13 June 2013

Leatherhead's business leaders came together to celebrate with the winners of the Leatherhead & District Business Awards 2013 at an awards ceremony and dinner held on Wednesday 12th June at St John’s School, Leatherhead.

Leatherhead's business leaders came together to celebrate with the winners of the Leatherhead & District Business Awards 2013 at an awards ceremony and dinner held on Wednesday 12th June at St John’s School, Leatherhead.

The Awards celebrate the achievements of businesses in the Leatherhead & District area and shine a spotlight on the companies and business leaders that make Leatherhead a great place to live, work and visit.  With excellent transport links and business premises, the area is home to businesses of all sizes from world-class corporates to innovative smaller enterprises.

The awards are sponsored by Barclays Bank, ExxonMobil, Menzies LLP, Prowse & Company Ltd, Riverbridge House Business Centre, St John’s School Leatherhead, the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce and the Leatherhead Advertiser.

More than fifty people gathered to see the award winners receive their trophies and certificates.  Guests included Chairman of Mole Valley District Council, Cllr David Sharland; Community Affairs Adviser for ExxonMobil, Sophie Foale; Executive Director of the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce, John Hickey; and business personalities and journalists from the Leatherhead and District area.

Guests enjoyed dinner in the grand Dining Hall at St. John’s School, Leatherhead and were treated to goody bags provided by Concept Amenities.

Jackie Quinn, President of the Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce said: “The Awards recognise and reward excellence and we saw some fabulous entries during the judging process.  I'm particularly pleased that we are celebrating the success of a new generation of business leaders with our new award of Young Person of the Year".

Vince Wort, Barclays Business Manager and sponsor of the Small Business Category of the Awards added: "the judges were very impressed with the range, standard and breadth of entries.  The Awards provide an excellent opportunity to showcase local businesses, highlighting the strength and diversity of our business community".

The results were as follows:

1. Charity/ Social Enterprise Award, sponsored by Menzies LLP.  Winner: Leatherhead Youth Project.  (Runner-up: Transform Housing).

Leatherhead Youth Project is an organisation which is passionate about making a difference to the lives of young people in the community.  The BFree Youth Cafe offers an informal, welcoming state-of-the-art and safe environment for young people to visit after school.  BFree Youth Cafe sees up to 100 different young people a week and has resulted in a reduction in anti-social behaviour, vandalism and underage drinking in the local area.

2. Customer Service Award, sponsored by Riverbridge House Business Centre.  Winner: Sweet Lavender Flowers.  (Runner-up: Kall Kwik Leatherhead).

Sweet Lavender Flowers has three principles when it comes to customer service: 1 - it’s all in the detail; 2 - nothing is too much trouble; and 3 - the customer is always right!  Judges were very satisfied that this was the case from customer testimonials supporting the nomination and from undertaking a secret shopper assignment themselves.

3. Technology & Innovation Award, sponsored by ExxonMobil.  Winner: Centre for Sight. (Runner-up: R&D Core Ltd)

The Centre for Sight, based in Oxshott, is a world-renowned medical and surgical eye care organisation.  It is recognised by specialist colleagues and peers in the UK and overseas for its innovation and excellence, particularly in the area of laser eye surgery.  It impressed the judges with its proven technological innovation and continuing development in sight care.
4. Small Business Award, sponsored by Barclays Bank.  Winner: Liquid Productions.  (Runner-up: The Lounge Barbershop).

Liquid Productions is a video production company based in Leatherhead.  Established in 2004, this company has successfully grown its customer base, producing corporate videos and animations for a wide range of clients.  For the judges, it ticked all the boxes including financials, community engagement, staff employment and development.  It also received excellent customer feedback.

5. Young Person of the Year, sponsored by the Leatherhead Advertiser.  Winner: Ashley Jackson of The Lounge Barbershop.  (Runner-up: Matthew Gerdes-Hansen, Get Geared).

This Award is presented to a young person aged 17-25, based in the local area, who has demonstrated a strong commitment to developing a career, learning a trade or establishing a business.  Despite opening his business during today's particularly tough economic climate, Ashley has worked hard to build his businesses and has established strong relationships within the community.

6. Business Personality Award, sponsored by PR and Marketing consultancy, Prowse & Company Ltd.  Winner: Andy Newbold, owner of Andy Newbold Photography.  (Runner-up: Erica Lockhart, Chief Executive of the Surrey Care Association).

Andy Newbold is a familiar face in the local area – a renowned photographer as well as a tireless champion of Leatherhead for the past decade.  From his early “Day in the Life of Leatherhead” photo book of the town, through to his charity work and support of so many local events over many years (including the Drama Festival fortnight), his often unpaid, and sometimes unaccredited work, is well known to many.

7. Business of the Year, sponsored by The Leatherhead & District Chamber of Commerce.  Winner: Liquid Productions.

As well as winning this year’s Small Business Award, Liquid Productions wowed the judges to win the coveted Business of the Year award.  Customer care is their number one priority and is reflected in many positive customer testimonials.  Liquid productions also works with local charities and the surrounding community and aims to employ local people whenever possible.


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