Revealed: The winners of the Norfolk Business Awards 2018, hosted by Katherine Ryan
- Credit: Simon Finlay Photgraphy
The outstanding talent from Norfolk's deep and diverse business community was put firmly centre-stage at the county's premier awards ceremony.
The new-look Norfolk Business Awards organised by the Eastern Daily Press were presented at the Norfolk Showground Arena on Thursday evening, where King's Lynn-based JD Cooling Group was named the overall business of the year.
The 18-year-old company was chosen by judges of all the finalists in recognition of a period of sustained growth which has seen it expand to more than 100 staff, five UK offices and a turnover of £20m.
JD Cooling Group had been shortlisted in the Large Business of the Year category while its founder John Dye was a finalist for the Director of the Year though, in a sign of the awards' strength in depth, both were pipped to the titles.
The awards were hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan, who entertained guests before attention turned to handing out the trophies.
In total, 13 awards were handed out to the cream of Norfolk's business community in front of 550 guests – the largest audience in nearly 30 years of the awards.
Norwich Research Park received the award for Outstanding Achievement, while double award-winners on the night included Norwich tech firm FXHome and Loddon plastics specialists Panel Graphic.
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Guests were welcomed by Matt Kelly, chief content officer of EDP publisher Archant, who explained that the theme of the 2018 awards was people – the workers and leaders who power the success of Norfolk's business scene.
'There are so many extraordinary success stories at this year's awards and all different in so many ways that it's almost impossible to draw any thread between them, except perhaps for two things,' he said.
'First, they all, in one way or another, reflect the character of this wonderful county. And secondly, they are all the product of passionate, committed and expert people. Having great people in your business certainly doesn't guarantee success. But you can certainly guarantee failure if you don't.'
Winners ranging from funeral homes to financial planners, and tech firms to tourism venues, demonstrated how they had put people at the heart of their business.
Money was also raised by guests for the nominated charity for 2018, Norfolk cancer charity Big C.
• Business of the Year
JD Cooling Group
• Outstanding Achievement
Norwich Research Park
• Breaking Boundaries
• Environment and Sustainability
Rosedale Funeral Home
• Knowledge Pioneer
• Investing in Future Growth
• Tech Innovator
• Customer Care
• Small Business
• Large Business
Mills & Reeve
• Skills of Tomorrow
• Best Employer
The Maids Head Hotel
• Director of the Year
Steve Earl, Panel Graphic