BUSINESSES from across the county gathered for the launch of the 25th Wiltshire Business Awards at Thrings Solicitors this week.

They were spurred on by inspiring words from Swindon-born adventurer and businessman Sir David Hempleman-Adams who shared stories of hitch hiking to the Alps from Swindon.

Gemma Featonby, a partner at Thrings, told the Adver: “We visit some brilliant businesses that we would have never of heard of otherwise, all are really different, but they have all got something special.

“Every year we are bowled over by what the region has to offer and we welcome applications to show off the wonderful things happening across the county.”

It was also a chance for businesses to hear from sponsors about the award criteria.

Steve Wain, learning and development coordinator from Lyons Seafoods, based in Warminster, said: “It’s been an eye opener for me to come and listen about the awards. We are already doing a lot of good in business, like our health and well being policy. It’s a chance to show it off, and why not.”

Pete Gavan, editor of the Swindon Advertiser, which organises the awards, added: “We’re delighted to mark the beginning of the 25th Wiltshire Business Awards and look forward to seeing the many fantastic businesses across the county.”

Sponsors include RSM accounting, C3 Marketing, Natwest, Imagine Cruising, BBC Wiltshire, The Enterprise Network, Man Truck and Bus Ltd, Juice Recruitment, Bespoke Training Services, Platinum Motor Group, Corporate Events, Centre Parcs, Jooka, and Black Nova Designs.

Businesses have until January 28 to get applications in and the awards ceremony and black-tie dinner is in May.