Glamour went hand in hand with triumph last night as the strength of Kent’s business sector was illustrated at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards.
Gathered at the Kent Event Centre, Detling finalists in 15 categories waited for the announcement of the winners in this the sixth year of the awards. The ceremony was staged and produced by Kent County Council and the KM Group and saw 15 businesses and individuals selected as category winners – alongside an award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Kent Business Community’ awarded to Nadra Ahmed.
The winners are:
- Apprenticeship of the Year: Adam Calver, Allpark Ltd, Gravesend
- Business Commitment to the Community: Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, Maidstone
- Business Commitment to the Environment: Hadlow College, Tonbridge
- Customer Service and Commitment: Sleeping Giant Media, Folkestone
- Employer of the Year: European Insurance Services Ltd (EISL Ltd), Tunbridge Wells
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Rob Knight, Ecoegg Ltd, Maidstone
- Land Based Business of the Year: Fourayes Sittingbourne
- Large Business of the Year: The Reynolds Group Ltd, Sittingbourne
- Manufacturing Business of the Year: Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL), Ashford
- Science and/or Technology Business of the Year: Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL), Ashford
- SME Business of the Year: Elsatex Limited, Strood
- Start Up Business of the Year: Bush Grub Ltd, Sittingbourne
- Success in International Markets: ID&C Ltd, Tunbridge Wells
- Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year: Whiting and Hammond, Tonbridge
- Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Bal Sandher, Hectic Lifestyles Ltd, Rochester
Children’s hospice charity Demelza and Abigail’s Footsteps, which supports parents of stillborn babies, were the beneficiaries of a charity prize draw at the glittering event.
The 2014 awards saw 80% of those taking part getting involved for the first time. Two categories have seen entry levels at their highest ever with significant increases on previous years. The awards recognise businesses in Kent that are leading the way in innovation, leadership and achievement.
Mark Dance, KCC Cabinet member for economic development, said:
“Each and every winner of a KEiBA award this year deserves the spotlight. They do a cracking job in setting high standards, stretching what it means to achieve in business, and acting as a showcase for the strength that Kent has across all the different business sectors represented in the county. It is a privilege to have a chance to meet so many of the leaders that will take Kent forwards in the future.”
Richard Elliot, managing director of the KM Group, said:
“KEiBA is, without doubt, a landmark in the life of the county and an unrivalled opportunity to stand out in Kent’s business community. The achievements of the winners really do make them stand out. The gala presentation and its amazing line-up underlined just what a great place Kent is for business performance and growth. I congratulate all the winners and finalists.
“The KM Group is delighted to be involved. I thank my team, the organisers, sponsors and judges for all their hard work and making the 2014 awards such a resounding success.”
Geoff Miles, chairman of judges, said:
“Many congratulations to all this year’s winners – and indeed to all the finalists who ran them so close. After my third year as chairman of judges, and as a regular visitor to other parts of the UK, I am convinced that KEiBA is the nation’s best regional business awards scheme. It is robust, testing and all encompassing. Many of the businesses that competed for these prestigious awards have adapted energetically to harsher times and are well equipped to make the most of the better ones.”