A FORDINGBRIDGE business has been recognised for its contribution to the community.

The Gourmet Grocer received the Hampshire County Council Award for Contribution to the New Forest Community at the 14th New Forest Brilliance in Business Awards.

Clare Johnston, who runs Gourmet Grocer with her husband Gareth, said: “Nobody was more surprised than us to receive this award but we felt very humble indeed.

“Success is a team effort. Gareth and I may have taken the gamble on opening a shop but our place on the high street is down to unwavering loyalty and support. The category couldn’t be more poignant because it’s community support that determines our success. Our hearts are full of love and gratitude with additional thanks to those that nominated us.”

The awards ceremony took place at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu on Thursday, November 28.

Matthew Lawson, chairman of the New Forest Business Partnership (NFBP), said: “With a record number of entries this year, I congratulate everyone who was nominated and shortlisted and especially our winners, together with those that help them start, run, grow and succeed. This evening, we celebrate together and we will all be inspired, encouraged and informed by the successes of our impressive finalists.”

Ten businesses won awards.

Matt Callaghan, economic development manager at New Forest District Council, added: “These awards demonstrate that there is so much to celebrate and be positive about doing business here in the New Forest. We have seen that the district is home to businesses and individuals leading the way nationally and internationally in their individual fields.”