PICTURE GALLERY: The News Business Excellence Awards

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Hundreds of people attended The News Business Excellence Awards. KIMBERLEY BARBER reports.

More than 400 people made the 2017 Business Excellence Awards a night to remember.

Crowds packed out the sold-out award ceremony at Portsmouth Guildhall tonight to find out who had won accolades in the 16th year of the prestigious scheme.

The event is run by The News and saw hundreds of entries compete for the top spots in 15 categories – ranging from Apprentice of the Year, to Team of the Year, all the way up to Large Business of the Year.

The awards were judged by respected names in business such as Maureen Frost from Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Sue Ball from Verisona Law, Lucy Grey from Trethowans and Mark Waldron, editor of The News, with help from a representative from each category sponsor.

Event organiser Liz Parker said: ‘It really was a night to remember. This is one of the highlights of my year.

Market Makers, which was named Large Business of the Year Picture: Keith Woodland

Market Makers, which was named Large Business of the Year Picture: Keith Woodland

‘Everyone was so well dressed and there was a great atmosphere.

‘Well done to everyone who made it on to the shortlists – and an even bigger well done to our winners.

‘Plus I’d like to thank our sponsors and everyone who came on the night for making it so enjoyable.’

The biggest award of the evening went to Transalis, who won the Overall Business of the Year award – an accolade picked out of all the winners by the judges.

Lifetime Achievement winner Martin Putman with Lucy Grey of lead sponsor Trethowans  Picture: Keith Woodland

Lifetime Achievement winner Martin Putman with Lucy Grey of lead sponsor Trethowans Picture: Keith Woodland

Transalis – which provides support services for SMEs – also won Medium Business of the Year. It was picked for its commitment to growth, its customer base and its links to Portsmouth University.

The firm was set up in 2006 by Paul Simpson and Aniello Sabatino and it now connects organisations, digitally, across 32 countries worldwide, exchanging 15m documents a year with an invoice value of £3bn – all from its teams of 27 people at the Portsmouth Technopole, in Kingston Crescent.

Another well-deserved honour – the Lifetime Achievement award – went to Martin Putman, the former director of Portsmouth International Port.

He retired at the end of last summer after 28 years working at the port.

Employer of the Year, Mark Viccars of Digi Toolbox in Fareham  Picture: Keith Woodland

Employer of the Year, Mark Viccars of Digi Toolbox in Fareham Picture: Keith Woodland

Martin was put secretly forward for the accolade by his former colleagues and other business leaders in the city as his work had brought millions of pounds into the city’s economy and secured thousands of jobs. He was completely shocked and surprised to find out that he had won.

The evening was hosted by the BBC’s Nick Wallis and saw live entertainment from The News’ Instant Star winner Mollie Jay.

An after-party took place at Tiger Tiger in Gunwharf Quays, with transport laid on for the revellers by Lucketts Travel.

Sponsors included Trethowans, Verisona Law, Giant Leap, South Downs College, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Silver Lining Convergence, Just Develop It, Portsmouth Cultural Trust, Gemma Lighting, BAE Systems, Portsmouth City Council, The University of Portsmouth Business School and Basepoint Business Centres.

* See Saturday’s News for more coverage

The roll of honour...

Team of the Year, GTMS Picture: Keith Woodland

Team of the Year, GTMS Picture: Keith Woodland

Start-up Business of the Year

Sponsored by Basepoint Business Centres

Winner: Raisly, London Road, North End

Highly Commended: GlobeUs Training, Aerodrome Road, Gosport

Small Business of the Year

Sponsored by The University of Portsmouth Business School

Winner: Pearl Fit-Out, Quartremaine Road, Copnor

Highly Commended: Alliance Remedial Supplies, Gosport

Medium Business of the Year

Sponsored by Portsmouth City Council

Winner: Transalis, Kingston Crescent, North End

Large Business of the Year

Sponsored by BAE Systems

Winner: Market Makers, Lakeside North Harbour, Cosham

Customer Service Award

Sponsored by Gemma Lighting

Winner: Chris Reynolds, Alliance Remedial Supplies, Gosport

Highly Commended: Ola Ayeni, Tesco, Whiteley Way, Whiteley

Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Peter Wilson, Barratt Homes, Tollbar Way, Hedge End

Highly Commended: Callum Grant, Lucketts Travel, Fareham

International Development

Sponsored by Silver Lining Convergence

Winner: Porvair Filtration Group, Concorde Close, Segensworth

Community Contribution of the Year

Sponsored by Portsmouth Cultural Trust

Winner: Barratt Homes, Tollbar Way, Hedge End

Highly Commended: Mountjoy, Farlington

Business Personality/Achievement

Sponsored by Just Develop It

Winner: Tony Wood, Tony Wood Hairdressing, Southsea

Highly Commended: Grant Copper, McDonald’s, franchisee of restaurants in Hampshire and West Sussex

Team of the Year

Sponsored by Silver Lining Convergence

Winner: GTMS, Silverthorne Way, Waterlooville

Highly Commended: Radian EST, Portsmouth Road, Horndean

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by Hampshire Chamber of Commerce

Winner: Mark Viccars, Digi Toolbox, Barnes Wallis Road, Fareham

Highly Commended: Cara Ilott, Leadstream UK, Fareham

Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Award

Sponsored by South Downs College

Winner: Bunn Leisure, West Sands Holiday Village, Selsey

Highly Commended: The Pyramids Centre, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea

Retailer of the Year

Sponsored by Giant Leap

Winner: Southsea Bathing Hut, Highland Road, Southsea

Overall Business of the Year

Sponsored by Verisona Law

Winner: Transalis, Kingston Crescent, North End

Lifetime Achievement

Sponsored by Trethowans

Winner: Martin Putman, former director of Portsmouth International Port