National Rural Touring Awards

National Rural Touring Awards celebrate the breadth, passion and professionalism prevalent in the rural touring sector. The awards recognise the quality of the arts, the promoters, venues and wider industry. It is our opportunity to draw attention to the quality of performance and performing companies as well as to collaborations and the network of individuals who go above and beyond on behalf of the health and cohesion of their local community. The awards reward not just the winners but everyone who has performed, organised and taken part in Rural Arts & Touring.

Judging Criteria

NRTF recognise innovative ideas that seek to tackle issues of diversity, environmental sustainability, art form development and positive role models for Rural Touring throughout all its awards.

  • Cross-section of regions represented
  • accessibility and disability lead work
  • support of new and emerging talent
  • working with young people
  • diversity in the arts
  • sustainability 
  • raising the profile of rural touring

Anyone can be nominated for this award and anyone can win! We’re so lucky in the world of rural touring to have so many individuals and organisations that work so hard to bring top quality live arts to communities across the UK.

This award will be won by a person or a company who have made a huge contribution to the health and vitality of our sector. It’s about dedication to the cause well beyond the call of duty. It could be for long service. But it could also be for someone just starting out in rural touring, who has launched themselves into it with passion and professionalism and already made a vibrant contribution.

Whatever it is, it’s for something special, which is why it’s called the NRTF Special Award.

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This award is designed to acknowledge the growing enthusiasm for rural touring amongst the younger generation. It could be an individual or a group of young people. Maybe there’s a Young Promoter or a Young Promoter Group that have done brilliantly this year? We’re looking for examples of anyone under the age of 26 who is pro-actively engaging with rural touring activity and probably someone who will have a positive impact on rural touring in the future.

  • It could be a young artist, perhaps a writer, performer, producer or designer who has created a superb show.
  • It could be someone who works in rural touring, professionally or as a volunteer, who is really committed to the sector.

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All our promoters are terrific. Volunteer promoters are a big part of what make rural touring so special. This award is to acknowledge an individual or a committee who, in the last year, have done something that really sets them apart. Think about someone who has really gone the extra mile.

  • They could have programmed some new kinds of companies or productions, introducing new ideas into the hall.
  • Perhaps they’ve spearheaded a fundraising campaign to improve access for audience members.
  • Did they pioneer post-show discussions or other ways to engage more fully with shows.
  • Whatever it is, tell us in detail why they deserve to win this award right now.

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This award recognises rural cultural organisations and performing companies who show a commitment to improving equality of opportunity for all sections of the population in the practice, appreciation and enjoyment of the arts.

  • Did the company show commitment to encouraging individuals or groups from the most deprived areas to further their careers?
  • Have they made improvements to make rural touring more accessible to everyone, regardless of their ability?
  • Did the organisation enrich the work they do by embracing a wider range of influences and practices?

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This is for a performance that has successfully pushed the boundaries of rural touring. Has a production, a tour, writer or performer supported change in the direction or the ecology of rural arts?

  • What was it about it that made the difference or made the performance stand out?
  • How did it change your view of rural touring?
  • What contribution has it made towards a positive change?

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VOTING OPENS 6th March 2020

Shortlist announced 10th June 2020

Sponsors of the Awards


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Awards 2019

Categories & Winners

Breakthrough Performance of the Year

WINNER – Sophia Hatfield from Stute Theatre

Touring Scheme Collaboration of the Year

WINNER – The Inn Crowd

Favourite Performance of the Year

WINNER – I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost – Little Earthquake

Voluntary Promoter or Voluntary Promoting Group of the Year

WINNER – Gaynor Morgan Rees and Gwyneth Kensler

Young Person of the Year WINNER – Jasmine Lowrie

The NRTF Special Award

WINNER – Theatr Bara Caws

Awards 2018

Winners Press release

More Info

To find out more about the awards email


The Team

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Jobs & Opportunities

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Looking for Artists, Performers, Promoters and Venues to give the rural arts movement a stronger voice

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