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Date: 15/06/2016

Businesses and individuals from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire were celebrated at the two counties’ biggest business Awards ceremony, the Chamber Business Awards, held on Thursday 9 June at the University of Worcester Arena.

With over 500 attendees, including local businesses, sponsors and MPs, the Awards ceremony was a spectacular event celebrating the success, innovation and hard work of businesses in the two counties. Hosted by Elliott Webb from BBC Hereford & Worcester Radio and sponsored by Sanlam, attendees enjoyed a prestigious drinks reception sponsored by EBC Group and an excellent three course meal.

One major highlight of the evening was listening to the keynote speaker Colin Jackson, Olympic Silver Medallist and World Record Holder. Colin was interviewed by Giles Cross, Head of Marketing & Public Relations at Sanlam. He captivated and entertained the audience by speaking about Go Dad Run, the Olympics and the highlights of his career so far.

The evening then moved on to the anticipated Awards ceremony, where winners were invited on to the stage and presented with their Awards by the category sponsor.

The first business to win an award was Waste Spectrum Environmental Limited, who became the 2016 Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Malvern Instruments. Next was drp who won the High Growth Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Hewett Recruitment, followed by Solar Sentry who became the Most Promising New Business of the Year, sponsored by mfg Solicitors. Nigel Smith, from Moongazing Hare Ltd/ The Fleece Inn/The Cardinal’s Hat was recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Handelsbanken, and Print Strategy Europe became the winner of a new Award for Excellence in Customer Service, sponsored by the 2015 Business of the Year Orchard Valley Foods Limited. The Small Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Worcestershire Business Central, was awarded to Bee Lighting Ltd and the Award for Education and Business Partnership, another new addition sponsored by West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadet Association, went to RGS Worcester. Morgan Motor Company Manufacturing Ltd became the 2016 Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by QinetiQ, Gemporia Ltd won the Best Use of Technology Award, sponsored by Techteam, and Vision Labs Limited won the Commitment to People Development Award, sponsored by University of Worcester. Kingspan Insulation became the winner for the Excellence in Innovation Award, sponsored by Central Technology Belt.

Colin Jackson and Giles Cross, SanlamA special Award was also awarded to Cecil Duckworth, presented by Sharon Smith, Chamber Deputy CEO, for an Outstanding Contribution to Business. The Award recognised Cecil’s significant role in Worcester Bosch, Worcester Warriors and the Duckworth Trust.

The night then moved on to the announcement of the coveted “Winner of Winners” Award, the Business of the Year, sponsored by Sanlam.

The Award was presented by Alex Morley, Sanlam CEO and Mike Ashton, CEO of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce. Following their category win in Excellence in Innovation, Leominster based Kingspan Insulation took the prestigious title of Business of the Year 2016. A market leading manufacturer of premium and high performance insulation products and insulted systems, the judges said that in a competitive domestic and global market, Kingspan’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, responsibility and good business practice set them apart. They also commended the company’s ability to reinvent their product in a world of constant change.

Richard Burnley, Managing Director Insulation – Britain & Ireland, said: “I am delighted that our team’s hard work and innovation has been recognised by winning the Excellence in Innovation Award. It was a further boost to be voted Business of the Year 2016 by the Chamber of Commerce. The trophies are pride of place in our reception area.”

“It’s always pleasing when the hard work of the people within your company is recognised by industry peers.”

Mike Ashton, Chief Executive of Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “What a brilliant evening celebrating the quality of businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. A special congratulations to Kingspan Insulation, this year’s overall Business of the Year”.

Four charities were supported on the night through charity games and a photo booth courtesy of F8 Creates. £4000 was raised by the event’s attendees which will be split equally between the charities:  #jsyoucandoit, Go Dad Run, Megan Baker House and The Prince’s Trust.