Firms line up for prestigious Business of the Year Awards

June 3, 2011

Three Bristol firms are among the finalists in the prestigious West of England Business of the Year awards.

Insurance brokers Brightside Group and Bristol Airport line up against four other businesses in the large business category while Magmatic, maker of the Trunki children's ride-on suitcase, is competing against three firms in the smaller business category.

The awards, staged by accountants PwC, have been held for the past 23 years and have become widely acknowledged as the premier business accolades in the region. Previous winners read like a roll call of the region's most successful and innovation businesses and include Dyson, MITIE and Renishaw.

Brightside Group and Bristol Airport are up against Smiths News, the Swindon-based newspaper and magazine wholesaler, and Avon Rubber, the Melksham-based specialist engineering group, Exeter-based airline Flybe and Pittards, the Yeovil-based leather manufacturers in the category for businesses turning over more than £25 million.

David Charles, PwC partner and chairman of the judges for this category, said: “Our accomplished independent judging panel have undertaken the extremely difficult task of reviewing the entries and selecting our finalists from an impressive and vast number of nominations.  This year’s entrants have once again proven that the West of England is home to some of the best businesses in the UK.

“This group of finalists reflects the diversity of the economy of the West of England and is confirmation that, despite a still challenging economic backdrop, there is a continued strength in companies across the region.”

Magmatic lines up against Corsham-based pharmaceutical firm Qualasept,  Adey Professional Heating Solutions, based in Cheltenham, and The Seafood Restaurant from Cornwall in the category for businesses with turnovers less than £25million or fewer than 100 employees.

Tracey Bentham, PwC partner and chairman of the judges for this category, said: “This has been an extremely strong year for this category with a truly impressive array of applications.  So much so, that the judging panel were unable to shortlist only three companies to go through to the main competition, so this year will see four businesses from the South West go through to the final stage.”

PwC regional chairman Rob Lewis added: “We have been delighted by the number of companies entering this year’s awards and the quality of the finalists emphasises the standards that are being achieved by companies in the region, many of whom have international reputations for excellence.  We should all be proud of the number of excellent businesses in our region, and their ability to stay ahead in the current climate should be celebrated”

The winners will be announced at a gala dinner on June 23 at Bristol Marriott City Centre Hotel, which will be hosted by Ian Axton of ITV West.

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