Firms are among the most dazzling at regional awards

The Affinion award winners
The Affinion award winners
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BUSINESSES from the Portsmouth area have proved they are among the best in the south after scooping a host of awards.

Winners from the News Business Excellence Awards earlier this year were selected to go onto the Southern Business Awards, run by The News’s parent company, Johnston Press.

And those awards were held at the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Friday.

Winning the Start-Up of the Year category was Non-Stop Engineering.

It has a team of nine, with five senior recruiters and three trainees who have all gone from a standing start, in August 2010, to a team that has produced a turnover of £1.7m.

Winning the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award was Portsmouth’s Affinion International.

It was praised for working with the Pompey Study Centre to help inspire young people thinking about careers in architecture or construction, as well as fundraising and raising around £12,000 for good causes.

Andrew Mutch, vice president of customer operations, said: ‘We’re proud and delighted that Affinion International has been recognised for its work in the community at the Southern Business Awards

‘As a major local employer we’re passionate about Portsmouth and its people and are committed to developing the next generation of local business leaders, ensuring they have all the skills they need to thrive in the modern workplace.’

Jamie’s Italian in Gunwharf Quays really is the place to eat, after winning the category of that name.

Highly commended in the Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure category was the Eastney Tavern, which won praise for its family feel, a 300 per cent increase in turnover, and a reversal of the pub’s fortunes.

Manager Chris Moon said: ‘We were really pleased to win the award for Portsmouth so to win the award for the whole southern area is another step up which is great.

‘We would like to thank all our locals who make the pub what it is.’

And winning the Lifetime Achievement Award was David Luckett, who started Lucketts Travel in Fareham.

He was not at the ceremony to pick his award up in person, as he was holidaying abroad.

News editor Mark Waldron said all the firms were worthy winners.

He said: ‘It’s fantastic to see so many businesses from our area go on to be acknowledged on a regional stage.

‘We knew these businesses were special when they won our own excellent awards, and to have them go on to win this is a testament to their success.

‘Honouring businesses like these, which are smiling triumphantly in the face of recession, is exactly why The News’s parent company, Johnston Press, is running these awards.

‘They deserve any praise we can give them.’