THE community of Broadwindsor is proud of its People’s Project honour presented at the Dorset Best Village Awards.

The village was judged the best project involving residents for its village-run shop, beating Puddletown’s community library scheme.

Powerstock also held up the pride of West Dorset winning the Environmental Champions Award, judged best ‘green initiative’ for its village hut project.

Puncknowle won the West Dorset Special Award.

Wotton Fitzpaine was second in the small village award with Loders third.

Fraser Hughes chairman of Broadwindsor shop committee said: “Winning the award is the icing on the cake.

“It really has been a community project right from the beginning with village backing all the way through even with all the ups and downs we have had.”

He says that the Broadwindsor’s shop closed after 100 years of trading, but villagers were determined to have one in the village. They formed a committee and raised £33,000. It applied for and got grants, has 46 volunteers to help the manager and her assistant, stocks goods from 26 local producers and has run at a profit since the second month of opening, with a £100,000 turnover in the first six months and has really brought the village together.

“It has become a social point, it is more than just a shop.

“It has been a community project and everybody in the village can feel proud that they have been involved in doing it.”

Powerstock is also proud of its green award having invested in photo-voltaic panels which are saving 1,744kg of carbon dioxide a year and which will, after three or four years, provide an income for the next two decades.

Hut committee member Adrian Semmence said: “We were delighted to get the award and a cheque for £100 which was very nice.

“We took the decision two years ago to develop an environmental policy statement. Obviously the pv system has environmental benefits but also financial benefits.”

Dozens of residents, councillors and judges attended this year’s awards ceremony at Puddletown Village Hall for the 27th annual competition, backed by the Bridport News’ sister paper Dorset Echo.

A total of 55 villages entered the competition.

The judges were out and about for three months inspecting villages earlier this year.

Rita Burden, competition organiser, said: “I want to say a big thank you to all the communities that entered this year and to all those dedicated volunteers who continue to support and maintain the communities around them.

“Without these people we wouldn’t have a competition.”