AN awards scheme aimed at recognising the success of small businesses across Tynedale and Ponteland has seen a couple rewarded with an invitation to London.

David and Carolyn Ridley, who run Ridley’s Fish and Game based in Acomb, were chosen as winners of the annual Small Business Awards competition organised by Hexham’s MP, Guy Opperman and sponsored by Hexham-based accountants, Patricia J Arnold & Co.

In the lead up to Small Business Saturday on December 1, Mr Opperman presented awards to a number of local retailers, with the Ridleys chosen as the overall winners after being highly commended by their customers.

David and Carolyn were invited down to London to tour the Houses of Parliament, see the Kielder Christmas tree and spend some time in the House of Commons watching a debate.

“It was an honour to represent small businesses in Northumberland in Westminster and to be shown around the Houses of Parliament,” said Carolyn.

“I’d like to thank Guy for recognising the importance of small businesses and for pushing the message that small is beautiful.”

Mr Opperman said: “It has always been important to me to champion small businesses in my constituency and it was a pleasure to welcome David and Carolyn to Westminster as very deserving winners of this year’s competition. As ever, I’d encourage everyone to use and support their local, independent shops whenever possible.”