A business project at Broughton Hall near Skipton has won the historic estate of year in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Enterprise Award for UK & Ireland.

The ‘Rural Oscar’ was one of several presented by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson at a ceremony at the Houses of Parliament.

The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage and are now in their eighth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win.

Broughton came top in the national category for enterprise in recognition of how the estate and hall have been turned into beautiful locations in which to stay, work, play, entertain and meet.

When the 1,000-year-old estate passed into the care of current custodian Roger Tempest, he redefined its purpose and restored the numerous estate buildings to create a winning blend of modern life and work for 600 people in a country setting.

As well as its Rural Heritage Business Park, the estate offers exclusive use of Broughton Hall and of Utopia, an award-winning cafe restaurant.

A new addition is Eden, a large house in the grounds converted for events and secluded holidays.

The hall has been in the Tempest family for 31 generations, but now the estate offers similar amenities at romantic Aldourie Castle on the shores of Loch Ness, which has been painstakingly restored.

The Countryside Alliance praised Broughton for regenerating land and property to create an enduring enterprise for the 21st Century and beyond.