Salmond congratulates companies on ‘Rural Oscars’

FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has congratulated local business Formartine’s, after it was declared Scottish Champion in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards.

The centre triumphed in the Start-Up Award category and received this accolade at the awards reception held at Holyrood on February 5. The judging panel were particularly impressed by the “vision and enthusiasm” of the Formartine’s team.

Formartine’s visitor centre, located between Methlick and Tarves, opened last year and has fast developed a strong reputation in the area for quality local produce. The centre features a large café and food court, set amongst the wooded grounds of Haddo Estate.

The judging panel were particularly impressed by the “vision and enthusiasm” of the Formartine’s team.

In his letter to the management and staff of Formartine’s, Mr Salmond stressed the importance of the jobs that it has created in the local community.

He said: “As constituency MSP, I am well aware of the warm welcome that Formartine’s has received from local residents and suppliers. Furthermore, it shows off the area particularly well to visitors as bastion of good taste and quality produce in the North East.”

Also amongst the Scottish finalists was The Lodge restaurant and coffee shop in Strichen. This popular local eatery, situated in the Strichen Lake Community Park, was highly recommended in the Enterprise award category. Mr Salmond has worked closely with The Lodge in the past and was invited to officially open the newly-refurbished café in 2011.

Commenting on The Lodge’s commendation, Mr Salmond stated: “As a local resident, I am well aware of the excellent reputation that The Lodge has cultivated for its quality fare and good service since opening in 2011.