awards, which encourage businesses in the region to grow and prosper.


The 'Rural Business of the Year Award', sponsored by Clydesdale Bank, celebrated the success of rural businesses in the Basingstoke and North Hampshire region. In winning the award, Hampshire Cheeses demonstrated a business success achieved and sustained through innovative practices.


Hampshire Cheeses is based on the family farm at Herriard near Basingstoke, and is run by friends Stacey Hedges and Julie Cheyney. Despite only being founded in 2004, the farm has already seen its Tunworth cheese crowned champion at the 2006 British Cheese Awards, win a Gold at the World Cheese Awards 2007 and be awarded the Supreme Champion prize in the Waitrose Small Producers Award 2007.  Tunworth is a hand-made, unpasteurised cheese made from the milk of a traditional herd of Ayrshire cows.


In sponsoring the event, Clydesdale Bank demonstrated its ongoing support for rural business expansion through its dedicated division which deals specifically with the agribusiness sector.


"Each agri business we work with is allocated a business partner who has hands-on experience of the agricultural sector - this ensures that Clydesdale Bank has specialist knowledge of the industry", said Rob Bishop, Clydesdale Bank's Agribusiness partner at Basingstoke.


Clydesdale Bank offers financial solutions which suit the individual requirements of those working within the agricultural sector. One service which is proving to be very attractive to rural businesses is Clydesdale Bank's Farm Investment Loan, which takes into account the seasonal cash-flow fluctuations that farmers face and allows them to vary their repayments accordingly.


In addition, Clydesdale Bank has an ever-increasing local presence serving the rural business community across the South, with dedicated agribusiness experts working from Financial Solutions Centres in Basingstoke, Reading, Guildford, Southampton and Portsmouth.


Rob Bishop added: "We have established an excellent and highly professional team of agribusiness partners at Clydesdale, building a progressive and efficient rural business unit which we believe is supremely in tune with the realities of on-farm business needs and requirements."


Responding to winning the Rural Business of the Year Award, Hampshire Cheeses' Julie Cheyney said: "It was a wonderful surprise to win and to have our business achievements recognised.


"It's been a great year for us and we are proud to add this to the other accolades we have won. These successes allow us to expand our business in order to meet an ever-growing list of orders, while continuing to offer hand-made, quality local cheeses".


Rural businesses interested in finding out more about Clydesdale Bank should contact Rob Bishop on 01256 375519.



Clydesdale Bank:
Clydesdale Bank is part of the National Australia Group.  Clydesdale Bank was established in 1838 in Glasgow and has a proud history of innovation and support for Scottish industry and communities.  With over 150 retail branches and a network of Financial Solutions Centres, Clydesdale is one of Scotland's largest banks. The Bank is currently expanding its operations into the South of England with its innovative Financial Solutions Centres, offering customers a highly integrated business and private banking service.


*Clydesdale Bank was recently voted the 'Best Business Bank' in Scotland, by the Forum of Private Business.


In 1987, Clydesdale Bank PLC became a member of National Australia Bank Group.

Financial Solutions Centres:
Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centres (FSC) offer Members a tailored range of business and private banking services under one roof. A team of specialist partners, each with considerable local experience, work together to provide Members with end to end solutions for their business and private banking needs. In addition to banking services, the FSCs also operate as a hub for local business, with a range of networking opportunities and meeting facilities available as a benefit of membership.

Over 70 FSCs are located around the UK and in 2006 represented over half of the National Australia Bank Group's UK income.


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