MOTOR dealers Pebley Beach won the top award for Overall Excellence as the best of Wiltshire’s businesses were honoured at the 20th Wiltshire Business of the Year Awards at Center Parcs in Longleat.

Trowbridge-based recruitment agency White Horse Employment Network was named Small Business of the Year, while Swindon-based customer contact centre specialist Carpeo picked up the award for Customer and Staff Care.

Corsham’s Park Lane Press was named best Environmental business for the second year running, with Liz Ledger of Swindon-based Total Guide To winning Business Person of the Year. Miss Ledger said: “I was genuinely shocked when they read my name out. It’s the icing on the cake for all the work that has gone into the business over the last two years.”

As well as picking up the top award for Overall Excellence, Pebley Beach, which is based in Swindon and Cirencester, won the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year category.

Managing director Dominic Threlfall said: “My staff do all the hard work, I just take the glory. I have such a good team behind me that makes me look good.

“I really wanted to win the apprenticeship award and once I had that I was happy to go home, but to win the overall excellence award is incredible.”

The ceremony, organised by Newsquest Wiltshire, publishers of the Swindon Advertiser, Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times, was held at Center Parcs’ Longleat Forest holiday venue, near Warminster, with the local business community coming together to celebrate the successes of the last 12 months.

Before the start of the award ceremony, a special message from Prime Minister David Cameron was read out by BBC Wiltshire’s Graham Rodgers, who was host for the evening.

The message read: “Tonight you’re celebrating the very best in Wiltshire businesses, the hard working people and organisations that are helping this country become the enterprise capital of Europe.

“Thanks in part to innovative business in Wiltshire, the British economy is now growing faster than any other major European country. The plan is working.”

Other winners included Swindon-based Hills Waste Solutions, which won the award for Services to the Community, and Chippenham-based event technology service Etherlive, which won the Innovation and Growth award.

Managing director of Etherlive Chris Green said: “It’s brilliant and what is nice for us is that we work in events, which is not your run of the mill business, so to get the recognition is really rewarding.”

Chris Priddy from youth work organisation Swindon YFC was also recognised in the Leadership and Social Influence category, and he said: “It’s really humbling for me, but it’s about the team that I have working behind me.

“It’s great for everyone and we have put a lot of hard work in, so this makes it all worthwhile.”

Commercial law firm Thrings, a long-time partner of the event, once again sponsored the Overall Excellence award.

The other sponsors were Nat West, BBC Wiltshire, Business West, the European Union regional development fund, Mainline Employment, Baker Tilly, Excalibur, Wiltshire Enterprise, Wiltshire College and Newsquest.

The Business of the Year and the award for overall excellence was Pebley Beach.
The other awards were...
Apprenticeship Employer of the Year: Pebley Beach
Business Person of the Year: Liz Ledger, Total Guide To Ltd
Customer and Staff Care: Carpeo
Environmental: Park Lane Press Ltd
Innovation and Growth: Etherlive Ltd
Leadership & Social Influence: Chris Priddy, Swindon YFC
Services to the Community: Hills Waste Solutions
Small Business of the Year: White Horse Employment Network Ltd