THE WINCHESTER Business Excellence Awards has announced its theme this year as growth, development and looking to the future.

Now in its twelfth year and founded by partners the Hampshire Chronicle, Winchester Business Improvement District (BID), and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, the awards aim to recognise the achievements of local businesses.

They will be launched on Thursday, January 23, at the Holiday Inn in Winchester and all businesses within the Winchester District are welcome to attend.

Located on Morn Hill, next to Winchester Science Centre, the hotel is set on the edge of the South Downs National Park. Sponsoring the event is the Holiday Inn, which has been awarded the AA Rosette, a gold Green tourism award for its work to reduce its impacts on the environment as well as a tripadvisor excellence award.

Siobhan Thomasson, Holiday Inn general manager, said: “The Holiday Inn Winchester is delighted to be hosting the launch of the Winchester Business Excellence awards again for 2014. “Collaborations with local businesses and the community are of great importance to us at the Holiday Inn Winchester and following the success of last year, we are proud to once again sponsor and support an event that recognizes the achievement and commitments of local businesses.”

The award categories and criteria will be announced at the launch and businesses can expect to see the addition of some new categories for 2014. They will then have until March 7 to enter their business into any number of the nine categories available. The judges will shortlist entrees for the awards, and all those shortlisted will be entered in the grand Denplan Business of the Year 2014 award.

Stephen Gates, managing director of Denplan, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be returning as the principal sponsors of the Winchester Business Excellence Awards. The 2013 awards demonstrated the vibrancy, innovation and focus that local businesses are bringing to the Winchester economy and therefore it was an easy decision for us to continue to be associated with Winchester’s premier business awards.”

For more information on the awards and how to enter please visit