Uckfield Business Awards 2014 officially launched

Around 100 people gathered at the East Sussex National on the evening of Wednesday 26 February for the official launch of the Uckfield Business Awards 2014. The event brought together winners from the 2012 awards, local councillors, award sponsors and members of the Uckfield business community and marked the fact that nominations and entries can now be received for the 2014 awards.

The Uckfield Business Awards 2014 are being organised to celebrate the achievements and diversity of the East Sussex town's business community. With backing from Uckfield Chamber of Commerce and support from Uckfield FM, the 2014 Awards are being co-ordinated by Neil Edwards from The Marketing Eye, Adrian Corbin from Scientifica and Gary King of Uckfield FM.

After a little time to network, guests were welcomed to the launch by Neil Edwards.

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"We particularly want to thank the sponsors for their valuable contribution to the awards," he said. "We couldn't run the Uckfield Business Awards without them and we will make sure that they all get lots of profile on the night. Sponsors are also encouraged to make the most of the awards - across all their marketing material and social media."

Adrian Corbin added that it was exciting to be back with the second Uckfield Business Awards.

"Lots of sponsors have returned and we've welcomed some new ones," he said. "I'd encourage everyone to think about entering an award. At Scientifica, we've won a number of awards over the past few years. Winning is always a boost for staff and a fantastic marketing tool."

Adrian then introduced a number of the 2012 winners, including Sarah Atkinson from Challenge Packaging - which won ‘Business of the Year'.

"Since winning the award we've witnessed a real increase in the amount of business we've been doing locally," she said. "We were really proud to win and our MD gathered everyone together afterwards to make it clear that it was an award for the entire team."

She continued: "Winning the award also gave us the springboard to introduce some new initiatives - including developing an in-house training programme and bringing onboard five apprentices."

Julie Hobbs from PipeDreams ‘Retailer of the Year' in 2012 said: "We felt really proud that so many of our customers voted for us. Although we have an online shop - having a High Street presence is really important to us."

Then Russell Shingles, spoke on behalf of The Health Boutique, winner of ‘Best New Business' added: "We've gone from strength to strength since winning the award. We were all standing tall and all our staff felt incredibly proud. At the time of the 2012 awards, the economic climate wasn't great - which made winning it even more significant for us."

The lead sponsor for the Uckfield Business Awards is Parker Building Supplies. Chris Lawson from Lawson Commercial, which supported the initial awards and has come back onboard this year told guests: "We've been in the town for 25 years now and it's great to see businesses starting up here and then expanding. Sponsoring the awards is a pleasure and we are looking forward to seeing the entries we will be judging this time around."

There are Award categories to suit every type of business in Uckfield, big or small. These range from Best Rural Business and Best Looking Shop, to Tradesperson of the Year and Customer Service Award. The highlight of the Awards evening will be the presentation of Business of the Year and the Outstanding Achievement Award.

Adverts for the awards and interviews with sponsors and previous winners will be aired on Uckfield FM between now and the event.

The Awards evening is being held at the East Sussex National on Thursday 6 November and the closing dates for entries is 8 September.

"I'd encourage everyone to buy tickets for the gala awards evening now," said Neil. "The event will sell-out!"

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