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The Portsmouth area business community gathered last night to celebrate all that is good in the region.

More than 400 people saw honours handed out in 15 categories at the city’s Guildhall during The News Business Excellence Awards 2018.

Every one of the winners – and indeed those who were shortlisted for awards – should be very proud of themselves and the businessess they represent.

It is their hard work and determination that has helped to keep business in the region buoyant.

But if it is possible to single out one winner, then that would be Walter Cha, the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award.

Walter is well-known throughout the area and it is his unparalleled reputation that led to him being put forward for the accolade.

A hardworking businessman, chairman and natural leader – and managing director of CH4 Consulting – Walter has played a massive role in boosting the local economy and helping hugely to put the city on the map.

He played a key role six years ago in launching Shaping Portsmouth, a private and public sector initiative that should be applauded.

Having studied law and worked at local law firm Blake Morgan, he’s not just a worthy winner at our awards.

His contribution has been recognised far and wide, including in prestigious guides such as The Legal 500.

It would be hard to have chosen a more worthy winner for the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award than Walter.

But our congratulations go to all our winners last night and we wish them and their businesses all the very best for the future.