A HEXHAM eco-friendly shop has received a prestigious award.

Matthias Winter was awarded Homeware Store of the Year at The North England Prestige Awards 2021/22.

Owner Alison Smith opened the shop, on Hallstile Bank, in September 2018.

The former teacher took the plunge into retail after identifying a gap in the market for stylish, design-led, UK and Scandinavian home accessories and gifts.

Since, the shop has diversified, serving as a community hub, prioritising sustainable products and reusable packaging.

The North England Prestige Awards 2021/22 celebrates small and medium-sized enterprises consisting of localised businesses and sole traders that have thrived in their community and have proven their success.

Alison said: "I still can't quite believe it.

"I am absolutely thrilled that we were selected. It's lovely to get some recognition and to have something positive to celebrate.

"It's been a difficult couple of years for everybody and a bit of good news is always welcome!"

The judges commented on the shop's ethos of being environmentally friendly, as well as its community focus.

Alison, who was elected as a Hexham town councillor in May last year, has organised local litter picks and ran various recycling projects.

Matthias Winter can also be found online at www.matthiaswinter.co.uk