A NORTHUMBERLAND village has been named the best in the whole of England.
People living in Allendale were celebrating last night as their village won the 2007 Calor Village of the Year competition.
Last week The Journal revealed how Allendale had made it through to the final five, and at a plush award ceremony in London yesterday the village was crowned overall champion.
For winning the competition, Allendale receives £7,000 in prize money, on top of the £2,000 it had already scooped for getting to the final of the competition.
It also won a further £1,250 for winning regional category prizes during the early judging rounds.
Larry Winger, chairman of Allendale Village Hall Trust, who was behind the bid, said last night: “We’re really thrilled. Everyone’s really proud to be in Allendale and to have beaten all the other villages in the country.” Mr Winger said villagers intended to use the money to make the current redevelopment of Allendale’s recreation ground even better, and hopes to be able to include the cast-iron plaque he received yesterday as a feature there. The award was presented by guest of honour, food writer and presenter Sophie Grigson.
It is the first time a village from the North-East has won the award, beating off competition from villages in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire.
Calor managing director Alex Davis said: “Winning the title of Village of the Year for England is a fantastic achievement and the community of Allendale should be extremely proud.
“Only the most vibrant, enterprising and caring communities get through to the final stages of this competition and this year in particular our independent judging team were faced with some excellent villages.”
When the judges came to Allendale, businesses and community groups held stalls in the village hall to demonstrate the activity in the village.