A SOUTH Powys company has become one of four in Wales to be named the best businesses in rural Britain.

PM Training and Assessing, from Brecon, won the Best Rural Innovation Business Award at the Amazon-backed Rural Business Awards in the first ever virtual national final held at the end of February.

Llanwrtyd Wells Community Transport had also been in the running for the Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project category.

The other Welsh companies to earn success were the Ladies Working Dog Group from Aberdare – they won the Triumph Over Adversity Award; the Moody Cow Welsh Kitchen and Farm Shop from Ceredigon – claiming the Best Rural Diversification Business Award; and Accessible Holiday Escapes from Flintshire – who won the Best Rural Start Up Business Award.

Husband-and-wife team Paul and Pam Martin set up PM Training and Assessing in 2005 to provide assessor training to those in railway signalling. The company has now expanded to provide trainer, assessor and IQA (TAQA) qualifications, as well as professional development courses.

In 2009, PM Training and Assessing established an IRSE assessing agency and are continuing to expand into signalling training and apprenticeships.

Speaking after being named winners, Paul and Pam said: “We are proud to win the Best Rural Innovation Award at the national final of the Rural Business Awards.

“We are committed to creating a safe railway by giving the people who work on it the skills, abilities and attitudes to maintain high standards in whatever role they have. This recognition is just what we needed to push us onto even greater things.”

The Rural Business Awards 2020/21 marks the awards’ sixth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural sector, which contributes £299 billion to the overall UK economy.

Due to the impact of Covid-19, this year’s competition was run entirely online. The finalists attended the awards’ first ever virtual final ceremony, held on Thursday, February 25.

The winners were decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies and rural charitable organisations.

“It’s an honour to support the Rural Business Awards’ efforts to showcase the incredible talent of British rural business,” said John Boumphrey, UK country manager for Amazon.

“On behalf of Amazon, I would like to congratulate the four companies on the achievement, and I wish each of them further success in the future.”

The Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.

The 2021/22 Rural Business Awards, to be run in partnership with Amazon, is now open for entries so, to enter or find out more about the awards, visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk.