Banbridge and District Business Awards

THE time has come to announce the launch of the second Banbridge and District Business Awards.

Businessmen and women will gather at the Belmont Hotel on 23 February 2012 to honour the great and the good of industry throughout the district.

Entries for the ten categories are now welcome and it is hoped next yea’rs awards can build on the success of the inaugural ceremony last year.

This year’s main sponsors are Land Securities, one of the main developers at Bridgewater Park. The company owns and manages more than 29,000,000 sq ft of commercial property from London offices and high street shops to major shopping centres and out of town retail park.

Other category sponsors for the 2012 awards include Invest NI, The Outlet Village, Banbridge District Council, Firmus Energy, NFU, First Trust, Ulster Bank, Banbridge Chamber of Trade, Lotus Homes and Southern Regional College.

A businessperson with a wealth of experience will also be honoured on the night as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards are aimed at recognising the talent, entrepreneurship and excellence that exists across the full range of business and commerce in the area.

The theme “From Flax to the Future” continues to pay homage to the long history of individual and collective industry upon which local towns have taken root and flourished and the companies which carry on that tradition today.

The ten award categories are: Best Retailer, Best Export Business, Best Outlet Business, Best Entrepreneur, Good Food Award (voted for by readers), Excellence in Agriculture, Best Business Community Engagement Award, Excellence in Tourism, Best Customer Service Award (voted by awards), Excellence in People Development.

Anyone can make a nomination regardless of whether they are an owner, employee or satisfied customer.

This year’s chosen charity is PIPS Banbridge. The group began work in the district this year and founder member Philip Ogle attended the launch ceremony. Leader editor John Hooks said it is a very worthy local charity.

“The group not only provides direct help and support for people affected by suicide but it also provides training for individuals and groups to help prevent someone feeling that this is their only option.

“The group is doing great work and making a real difference and I have no doubt PIPS will be well supported by the awards,” he said.

The Leader would like to thank main sponsor Land Securities and all the category sponsors whose generous support has made the staging of this event possible.

The closing date for receipt of completed entry forms is Friday 9 December 2011.