White Cliffs Business Awards 2012 Winners
Over 120 people, representing businesses from across the White Cliffs region, gathered on Thursday evening (29th March) for the first ever White Cliffs Business Awards at the prestigious Dover Town Hall. Also in attendance were the Mayors of Dover, Deal, and Sandwich, members of the local council and the judging panel.
Guests arrived dressed to celebrate in black tie attire, enjoying a drinks reception in the Stone Hall, before walking along the red carpet to take their seats in the awards ceremony setting in the Connaught Hall.
Founder Simon Hood kicked the evening off with a welcome speech encouraging guests to reflect on their success and celebrate whether they were a winner or not, before guests tucked into a locally sourced three course meal.
The awards presentation was hosted by David Brent/Ricky Gervais Lookalike and Impersonator, Tim Oliver who entertained the audience with David Brent inspired jokes and stories.
Judge Julie Askew, Business Development Manager from K College also addressed the audience commenting on the difficult task the judges faced as well as how great it was to see so many local business leaders together in one room, really highlighting what we already knew, that Dover has some great talent that should be recognised.
Nine awards were presented along with 6 highly commended prizes:
New Business of the Year
Winner:Bliss Tanning & Beauty (Dover)
Highly Commended: Clarendon Hotel (Deal)
Judges agreed that Bliss showed great evidence of understanding the market they operate in, providing competitive and affordable pricing. The judges were also impressed by how the business grew from nothing with little financial support, and that it had grown so substantially that they were able to take on two apprentices in less than a year.
Sustainable Business of the Year
Winner: Port of Dover
Highly Commended: Leaf Hotels
Judges commented that managing sustainability within this sector is particularly tough and they have clearly developed and given clear evidence of successful implementation across functions to meet not only environmental goals, but also to tackle social and economic aspects.
Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award
Winner: Walletts Court Hotel
Highly Commended: Crabble Corn Mill
The judges agreed unanimously that Wallets Court was the outright winner of this category and identified that Wallets Court has become the highest quality establishment in the area and continues to adapt and add experiences for their market. The latest example of this being their luxury tee pee and glamping. Additionally judges felt that Wallets Court not only promoted themselves but also sold the local area.
Customer Service Excellence Award
Winner: Langstaff Classics Ltd
Highly Commended: Sue’s Seafood
The judges felt that Langstaff Classics/Rent a Retro Camper truly go out their way to ensure they continually exceed customer expectations. The judges were particularly impressed by the company going out their way to provide discounts on campsite bookings.
Winner: Action Stations
Highly Commended: Primrose Fayre
The judges unanimously agreed that Action Stations provides an innovative incredibly exhilarating experience which enables childhood dreams that many didn’t think was possible come true, a truly unique and innovative experience. Which has clearly been successful with the requirement for a second helicopter being looked into. The award was collected by owner Stephen Burt who stated:
‘Being able to fly people in the very airspace in which the Battle of Britain was fought, with these two iconic aircraft is an exhilarating experience that seems to capture the imagination of people of all ages. It is important that we celebrate our proud aviation heritage in this way, and to Remember the Few – those brave young men who flew these machines in defence of this country in 1940.’
Employer of the Year
Winner: The Marquis at Alkham
Judges agreed that The Marquis at Alkham recognised the importance of investing in people and giving employees the tools and the confidence to provide a better service and generate more revenue confidently and professionally.
Small Business of the Year
Winner: Crown and Sceptre Public House
Highly Commended: J&M Plumbing
The judges all agreed that the Crown and Sceptre thoroughly deserved this award, as it demonstrated a solid business plan in a time where many pubs within the UK are suffering. The judges were particularly impressed by the landlord’s campaign for the establishment to receive a refurbishment, putting together a business case to owner Shepherd Neame, and the fact that in a bid not to lose trade while the refurbishment was being carried out, the pub remained open via a marquee in the garden.
Lifetime Achievement Award
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roger Knight as a result to the huge commercial impact he has had on the White Cliffs Country. Not only through his business ventures but also through his work with the local community. Upon collecting the award a very humble Roger reinforced his love for the town as well as recognising the contribution the team make to his success.
Business of the Year
Winner: Viking Recruitment Limited
Judges agreed that Viking Recruitment truly flies the flag proudly for the White Cliffs Region successfully trading around the globe, but remaining committed to the local community. Stuart, Matthew and Mark Jaenicke collected the award on behalf of the company and reinforced their commitment to the local area through the development of the ‘Dover Maritime Business & Education Campus’.
Founder Simon Hood commented:
“the evening was a great success, with an exciting atmosphere in the room with everyone cheering and celebrating each winner. The event provides a great platform for business networking and for the business community to come together to celebrate. Seeing the reactions of tonight’s winners make me very excited for next year’s award.”