Best Kept Village Community Competition manager Jo Cooper and auctioneer Richard Winterton.

Sponsoring ‘splendid Staffordshire spirit’

RICHARD Winterton Auctioneers is the headline sponsor of the new-look Staffordshire Best Kept Village competition.

As well as announcing a new countywide sponsor, the competition has also changed its name, format and submission methods to make it easier and more relevant in the 21st century.

The Best Kept Village Competition for Staffordshire started in 1956 and has been run every year since.

Entrants to the newly-named Staffordshire Best Kept Village Community Competition (BKVC) will be able to showcase the community benefits of their village life as well as its beauty via a new website.

The new-style competition hopes to attract entrants from across the county with a website created to manage the whole competition.

People can enter online and digitally submit documents, photos and even email in video or drone footage.

Entrants may also showcase their community on an ongoing basis rather than the two days as previously restricted.

Illustrating activities, events and projects throughout the year will allow judges to see beyond village beauty to understand how the community works together.

To help explain the changes, BKVC managers at The Community Foundation for Staffordshire have organised these roadshows across the county:

  • Monday, February 3 at Wombourne Community Centre, Church Road, Wombourne, WV5 9EZ
  • Tuesday, February 4 at The Madeley Centre, New Road, Madeley, Crewe CW3 9DN
  • Wednesday, February 5 at Warslow Village Hall, Cheadle Road, Warslow Nr Buxton, SK170JJ
  • Friday, February 7 at Longdon Village Hall, Brook End, Longdon, Rugeley WS15 4PN

All events run from 10.30am until 12 noon and everyone is welcome – for more information, call BKVC manager Jo Cooper on 01785 339540 or visit

You can also keep up-to-date with the competition on social media using #BKVC.

Richard Winterton said: "A popular part of the Staffordshire calendar for many years, the Best Kept Village Competition has become something of an institution across this wonderful, diverse county. And like all great institutions, BKVC has the ability to adapt and grow.

"As we move into a new decade for the 21st century, it's so fitting that BKVC will focus on exciting new digital horizons while never losing sight of the roots which made the competition such a success in the first place.

"We are so proud to be the main sponsor of BKVC across the whole of the county, bringing together a wonderfully diverse melting pot of talented communities which all have one thing in common – they are infused with a splendid Staffordshire spirit.”

He added: "It is a perfect fit for Richard Winterton Auctioneers – the Winterton family has been Staffordshire's auctioneers for seven generations now since 1864 and we are excited to stride into the new Roaring Twenties with BKVC.

"We can’t wait to visit all the villages which enter and are looking forward to meeting even more people from all over the county and hearing what makes their community special to them."

Richard is pictured with Jo Cooper from The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, which manages the Best Kept Village Community Competition.

Jo Cooper added: “I’m delighted that Richard Winterton Auctioneers has become our headline sponsor.

“Richard’s enthusiasm for the new competition has been there from the very start. He saw what we wanted to do and, as someone who lives in a rural area, he knows what a wonderful place villages can be.

“With so many changes in society since BKV started in 1956 we felt it necessary to create a competition that is fit for the 21st century.

“We want to celebrate the wonderful communities across the county so there’s more ways to showcase villages by placing everything online and we’ve simplified the entry process by creating a digital platform making it quicker and easier for all villages to enter.

“Not to worry if someone can’t enter online though, as we have support available to help them through it.”

Staffordshire Best Kept Village Community is managed by The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, a local charity and company that helps to deliver grassroots level funding to local communities across Staffordshire, awarding circa £1m per annum.

The foundation specialises in philanthropic management and increasing involvement from all members of the community.

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