INSPIRING entrepreneurs, organisations and charities will have their moment in the spotlight for the return of the South West Business & Community Awards this January.

Swindon is well represented amongst the 88 nominees shortlisted for this year's event, including Sara Tye, from Redhead PR, for the Female Entrepreneurs of the Year award, The Cricklade Club is shortlisted for New Start-Up of the Year, and Jerry Thornton, chairman of Swindon's BusinessWise could be crowned Networker of the Year.

The Big Breakfast Plus, which has provides free breakfast for the homeless in Swindon, could also become Charity of the Year, but faces competition from Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the Youth Adventure Trust.

James Phipps, chairman of Excalibur who judged last year's event, said: “Judging this year’s awards will be tough. Every entry is of a very high standard and each one is unique which makes the decision harder.

"I’m very proud of the quality of businesses that we have in this region and these awards give them the true recognition that they deserve.”

Alec Jones-hall, director of South West Business and Community Award’s said “We are proud and excited to be celebrating outstanding achievement across the region.

"It is also a time for the business community to come together, not only to celebrate the accomplishments of those shortlisted and the deserving winners of each category, but also to mark the fact that we all continue to play a vital role in the success of our region and that its future achievements will be built on the foundations we lay today.”

Sponsors include Aspen Waite, Excalibur, C & D Group, The Business Exchange, Basepoint Swindon, Jelf Insurance, Henry Howard Finance, SWLEP higher Futures, Latcham Direct, and Great British Expos.

The awards ceremony will be at The Double Tree Hilton, in Swindon, on Thursday January 24.