Judges seek winners for 2018 Dorset Business Awards

Prestigious Dorset Business Awards now open for entry

Entries have now closed for the 24th annual Dorset Business Awards, organised by the Dorset Chamber, and the time has come for the judges to decide which of the region’s businesses and entrepreneurs are the cream of the crop for 2018.


With a diverse range of high calibre companies with BH or DT postcodes entering one or more of the 13 award categories, 2018 has been a great year for the Dorset Business Awards.


Judging panels, which include past winners and award sponsors, now have until mid-September to evaluate each entry together with the supporting evidence, such as company literature, photographs and third party endorsements, against the individual award criteria. Judges will compile a comprehensive shortlist of examples of excellence in Dorset businesses commendable for the following awards:


  1. Business Leader of the Year Award sponsored by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – judging panel led by Lorna Carver, Dorset LEP director
  2. Creative Impact Award sponsored by Liz Lean PR and Digipigz – judging panel led by Liz Willingham of Liz Lean PR
  3. Dorset Environmental Business Award sponsored by Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) and the Dorset Wildlife Trust – judging panel led by Jim Stewart, chief executive at Poole Harbour Commissioners, and Simon Cripps, chief executive at Dorset Wildlife Trust
  4. Employee Health and Wellbeing Award sponsored by BWT Physio and Ouch Training Team – judging panel led by Debbie Martin, clinical director from BWT Physio, and Simon Cassin, director at Ouch Training Team
  5. Exporting Excellence Award sponsored by HSBC and PSP Worldwide Logistics – judging panel led by Anthony Reed, head of corporate banking at HSBC, and Frank Dixie, managing director at PSP Worldwide Logistics
  6. Lester Aldridge Company of the Year Award – judging panel led by Grant Esterhuizen, partner and head of corporate and commercial at Lester Aldridge
  7. Outstanding Customer Service Award, sponsored by Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa and Teachers Building Society – judging panel led by Justin Cohen, commercial manager of Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa, and Simon Beresford, chief executive officer of Teachers Building Society
  8. PKF Francis Clark Family Business Award – judging panel led by James Robinson, partner at PKF Francis Clark
  9. TeamJobs Team of the Year Award – judging panel led by Jason Gault, managing director at TeamJobs
  10. The ScaleUp Award for Business Growth, sponsored by Enhanced – judging panel led by Simon White, CEO at Enhanced
  11. Developing Talent Award sponsored by Sunseeker – judging panel led by Alex Bowman, head of talent at Sunseeker International
  12. UK Health Insurance Investing in Dorset Award – judging panel led by Alistair Sclare, managing director at UK Health Insurance
  13. Young Apprentice Ambassador or the Year sponsored by Superior Seals – judging panel led by Tim Brown, managing director at Superior Seals


Explaining the judging process, Stuart Dixon, head of Marketing and Communications at Dorset Chamber, says: “The format for judging differs from category to category dependent upon the criteria of the award.  Once we have shortlisted our entries, finalists will either receive a site visit or be required to give a short presentation and this will guarantee that the entries are evaluated fairly and effectively.”


He adds: “The Dorset Business Awards capture the remarkable diversity and success of the county’s businesses and we would like to thank all those who entered this year. Judging always proves to be a challenge to highlight one winner when all entrants are dynamic businesses within Dorset.”


Finalists will be invited to attend the “Meet the Finalist” event in October where they get to meet each other and their sponsor. This will be followed by the Gala Dinner Awards ceremony at the Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday November 1, where the overall winners will be announced.


The Award Gala Dinner drinks reception sponsor is Caterpillar Marine Power UK Ltd and BH Live Hospitality is catering sponsor.  Brighter Productions has come on board for the fourth year running as production sponsor of the Awards ceremony.


For further information about the Awards, in association with the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo and backed by Wave 105, or to purchase tickets for the Gala Dinner please visit or contact the Dorset Chamber on 01202 714810 or

Tickets cost £86 + VAT per person or £800 +VAT for a table of 10 (for members) or cost £96 + VAT per person or £900 +VAT for a table of 10 (for non-members).