A second resounding year at Ascot – a familiar venue for winners
The must-attend annual awards celebration of the Thames Valley property market
(Images from the event can be found here)
Building and development are key words in the Thames Valley property sector, and appropriately they also summed up this second annual awards event – having built attendance numbers, added award categories and quickly developed into “undoubtedly one of the biggest property events of its kind in the region outside London.”
“This year’s Awards have seen phenomenal interest. There are more than 500 developers, property consultants, town planners, occupiers, funders, lawyers, contractors and real estate executives here in this room tonight,” said Matthew Battle, managing director of UK Property Forums, and David Murray, publisher of The Business Magazine, as they began the awards gala by welcoming the black-tie diners– 160 more than the inaugural event last year.
“Once again, we are together flying the flag for the Thames Valley region – with the property sector showing what a great place to work and live within this region truly is.”
Murray explained that the evening would showcase and celebrate commercial and residential property in the Thames Valley and the successful developers, consultants, planners, contractors, lawyers and dealmakers in the sector. It would also include two new awards – Property Law Firm of the Year and The ‘Rising Star’ Property Business of the Year – along with the surprise revelation of the Judges’ annual choice as the person most deserving of recognition for their Outstanding Contribution to the local property sector.
Recognition was also made by both Murray and Battle of the professional skills and knowledge displayed by the distinguished judging panel in selecting the finalists and winners, and to Estates Gazette for supplying data to help the judges make their decisions.
The two new awards and category criteria amendments had produced a bumper crop of entries, Battle revealed. “But, as usual, the judges did their homework – including visiting many of the developments – to ensure they gained first-hand knowledge of the strength of nominations.
“We will continue to refine the awards as we aim to make them the definitive, and most prestigious of their kind in the South,” added Battle.
Murray expressed the co-organisers’ heartfelt thanks for the support of award sponsors: Barton Willmore, Haslams, Hicks Baker, Jansons Property, Jelf, McKay Securities, Optima Contracting, Peter Brett Associates, Pitmans, Romans Group, SEGRO, and Vail Williams.
Guests last night showed their generosity through donations for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, raising £6,379 for the event’s chosen charity. The money raised will go into the Alexander Devine fund for the first children’s hospice in Berkshire, now being built at Maidenhead.
Guest presenter for the evening was Gyles Brandreth, the multi-talented former Oxford Union president, broadcaster, author, journalist, West End performer, and actually no stranger to awards of his own. Notably, with the recent General Election still in many minds, Brandreth also served as MP for Chester 1992-97 and within John Major’s government.
A list of the winners and finalists can be found here.