A celebration of sparkling customer service, innovation and hard work of businesses in the Winchester district, took place at the University of Winchester.

The winners for the 2022 Winchester Business Excellence Awards were announced at the ceremony on June 9.

The Winchester Business Excellence Awards are organised in partnership by The Hampshire Chronicle, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Winchester BID and were open to businesses within the Winchester District to recognise their achievements.

This year's event was sponsored by Paris Smith, Dutton Gregory, Winchester City Council, Winchester University, Winchester BID, Azets, Ridge & Partners and Gentian. The awards were also supported by Natwest, Little Kitchen and Chesil House who all joined together to celebrate the success of all the finalists and announce the overall winners.

John Peters, who is originally from east Hampshire, gave a pre dinner speech about his experience as a prisoner of war in the first Gulf War of 1990-91.

He said: “Everyone here has experienced love, life and joy in the last three years. Everyone has also had tragedy or has gone through a whole load of things and they don’t think they are special. People talk themselves down when they should be going wow. If you have survived in business for the last three years then you should be very proud indeed.”

The 2022 winners were:

Business Leader Award - Forte Kitchen and The Hatch - Naomi Beamish and Olly Biggs

Naomi said: "We really didn't expect to win this after the last couple of years of uncertainty. It has been a rollercoaster ride."

Charity Award - Winchester Youth Counselling (WYC)

Social Enterprise Award - Bespoke Biking

Digital Innovation Award - Blue Apple Theatre

Large Business Award - Ridge and Partners LLP

New Business Award - Remedi Health

Owner Deborah Evans said: "I'm passionate about helping people. The last few years have been uncertain with changes to government policy for Covid testing. There's lots of competition."

Service Excellence Award - Searle & Taylor Ltd.

SME/Independent Business Award - P&G Wells Ltd

Steve Scholey said: “I don’t think I really deserve this as I am just the current custodian. It is a big responsibility to have such history behind you. I’d just like to see the business keep going. We are approaching our 300th anniversary in business, if we can get to 300 years I will be happy. I am really thankful to the whole team for the hard work they put in to keep the business going and to adapt to the current challenges.”

Sustainable Business Award and Business Of The Year - Marwell Wildlife

Duncan East, head of sustainability, said: "This award will be great to share with all the staff. We are leading the way in sustainability. We are aiming to be carbon negative in the future."

Winner of the Millennium Egg, Steve Northam, said: "It's amazing to win this award. There is still lots to do in businesses."

Leader of Winchester City Council Cllr Martin Tod said: "It's great to see so many businesses at the awards. It's a testament to their hard work over the last two years."

Winchester BID executive director Paul Spencer said: "Congratulations to all the winners and nominees. It has been a great opportunity to celebrate."

READ MORE: Photo gallery: Winchester Business Excellence Awards 2022 - are you in our gallery?

SEE ALSO: Winchester Business Excellence Awards: Winners' gallery, who won, what they do and why they were honoured​