THE CREAM of local companies were toasted at the Eastbourne Business Awards on Friday (November 4).
Exceptional businesses were honoured by their peers in 15 award categories at the annual event which was compered by TV personality Fred Dinenage.
Some award-winning Eastbourne businesses are already widely recognised as major players on the international stage.
Others who came up to the podium to collect their awards serve a strictly local customer base.
The winners are involved in a wide range of industries from manufacturing to tourism, building to training.
More than 300 people attended the packed event, which was opened by Keith Ridley, editor-in-chief of the Gazette and Herald, with Jonathan Linsley as master of ceremonies.
They enjoyed a three-course lunch, entertainment by singer Chris Anderson and table decoration of sweet trees designed by the event’s main sponsor – Heidi Cowderoy of Deliciously Gorgeous.
In honour of the awards, she had also created a magnificent cake depicting the 12 days of Christmas and had decorated the dining room with six foot tall, balloon art ‘hosts and hostesses’ who waited to greet the guests.
Mr Ridley said, “This is the most successful Eastbourne Business Awards event ever.
“It clearly demonstrates that the businesses of our great town are defying the recession and prospering against the odds.
“Many are small companies which have had a real struggle to grow, but have never lost their self-belief or confidence and have succeeded magnificently in spite of all challenges.
“The success of those honoured is an inspiration and a reason to celebrate and feel proud.”
He also thanked event organiser Faiza Shafeek and assistant Louise Yeoell and said that despite all the challenges the coming year may bring, he felt confident that those present would meet again next year to celebrate another 12 months of determined growth and success.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd expressed his pride in the achievements of our local business community and outlined his plans and vision for the future.
A raffle was held on behalf of AGE Concern Eastbourne, with an impressive £2,500 being collected.
• See Eastbourne Herald, November 11 for four pages of pictures and full results.