The News Business Excellence Awards: ‘Nominees prove city has plenty to be proud of’

Brian Johnson of BAE speaks to the guests

Brian Johnson of BAE speaks to the guests

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PORTSMOUTH is the place to do business.

That was the key message at last night’s prestigious awards ceremony.

Brian Johnson, maritime business development manager for BAE Systems, the event’s headline sponsor, spoke of his pride in the city.

Mr Johnson, who was a guest speaker, said: ‘During the judging process we have seen such a high standard of entries which highlights the impact that everyone in this room is having and makes it clear that the Portsmouth region is the place to do business.’

Mr Johnson assured BAE is still ‘committed’ despite the defence giant’s decision to move it’s shipbuilding division to the Clyde, in Scotland.

And he highlighted the recent announcement made by prime minister David Cameron that BAE will now use the shiphall to support minehunter vessels. It will be joined by composite material builders Magma Structures.

Andrew Ball, of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, spoke of the company’s growth and growing workforce and declared each of the guests were ‘all winners’.

Meanwhile, Olympic sailing hero Sir Ben Ainslie apologised for not being present via a recorded video message, but praised the businesses competing for awards.

He said Portsmouth was a ‘great city’ to do business and spoke of looking forward to the opening of his America’s Cup headquarters in Old Portsmouth in the coming months.

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