A POST office and shop near Alresford has been nominated for a Countryside Alliance regional award.

Cheriton Post Office and Stores in Cheriton is one of three finalists for the Village Shop/Post Office category in the Countryside Alliance Award in the South of England section.

Gillian Gray Knight, owner of the shop, said: “It’s brilliant to be recognised. We have a good chance as its one out of three but I won’t get too excited unless we get to the next stage as we have too many other things going on.”

The post office is up against two shops from Andover in the best shop category, while Winchester based food business group Hampshire Fare has made the final of the Rural Enterprise category.

The awards recognise the skills, traditions, enterprise and hard work done by people living in the countryside and nominations for awards come from people in the local community.

Countryside Alliance Southern regional director, Sara Rutherford, said: “The rural economy continues to go through tough times, but these small businesses have the passion and commitment to keep going no matter what, and their communities appreciate them because of it.”

The winners of the regional awards will be announced in January and then go through to the national competition held at the House of Lords in March 2011.