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The Business Magazine May 2024
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Hampshire Business Awards 2023 showcase the county's top achievers

The Business Magazine article image for: Hampshire Business Awards 2023 showcase the county's top achievers
1 December 2023

The inaugural Hampshire Business Awards, organised by The Business Magazine, showcased an amazing line-up of the region’s top businesses and talented people.

Nearly 500 guests descended on the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre for this prestigious first-ever event. The awards attracted a huge response, with over 260 entries and nearly 100 finalists making it onto the shortlist across 14 award categories.

Richard Thompson, Managing Director at The Business Magazine, said: “We have been truly impressed with the Hampshire companies who have entered this year’s awards. You are shining examples of the brilliant businesses that have started up here and grown, many to become global leaders.”

Entries ranged from technology companies, engineering firms and property firms to not-for-profit organisations and companies supporting their local communities.

The event partner was Hampshire County Council and the headline sponsor was Farnborough Airport.

Welcoming guests to the awards, Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said the event had exceeded all expectations in bringing the business community closer together. “It makes me proud to be from this county - it shows that Hampshire is a favourite place to live, work and play.”

The award category sponsors were Hampshire County Council, Farnborough Airport, Utilita Energy, ABP Southampton, Herrington Carmichael LLP, Milestone Infrastructure, Gurkha Security Services, Menzies LLP, Barratt David Wilson Homes Southampton, FatFace, Infinigate Cloud, Gulfstream, Hampshire BizNews and Sightline.

The Supporting Partners were nDreams, Secure and the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce. The Association Partners were the University of Winchester, Farnborough College of Technology, University of Southampton and Solent University.

Thompson thanked the independent judges who had the hard task of helping to select the finalists and then whittling them down to the winners. They were Sally-Ann Hall-Jones, Joe Jeffers, Carey Moore, Amarjit Singh and Peter Taylor.

The awards were hosted by Alex Jones, one of the UK's top TV presenters who has co-hosted The One Show, BBC One's flagship magazine show, alongside Matt Baker, Roman Kemp, Jermaine Jenas & Ronan Keating for the past 12 years.

During the evening, guests generously donated to two local charities. The Murray Parish Trust supports children’s healthcare and Ringwood Veterans Hub offers support, advice and a social network for local veterans. Further fundraising will be received from a silent auction held on the night.

And the winners are…

New Business of the Year – sponsored by Barratt Homes David Wilson Homes Southampton

Winner: SEEDL Group

“We are a live learning company that broadcasts virtual training courses for businesses in 70 countries around the world. The Covid-19 pandemic was an opportunity for us to grow with hybrid working and learning delivery was a key part of people working remotely. The international nature of our business is scalable for growth. We also run our own radio station so people working remotely have a soundtrack they can listen to.” Anthony Price, CEO and Founder, Jo Nash, Chief Learning Officer, SEEDL


• EchoMed


• Other Skies

• Tattoos and Teaspoons Baking, Catering, Events and Party Planning

Equality, Inclusivity & Diversity Initiative Award – sponsored by Milestone Infrastructure

Winner: National Oceanography Centre

“We are an independent research organisation and the UK’s largest oceanographic and marine charity. A lot of work went into winning this award. In the summer, we organised LGBT+ and Pride events that kicked things off for us. We encourage people to put their stories on our intranet to raise awareness of inclusion and self-disclosure of people’s diversity details gives us a better sense of our starting base. We now want to be consistent across a number of diversity and inclusion themes.” Huw Gullick, Associate Director, Alice Kloker, Stakeholder Engagement Manager. National Oceanography Centre


• Basingstoke College of Technology

• Parmenter Forge

• Ridge and Partners LLP

• STEM Returners

Technology Innovation Award – sponsored by Gulfstream

Winner: Kelda Showers

“We are on a mission to deliver the best possible shower using the least amount of water to reduce hot water energy use and reduce carbon emissions. We can help reduce household energy bills by £300-£400 per year. Our showers use air-powered technology based on fuel injection that mixes the right amounts of air and water and worked with the University of Southampton to develop the technology. We began in the leisure sector, where we helped David Lloyd Clubs save 10,000 litres of water every day at one of its sites. We found we could easily transition the technology to the housebuilding sector to reduce hot water energy use.” Paul Ravnbo-West, Marketing Director, Kelda Showers


• Associated British Ports

• CanSense Group

• Fawley Waterside

• FaultFixers


Contribution to the Community Award – sponsored by ABP Southampton

Winner: Milestone Infrastructure

“We are the contractor to Hampshire County Council and maintain the highways. While we are doing that, we try to contribute to the communities we work in. It is part of our business culture to leave a lasting impact beyond our road maintenance work and this includes refurbishing pathways and fences. We also undertake employee-led initiatives in local communities such as working with a charity that supports vulnerable people with learning difficulties.” Adam Watts, Social Value and Communications Manager, Milestone Infrastructure


• Hampshire Cultural Trust

• Hendy Group

• New Milton Sand and Ballast

• Ridge and Partners LLP

• Yateley Sports and Community Interest Company

• YMCA Fairthorne Group

Sustainable Green Investment Award – sponsored by FatFace

Winner: Handlebar Café

“We ensure that we are constantly maintaining our building which is made of reclaimed wood that has been treated to ensure it will be there for years to come. We reduce our carbon emissions through our location in a nature reserve near Winchester. We also ensure food waste is recycled properly and limit amounts of plastic waste. The building has natural heating and lighting. We are now looking at creating a community garden on land next to the café.” Lee Banks, General Manager, Handlebar Café



• Fortis IBA

• Harvest Fine Foods

• Kelda Showers

• Lainston House Hotel, Exclusive Collection

• New Forest Collection

Made in Hampshire Award – sponsored by Hampshire County Council

Winner: Sugoi Campers

“We create bespoke camper vans for customers who either bring their vehicles to us or we import Japanese vans to work on. We create whatever customers want in terms of colour and style. My husband and I started the business in 2020 and we haven’t stopped since. A major achievement for us was Sugoi working with South Hampshire College on creating TECH:TRUCK, a specially converted truck with bespoke fabrication used for educational and technical roadshows to local schools.” Emma Ward, Director, Sugoi Campers, Naomi Smith, South Hampshire College Group


• AJ Wells and Sons

• Blatchford

• Dynamic Load Monitoring

• In-Space Missions

• Lanzante

• Pascoe International

• Whitchurch Silk Mill

Growth Company of the Year – sponsored by Gurkha Security Services

Winner: Blue Angel Care

“We provide care and support in people’s homes across Hampshire. We are growing by investing in our people and technology. Staff wellbeing is important especially as the role of caregivers is often undervalued. We provide support to make a happy workforce that helps us grow – we have increased in size to an amazing team of 240 people. Investment in technology is also really important as providing the right tools makes the job easier.” Dariusz Motyka, Co-founder and Managing Director, Hayley Rogers, Registered Manager, Blue Angel Care


• Cornerstone Healthcare Group

• Electrogear Fareham

• Envisage Dental

• ISON Travel

• Knights Brown

• NOC Innovations

• Ten Thousand Hours

Best Place to Work Award – sponsored by Hampshire BizNews

Winner: Castle Trust Bank

“We pride ourselves on being a local employer in Basingstoke, developing people and making sure we provide good services to them. We respond to their feedback in our engagement surveys and spend a lot of time listening to how they want us to improve, for example, from an engagement and benefits point of view. Keeping people is our biggest challenge, so by looking after them we make sure our competitors don’t pinch them and ensure that we are an employer of choice in Basingstoke.” Helen Hancock, Chief People Officer, Daniel Gempton, Talent Acquisition and Development Manager, Suzanne Jacks, head of HR, Castle Trust Bank


• Blue Angel Care

• Hendy Group

• HGP Architects

• ISON Travel

• Lewis Brownlee

• Prestige Telecom Group

• Shorefield Holidays

Tech Company of the Year – sponsored by Infinigate Cloud

Winner: entrust IT Group

“Coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic people are using technology in ways they have never used it before. We are investing for growth and are really excited about the next eight years. As a service business, customer support is also important – most of our team works in tech support areas. One of the things customers love about us is that we go into relationships with them and are very customer-facing. We have a 40-strong team that we expect to increase to over 100 in a few years.” Thomas Dodd, Commercial Director, Natalie Fairweather, Business Development Manager, entrust IT Group


• CV-Library

• HB Tech

• MedTec Design Services

• One Beyond

• Tailor Made Technologies

• Trusted Technology Partnership

Not-for-Profit of the Year – sponsored by Sightline

Winner: EBP South

“We work with schools and businesses to inspire young people for the world of work. We provide three activities: careers advice and guidance, work experience and events. Local businesses are key to our success, which has seen over 8,000 people on work placements in 2022/23 – our highest number to date. I think businesses understand the need to share learning and opportunities so they can help to develop the next generation in their industries.” Richard Kennett, CEO, EBP South


• Carswell Gould for Venturefest South

• Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

• Hampshire Fare

• Shaping the Future of Portsmouth CIC

• YMCA Fairthorne Group

• Youth Options Charity

Young Business Person of the Year – sponsored by Farnborough Airport

Winner: Robyn Chiedozie, The Tinker’s Granddaughter

“Robyn came up with the concept for The Tinker’s Granddaughter during the Covid-19 lockdown. She struggled to get premises for her plant-based restaurant business, so started with a vintage food truck before finding a permanent base in Lymington. It’s on three floors and includes a workspace that anyone can use – she is very much into bringing the local community together. To succeed in business, you have to be super-organised, very focused and work very hard. Robyn had an amazing relationship with her grandfather and her business is a big tribute to him.” Karen Chiedozie – Robyn’s mum


• Megan Hamlyn, Barratt David Wilson Homes Southampton

• Emma Hunt, Dandys Ford Dairy

• Dmitrijs Meiksans, Demo Consultancies

• Farah Fonseca, Fonseca Fitness

• Alfie Goss, Landmark Design

• Lewis Watson, LWRepairs

• Jamie Noble, Noble Co. HOLDINGS

• Oriana Caires, The Work Shop

Commitment to Education, Training & Skills Award – sponsored by Utilita Energy

Winner: Dutton Gregory Solicitors

“We have a fantastic internal training academy which we have worked passionately on developing over the last 12 months. We look at what works for individuals in terms of learning styles. We also work externally in the community and with our local university. Investment in our people is very important, particularly for staff retention. We have grown from about 100 to 190 people in the last 18-24 months. Mentoring is another massive thing for us – not just senior leadership downwards but also in the opposite direction.” Emma Menzies, Partner, Dawn Hillman, People and Development Director, Dutton Gregory Solicitors


• Basingstoke College of Technology

• Berthon

• Paragon Skills

• Parmenter Forge

• Silver Lining Convergence

• Trant Engineering

Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by Herrington Carmichael

Winner: Dariusz Motyka & Zul Mamon – Blue Angel Care

“Getting the business started and putting our vision into practice was hard with many obstacles to overcome. We made sure we had the right foundations to grow organically at the right pace. Managing cashflow and your people is important, so is finding the right talent and having the right business structure and systems. We did all this in a fairly short space of time. As we scale up, maintaining consistency in the quality of care that we provide in people’s homes is essential. What we enjoy most about running the business is seeing our people grow and flourish and allowing them to shine.” Dariusz Motyka, Co-founder, Blue Angel Care


• Geraldine Cole - eSift

• Robert Collard - Collard Group

• Mike Dewhirst - Evolve Dynamics

• Jean-Philippe Taylor - Omnia Smart Technologies

• Dominique Tillen - Brush Baby

Hampshire Business of the Year – sponsored by Menzies LLP

Winner: Rocksteady Music School

“We teach in primary schools that shut during the Covid-19 pandemic so that was a challenging and difficult time for us. But we have a robust business model and were able to pivot a lot, mainly through online teaching. Now, demand is huge. Also, the impact of lockdown on children’s wellbeing has been significant and our product directly addresses that. We can help children get the most out of their school experience. We teach music to tens of thousands of children across the UK every week. We started in Hampshire, it is the heart of the business and always has been.” Mike Heelan, Operations Director, Rocksteady Music School


• Collard Group

• GRP Solutions

• Gurkha Security Services

• Infinigate Cloud

• New Milton Sand and Ballast

• Pascoe International

• Phillips Law

• Trusted Technology Partnership


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