Businesses honoured at glittering Wiltshire Business Awards

THE very best of the business world in Wiltshire came together on Friday night to celebrate their achievements at the prestigious Newsquest Wiltshire Business of the Year Awards.

Dressed to the nines, around 350 businessmen and women from around the county were given the red carpet treatment before being wined and dined in the company of a classical pianist ahead of the 23rd awards at The Venue in Warminster’s Centre Parcs.

Chris Moore, managing director of Newsquest Wiltshire, said: “It has been an amazing night in a fantastic venue and fantastic setting and I think everyone was full of anticipation to find out who was going to win.”

Over the last year dozens of businesses have put themselves forward for the nine awards including Apprenticeship Employer of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Customer and Staff Care, Creative Marketing Awareness, Medium Sized Enterprise of the Year, Services to the Community and Small Business of the Year, which are judged by some of the region’s best business brains and many were excited to see their hard work rewarded.

“Every year we put a new award in to keep it fresh and I think a lot of people want to be the first recipient of the Creative Marketing Awareness Award and be part of history,” Mr Moore added. “There are people here who will be enjoying their first Wiltshire Business Awards Ceremony and there will be people who have enjoyed all 23 but that is all part of the fun.”

Bespoke travel agents Imagine Cruising cleared up on the night with a total of three awards including Business Person of the Year and the coveted Outstanding Excellence Award. IT software retailers Bechtle were also delighted to discover they had scooped two awards on the night.

The glittering ceremony, which was hosted by BBC Wiltshire’s Graham Rogers, also raised money for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance’s air base appeal and chief executive David Philpott praised Newsquest and the guests for all their help.

“Tonight has been brilliant,” he said. “I have been to hundreds of ceremonies over the years and the consummate professional and maestro Graham Rogers was incredible and had the customs of any Hollywood compere.

“In the age when newspapers are under siege because of the online revolution, we as a charity could not survive without the weekly output of local news which tells the story of ordinary people running bizarre or club meetings which fundraise £10, £100 or £1,000. There are no mystery millionaires at Wiltshire Air Ambulance so we rely on weekly papers and events like this really help.”