Hotel group wins Anglian business awards

THE company behind some of Suffolk’s top hotels took top honours last night at the 2010 Anglian Business Awards.

Organised by the East Anglian Daily Times, with Choose Suffolk as main sponsor, the awards took place at Trinity Park, Ipswich, with the ceremony being hosted by entertainer, author, television presenter and former MP Gyles Brandreth.

Thorpeness & Aldeburgh Hotels, whose properties include the the Brudenell and the White Lion in Aldeburgh, the Thorpeness Hotel and the Swan in Lavenham, won the Medium/Large Business of the Year category, sponsored by NatWest, and then went on to claim the overall Business of the Year title, chosen from among the total of 14 category winners.

The Business of the Year award was judged and presented by Celia Hodson, chief executive of Choose Suffolk, and Lord Edward Iveagh, a board member of the East of England Development Agency.

Runner-up overall was Christies Care, based in Saxmundham, whose managing director, Nicola Warner, won the Business Person of the Year title, sponsored by LB Group, while in third place was Suffolk law firm Ashton Graham, which won the Marketing award, sponsored by the East Anglian Daily Times.

The Moorish Lounge in Woodbridge, winner of the Start-Up Business of the Year title, jointly sponsored by the Ipswich and Suffolk Small Business Association (ISSBA) and the Federation of Small Businesses, was also highly commended by the Business of the Year judges.

The Small Business of the Year title, sponsored by Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, went to Cyberpac, based at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, while the Not-for-Profit Business of the Year award, sponsored by Trebuchet, was won by Ipswich Town Community Trust.

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Mackman Group, based in Sudbury, won the award for Community Involvement, sponsored by Adnams, and the Environment award, sponsored by EDF Energy Networks, went to the Anchor Inn, at Nayland, while the Rural Business category, sponsored by the Suffolk Agricultural Association, was won by the Greenstead Farm Shop, from Greenstead Green, near Halstead.

The Training & Development award, sponsored by Apprenticeships, went to Atkinson Bolton Consulting, from Newmarket, while the newly-introduced award for Diversity, sponsored by the Evening Star, was won by Ipswich-based Suffolk New College.

Concluding the line-up of winners, Martlesham Heath-based Consense won the Innovation & Technology award, sponsored by University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich-based Clarke & Carter Interyacht took the International Trade award, sponsored by Haven Gateway, and The Hearing Care Centre, also based in Ipswich, won the Outstanding Customer Service category, sponsored by Ipswich Building Society.

Welcoming guests at last night’s ceremony, Terry Hunt, editor of the EADT, said that, as in previous years, the award entries had again demonstrated how many businesses across the region were continuing to invest, to innovate and to succeed in the face of challenging market conditions.

“I would like to thank all of the businesses which entered the awards this year, and I salute all those who have made it here as finalists tonight,” he said. “And for the winners, their sense of triumph should be all the greater, with judges across a range of categories having commented on the quality of many of the entries received this year.”

Full coverage of the Anglian Business Awards will appear in a special four-page supplement within next Tuesday’s BusinessEast section of the EADT and pictures from last night’s ceremony will also be appearing online today at www.eadt.co.uk/aba.