Northamptonshire Village Awards

Press Release: Tiffield wins Northamptonshire Best Village 2022

Published 15th July 2022


Congratulations to Tiffield who was presented with a Gold Award and the prestigious title of Northamptonshire Best Village 2022, along with a prize of £500 to be used for community projects, at a very warm and enjoyable evening on Monday 11th July at the Hunsbury Hill Centre. Over 65 villagers and guests gathered to hear the results of an event that celebrates how inclusive and sustainable a village is, two strands that reflect a thriving community and that add to the quality of life for all residents.

There was also a separate award for the Most Creative Use of a Communal Space, which was shared by Orlingbury, for their amazing churchyard, and Nether Heyford, for their excellent allotments and community orchard. Both groups received £100 each to be spent on community projects. A special mention and £50 was awarded to Wappenham for their very creative installation of superfast broadband by the villagers!

The level of award given for the NVAs is based upon how well a community does across a range of criteria covering all aspects of village life from its facilities and amenities, how welcoming it is, local activities, tidiness and presentation to its environment and green credentials, future sustainability and most importantly community spirit! Each entrant is awarded either a Bronze, Silver or Gold level certificate along with a small cash prize, courtesy of CPRE Northamptonshire, who sponsored this year’s event.

The judges stated that Tiffield is a thriving village with a great community spirit. There are some excellent green spaces and pocket park and the judges were particularly impressed with the way the local pub, The George, has becomes such a wonderful community hub for the village, hosting many clubs and activities and even a small community shop.  The villagers were enthusiastic and passionate about their activities and supportive of others and they have built excellent relationships with nearby villages particularly through the use of its excellent Community Minibus.

Elaine O’Leary, CEO of Northamptonshire ACRE and a judge for the NVA, commented: ““The wonderful quality of the communities we visited meant that the judges had great difficulty in deciding on the level of award for each village. It was a pleasure to meet a wide cross-section of villagers and to see the range of opportunities and initiatives that are generated in our rural communities. We want to compliment every village that participated and thank them all for making the judges visits so informative and enjoyable.’’

James Saunders Watson, HM Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and President of Northamptonshire ACRE presented all the awards to the groups and commented: “It was so good to be able to celebrate the best of our village communities across the county and well done to Tiffield for being chosen as Best Village”.

This was the first year for the Most Creative Use of a Communal Space award, sponsored by Norris and Fisher Insurance Brokers, and all the entrants demonstrated how important these spaces are to village life. Orlingbury’s lovely eco-friendly churchyard brings together all ages to maintain the space, producing a real haven of biodiversity that encourages tremendous engagement with the village and surrounding areas. They are even looking to develop an outdoor compost toilet for the volunteers! The judges felt that Nether Heyford’s allotments and community orchard were well designed with sustainability and access in mind. There is an enormous range of volunteer friendly activities for all ages including the community cut flower garden and the village has developed a wonderful, biodiverse area benefiting all the community.

The Northamptonshire Village Awards 2022 are now open for you to enter your wonderful village. Download the application form here.

We are pleased to announce that the annual Northamptonshire Village Awards, which are an opportunity for villages and groups to celebrate and share what they like about their village and what makes it a great place to live, are back. The awards have been put on hold for the last two years due to the pandemic but they will go ahead again in 2022. Villages can enter from now until 31st January 2022 and the judges will visit each entrant during April and May to assess them. Once all the judging is complete, the Presentation Evening, celebrating all entrants, will take place on the evening of Monday 11th July 2022 at the Hunsbury Hill Centre in Northampton.

The 2022 Northamptonshire Village Awards are again sponsored by CPRE Northamptonshire and are open to all villages in the county with a population under 6,000. These awards are a wonderful way for residents to showcase their rural community as well as a chance to audit village life and build for the future. Every entrant will receive either a Bronze, Silver or Gold level award as well small cash prizes, courtesy of CPRE Northamptonshire's sponsorship. One village will win the Best Overall Village 2022 just like Glapthorn did in 2019.  ‘’We knew that our village is special, so we decided to go for it!’’ says 2019 Winners Glapthorn Village Parish Secretary, Elizabeth Garnish. “We simply could not believe our success when the results were announced…We are all so proud to see our trophies and certificates on display – fitting tributes to our amazing community spirit”. 

The level of award given is based upon how well the village does across a range of criteria that covers all aspects of village life, from its facilities and amenities, local activities, tidiness and presentation to its environment, future sustainability and most importantly community spirit! Elaine O’Leary, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire ACRE, which administers the competition, said “The judges are always impressed by the innovative and extensive services they see in the participating villages and that so many are thriving in these difficult times”. 

The closing date for applications is Monday 31st January 2022. So if you are proud of your village and want to share that with others, why not enter? As Elizabeth Garnish from Glapthorn remarked, “The whole process turned out to be really good fun. The awards have been an inspiration!”

Q&A sessions to help with your entry

To help villages or groups who are interested in entering and want to know more about the awards or the sort of information the judges are looking for in their entry, we are running two free Q&A sessions on Tuesday 12th October 2021 at 1.30pm and Thursday 14th October 2021 at 6pm. If any Parish Council, community group or individual would like to find out more or book a place at one of the sessions, please email [email protected]

Categories and entry fees

There are two categories and groups can enter either one or both:

Village Awards only - Entry fee £30            Creative use of Communal Space - Entry fee £10            Both - Entry fee £40

A supporting statement (no longer than 500 words) can be included.

How to enter:

To enter please complete the following:

  • Application form – stating whether you are entering the full competition, the Creative Use of Communal Space or both.
  • You are welcome to enclose a supporting statement of up to 500 words. What is put in the statement is entirely up to the village, but is something that will be discussed at the Q&A sessions. You might want to say what you feel is great about your village, examples of the community life going on, why you believe people should move there, the work being done to make the village sustainable and even what is being done to reduce social isolation for your residents. A supporting statement can be enclosed for the Creative Use of Communal Space as well.
  • There is a standard fee of £30 to enter the full Northamptonshire Village Awards and a £10 fee to enter the Best Creative Use of Communal Space category. Details of how to pay are listed on the back of the application form.
  • The completed application form should be returned to us along with any statement and fee: by email to [email protected] or by post to: Northamptonshire ACRE, Hunsbury Hill Centre, Harksome Hill, Northampton NN4 9QX

Presentation Evening

All awards including the award for the Best Northamptonshire Village will be announced at the Presentation Evening on Monday 11th July 2022 at The Hunsbury Hill Centre. Further details about the Presentation Evening will be sent out nearer the time.

The closing date for entries is Monday 31st January 2022.

2019 Best Village Competition winners

Details of last year's winners in the Best Village Competition categories, including the overall winner, can be found here.