A WORCESTER business which provides broadband to rural areas was nominated for a national award.

Airband Community Internet's Richard Blackburn was shortlisted in the Rural Employee of the Year category at the 2019 Rural Business Awards on Feb 28.

Airband HR director, Miranda Peel, said: “We’re thrilled that Richard won the regional Best Rural Professional award and was shortlisted for this national award.

"We believe this is a testament to the effort both Richard and the whole Airband team makes in delivering broadband connectivity to help empower rural communities.

“It’s an honour for Richard receive this recognition at a national level.

"Airband is passionate about helping rural communities and our ongoing success is underpinned by our commitment to empowering rural communities.

‘We would like to thank the whole Airband team and furthermore we would like to thank our residential and business customers who not only use and enjoy the Airband network, but also in many cases, have helped us to create it.”

From hundreds of entrants and nominees, 13 category winners were announced for a range of sectors, from manufacturing to professional services and sport to tourism, including 'Rural Employee of the Year' and ‘Best Rural Professional’.

The Rural Business Awards, celebrating excellence and innovation across all industry sectors working within the rural landscape, is in its fourth year.

The range of categories showcase the success of businesses across the UK’s rural economy, a sector employing in over 3.4 million people in over 750,000 businesses in England alone.

This year's awards were judged by an independent panel of judges including Helen Woolley, director general of Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Mark Hemming, regional director of Amazon and Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation.

Airband is a family run business founded in 2009 which specialises in installing high-speed broadband to farms and homes in rural or hard to reach areas including Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Wales, Warwickshire, Devon and Somerset.