Solent: Regional growth highlighted at eagerly awaited 2016 Solent Business Awards

Hopes and expectations were high after the impressive inaugural 2015 Solent Business Awards, and there was no anti-climax at this year’s prestigious celebratory evening, again staged at The Hilton at the Ageas Bowl.

In fact, regional growth, talent, investment and success were even more in evidence, as awards host and publisher of The Business Magazine, David Murray highlighted.

“Last year at these awards, I talked about the new optimism and confidence in the Solent region. A year on, I believe this positivity has grown, despite the Brexit vote, and that the cranes and development boards seen when you walk around Southampton, for instance, symbolise the investment this region is now experiencing.

Southampton, Murray noted, was experiencing annual growth in output just below London’s and ahead of Bristol, Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool.

The region’s vibrant nature was further identified by Murray as he mentioned Bournemouth “now earning a global reputation as a centre of digital activity and creative businesses,” and an article in The Guardian saying “Forget Silicon Valley, Bournemouth has found its mojo.”

“Unloved Basingstoke is shaking off its image and being reinvented, with £4 billion investment, to create a vibrant town attracting global brands and building thousands of new homes.

“And Portsmouth. A £900m investment is transforming the city, especially at Tipner West and Horsea Island – plus the exciting marine and maritime tech that’s being developed in Portsmouth, epitomised by Land Rover BAR’s Americas Cup team.

“We are in a significant phase in this region’s growth. And so it seems entirely appropriate that these Solent Business Awards are also growing – with more sponsors, categories and finalists.

“Together with the successful and inspiring companies and organisations represented by 270 people in this room tonight, we will be celebrating and championing the very best of business on the south coast – from Poole and Weymouth in the west to Chichester in the east.”

Murray then thanked the Solent Business Awards sponsors – KPMG, NatWest, Pitmans, James Cowper Kreston, Taylor Made Computer Solutions, and STR Group – acknowledged support by the CBI, and praised the judging panel for their rigorous and conscientious approach to their all-important business assessment role.

With seven winning companies making news headlines on the night, Murray also announced how fitting it was to have two renowned newscasters attending to help present the awards – celebrated television and radio broadcaster, journalist and novelist Gavin Esler as keynote speaker, and regular BBC South Today television presenter Sally Taylor, MBE.


Solent: Regional growth highlighted at eagerly awaited 2016 Solent Business Awards
Sally Taylor


The Solent Business Awards chosen charity for the evening was Naomi House & Jacksplace and donations from the dining tables raised £3,000.

To see the images from the awards click here.


Winners, finalists and the highly commended


Best Use of Technology Award

Sponsored by Taylor Made Computer Solutions


Winner:         nDreams

Second:        Integritie

Third:             Performance in People


Highly Commended finalists: Digits, entrustIT, Serious Sports Group



Corporate Social Responsibility Award

Sponsored by The Business Magazine


Winner:         Amey

Second:        Southern Cooperative


SME of the Year Award

Sponsored by James Cowper Kreston


Winner:         The Yes Yes Company

Second:        Camps International

Third:             Performance in People


Highly Commended finalists:

CMA Recruitment, Rooster Creative Marketing, Catering Equipment Support


Dynamic Growth of the Year Award

Sponsored by Pitmans LLP


Winner:         Aish Technologies

Second:        The Little Kitchen Company

Third:             Churchill Retirement Living


Highly Commended finalists: STR Group, Marina Developments Ltd, Just Develop It


Best Company to Work For Award

Sponsored by STR Group


Winner:         Just Develop It

Second:        Performance in People

Third:             Mayflower Theatre Trust


Highly Commended finalists: nDreams, Digi Toolbox, and Loadbalancer


Management Team of the Year Award

Sponsored by NatWest


Winner:         CLC Group

Second:        Performance in People

Third:             CV-Library


Highly Commended finalists: Pennyfarthing Homes, nDreams, TNG Consulting


Company of the Year Award

Sponsored by KPMG South Coast


Winner:         Churchill Retirement Living

Second:        Hoburne Holidays

Third:             Southampton Airport


Highly Commended finalists: Marina Developments, Southern Co-operative, Williams & Co


Solent: Regional growth highlighted at eagerly awaited 2016 Solent Business Awards
Gavin Esler