Finalists for the 2019 Leamington Business Awards have been announced.
A judging panel of leading Leamington business experts have shortlisted 38 finalists from a record number of nominations, including in two new categories for this year - The Warwickshire Achievement Awards and Warwick District Charity Award.
Established in 2014, the awards celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations while also raising vital funds for local charities.
The judging panel is made up of: Roger Scott of Lloyds Bank; Sarah Windrum from IT Consultancy Emerald Group; Louise Richards from touring dance circus company Motionhouse; and Mark Ashfield, Managing Director of HB&O - and former awards organiser.
The awards, supported by media partner Business & Innovation Magazine, are this year headed up by Jonathan Smith of the Leamington Business Forum.
Jonathan said: “This year we saw more applicants than ever before. Judges particularly commented on the quality of the submissions. People seemed to take it even more seriously this year and put in a lot of effort.
“There were some very hard decisions that had to be made but the toughest ones were in the New Business and Independent Business categories.”
He added: “There were some very impressive entries in the Young Person of the Year category, inspiring youngsters who are working really hard and making an impact in their community.”
Returning to its previous home, this year’s glittering black tie awards ceremony on November 15th, will take place at the newly renovated Royal Pump Rooms and presided over as Master of Ceremonies Dave Sharpe.
A winner from all the categories will also go on to be selected for the prestigious Judge’s Choice Award – Business of the Year.
Nominations for The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by The Leamington Courier, are still invited until November 1st.
New Business of the Year – Sponsored by Lodders
Bluebasil - www.bluebasil.co.uk
Appoly - www.appoly.co.uk
Reyousable - https://reyousable.eco
Tutor In A Box - https://tutorinabox.co.uk
Business and Community Award – Sponsored by The Royal Priors
Aubrey Allen - https://aubreyallen.co.uk
A C Lloyd - http://aclloyd.com/
Wright Hassall - https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk
Customer Excellence Award – Sponsored by The Box Factory
Modern Homes www.modernhomesleamington.co.uk
Leamington Therapy Centre - https://www.leamingtontherapycentre.co.uk/
Feeding Untied - www.feeding-untied.co.uk
Aubrey Allen - https://aubreyallen.co.uk
Warwick District Charity of the Year – Sponsored by Aubrey Allen
Leam Trash Friends - www.facebook.com/leamtrashfriends
Young people First - www.youngpeoplefirst.org.uk
Ups and Downs - https://upsofdowns.co.uk
Young Person of the Year – Sponsored by IAPS
Adam Lavender of Ubisoft www.ubisoft.com/en-US/studio/leamington.aspx
Philip Snell of Warwick Street Kitchen www.warwickstreetkitchen.com
Francesca Robson and Nicole De Barra of Way Ahead Project www.facebook.com/wayaheadproject
Aaron Watkinson of Motionhouse www.motionhouse.co.uk
Adam Lavender, 26, from Warwick, is associate producer at Ubisoft Leamington, who is also involved in an internal team that drives co-development excellence. As part of his work to ‘push the boundaries of working,’ he gives talks in universities to promote the gaming industry and has recently been involved in the company’s week-long workshops initiative for 14-year-olds.
He said of his nomination: “It is an absolute pleasure and honour. I’m incredibly proud and humbled to be able to represent not just Ubisoft, but also our amazing and thriving gaming industry in Silicon Spa.”
Twenty-one-year-old Philip Snell is head chef at Warwick Street Kitchen where he has been nominated by owner Lydia Snape.
Lydia said: “Phil is genuinely one of the most talented and well-rounded chefs I have worked with. As a company we are growing and our head chef is moving away and Phil is going to be in sole charge. Many far older seasoned chefs would crumble under this pressure but Phil is taking it on with humility and determination.”
Philip himself said: “I’m so surprised and chuffed to even be nominated, let alone a finalist. I love what I do and being recognised in any way is a total honour.”
Francesca Robson, 20, and Nicole De Barra, 21, were nominated for the award by Stephanie Jackson, fundraising and development lead at The Way Ahead project, for their work in tackling homelessness in Leamington.
Stephanie said: “They worked with the Way Ahead Project so that they could investigate why people find themselves on the streets or in poor housing - they weren't prepared to just make assumptions or work with stereotypes. Through their research, they developed a really clear idea about homelessness which they then wanted to share with their peers through drama. The drama that they produced was incredibly moving and thought-provoking, showing real empathy. We felt all of this showed a great maturity and genuine compassion.”
Francesca, who is studying in Warwick, said: "We are both completely humbled by this. The nomination for the award was not just a nomination for us but for every story, every person and volunteer that work with the Way Ahead Project and helped us create this beautiful piece. This is 100% for them. We are just so humbled and happy to even be standing as representatives for such an incredible charity as the Salvation Army, but more importantly, the beautiful people we met."
Aaron Watkinson, 25, is a dancer and education lead at touring dance circus company Motionhouse.
He said: “Working with children and young people to teach them to dance is a privilege and it means a lot to me that others think I’m making such a positive impact on them. Being inspired by my dance teachers when I was younger has led to me having a career in dance and I want to do the same for the young people I work with.”
Aaron, from Wolston, was nominated by Jane Bailey, who said of him: “Aaron is an inspiration to the young people he teaches and he has already changed many local young people’s lives. Aaron’s natural talent for working with young people, taking them on a life-affirming journey, is why I nominated him.”
Employer of the Year – Sponsored by Bravissimo
Playground Games - www.playground-games.com
Hair Management - www.hairmanagement.co.uk
SPACE 2 - www.space-2.com/index.html
South Warwickshire Achievement of the Year – Sponsored by Tara & Co
ECOFiX Group www.hybridandevcentre.co.uk
Springfield MIND https://springfieldmind.org.uk
Astrum Commercial Cleaning https://astrumcommercialcleaning.co.uk
Innovation of the Year – Sponsored by Withers and Rogers
Genba Digital - https://genbadigital.com
3S Knowledge Limited - www.3sk.co.uk
Outstanding Achievement of the Year – Sponsored by Kingsley School
Leamington Art in the Park - www.artinpark.co.uk
TEDx - tedxleamingtonspa.com
Leamington Peace Festival - http://peacefestival.org.uk
Independent Business of the Year – Sponsored by HB&O
Temperance - http://peacefestival.org.uk
The Drawing Board - http://thedrawingboard.pub
Lockwoods Ski and Outdoor - https://lockwoods.com
Unleashed Cycles - http://unleashedcycles.co.uk
Property Business of the Year – Bellagio Stone
Symonds & Newey Ltd. - http://veli.xreflow.co.uk/webs/san
A C Lloyd - http://aclloyd.com
Tara & Co - www.taraandco.com