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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Business Star Awards 2014 Results

Magical night for Merlin

 

Global oil and gas well drilling engineers Merlin ERD have shown they’re a wizard at what they do by lifting the title of Perthshire’s Business of the Year 2014.

 

The popular winner, based at Cherrybank, Perth, claimed the prestigious Perthshire Chamber of Commerce’s top business title at a glittering Star Awards ceremony in Crieff on Friday.

 

Managing Director Iain Hutchison and delighted staff from the seven-year-old business celebrated after securing both the Business Growth and Exporting category trophies - and then going on to claim the overall trophy and title.

 

Over 300 guests - including Scotland’s newly installed Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP - heard how Merlin ERD captured the judges’ vote for its “excellence and expertise in every aspect of its business”.

 

Chamber President Mike McDiarmid said the leading Extended Reach Drilling company, which employs around 35 people, had demonstrated impressive increases in terms of turnover, market share and profitability.

“The company is earning an enviable reputation across the globe for the  impressive delivery of outstanding services and expertise,” he said. “It is an industry leader in its field and uniquely based in Perth - outwith the more recognised oil and gas sector hubs.

 

“Merlin ERD impressed us for both its current operations and its future growth aspirations,” he added. “This company is the absolute embodiment of a Business Star. It is an outstanding company run by exceptional people and I’m sure it will continue to represent us well as one of the flagships for business in Perthshire.”

 

A thrilled Iain Hutchison said the overall title and individual category awards proved the “perfect” ending to what has been a “magical” year for Merlin, having attained a coveted Queen’s Award For Enterprise in the spring.

 

“Our business is all about our people and this award belongs to everyone at Merlin,” he said. “The staff have worked so hard to bring the company to where it is today and I am immensely proud of everyone that made this Business Of The Year title possible.”

 

Iain said that the award was particularly pleasing as it represented the endorsement of his business peers in Perthshire.

“To be judged the best in the business by the area’s leading business organisation and come out top among so many strong contenders is just wonderful,” he said.

“I always believed Perth was a special place to base Merlin’s special business and I’m so proud and pleased that the local business community recognises our achievements and supports us in everything we do,” he said. “Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year 2014 is a title we will wear with immense pride.”

 

Mike McDiarmid also presented an “Outstanding Achievement Award” to

St Johnstone Chairman Steve Brown and manager Tommy Wright in recognition of the football club’s towering triumph in lifting the Scottish Cup earlier this year and rewarding the years of economic spin-off the club generates for the local community.

 

In a year when sport dominated the events calendar, five outstanding Perthshire sportsmen and women were awarded the first-ever Chamber “Sporting Achievement Awards” in a profile of the year’s events by Perthshire Advertiser sports editor Gordon Bannerman.

 

These went to golfer Bradley Neil, curler Eve Muirhead, track athlete Eilidh Child, swimmer Stephen Milne and trainer and jockey duo Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore.

 

Chamber Chief Executive Vicki Unite reflected on “an amazing evening”.

“It was a fantastic event,” she said, “and so great to see the very best in local business being applauded by their peers and rewarded by the business sector for their outstanding work.

“We know from experience that there can be a real business benefit for winners – and finalists – and that is the underlying purpose of the Star Awards. `It’s a privilege to be able to showcase them at Perthshire’s leading business awards ceremony and witness their success and genuine support and from the local business community.”

 

George Stubbs of GS Group (Main Sponsor of the event) said on the night:

"In comparison to other regions in Scotland and the size of our business community we punch way above our weight when it comes to this event.  It is the best awards dinner - illustrated by the commitment made by all our businesses who have entered the awards."

 

This year’s premier business awards event was held at Crieff Hydro Hotel and was hosted by journalist Maureen Young and presenter Gary Robinson.   Chelsea Flower Show medal winners Something Special Flowers from Blairgowrie provided the stunning centre pieces.

Entertainment was provided by local band Lost In Music.

 

In addition to the overall Business Of The Year title and sporting achievement awards, 13 category Star Awards and two Highly Commended certificates were presented.

They were:

 

VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS HERE  

 

1.      Employee of the Year Award sponsored by McLeod Glaziers

WINNER:  John Harvey, Vector Aerospace Component Services UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER UP:  Mhairi Frame, Perth Autism Support

 

2.      Apprentice of the Year Award sponsored by Perth College UHI

WINNER:  Kirsty Burns, Vector Aerospace Component Services UK

HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER UP:  Conor Nisbet, Kilmac Construction

 

3.      Most Promising New Business Award sponsored by Enterprise & Business Gateway

WINNER:  Strathearn Distillery

 

4.      Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by Graham Environmental Services

WINNER:  BlueSky Experiences

 

5.      Excellence in Business Innovation Award sponsored by Binn Group

WINNER: Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic

 

6.      Commitment to the Community Award sponsored by RBS

WINNER:  CheckIn Works/Giraffe Trading

 

7.      Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award sponsored by Bank of Scotland

WINNER:  Perth Racecourse

 

8.      Contribution to Sustainability Award sponsored by Stagecoach Group

WINNER:  Binn Group

HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER-UP: Perth College UHI - Perth and Kinross Green Technology Business Accelorator

 

9.      Excellence in Export Award sponsored by Perth & Kinross Council

WINNER:  Merlin ERD

 

10.   Business Growth Award sponsored by Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants

WINNER:  Merlin ERD

HIGHLY COMMENDED RUNNER UP:  Carbon Financial Partners

 

11.   Excellence in E-Commerce Award sponsored by Bertie Browns

WINNER:  VTP Clothing

 

12.   Independent Retailer of the Year Award sponsored by Fairways HR Business Support & Recruitment Specialists

WINNER:  Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier

 

13.   Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award sponsored by The James Hutton Institute

WINNER: The Inveralmond Brewery

  

VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS HERE  

Support sponsorship for the glamorous event came from GS Group, Website Sponsor was Momentum Design and media sponsor was The Perthshire Advertiser. 

 

The exclusive trophies were designed, crafted and donated by Caithness Glass.

 

Guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner with wine and once again Highland Spring provided the water for the evening.

 

The event was hosted by journalist Maureen Young and presenter Gary Robinson.

 

Sound and light production and expertise for the show was provided by Catalyst EPS.

 

Johnston Media handled all video work before and during the event while Daybreak studios recorded the voiceovers used in films of the shortlisted entries.

 

A charity prize draw of a "Just the Tonic" package and overnight dinner, bed and breakfast stay for two came courtesy of Crieff Hydro Hotel.

 

Coach transport to and from the event was provided by Stagecoach Group.

 

Photographer Graeme Hart of Perthshire Picture Agency was on duty throughout the evening to catch all the drama and excitement.

 

VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS HERE 

 

Business Star Awards Finalists Announced

Business finalists selected for Star billing

 

The countdown to Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards 2014 has begun in earnest as judges reveal their finalists from an impressive entry of local companies.

 

The shortlisted entrants for Perthshire’s most prestigious business awards will now be asked to “play their aces” as judges begin the task of visiting and interviewing this year’s finalists.

 

And Chamber chief executive Vicki Unite said the competition couldn’t be fiercer as one of the most impressive line-ups ever assembled for the Star Awards goes under the spotlight.

 

“It’s now up to each of those companies shortlisted to convince judges that they have real ‘Star quality’,” she said. “The standard this year is exceptional and the judges’ task will be extraordinarily difficult - any of the finalists could be our ultimate winners.

“Finalists now have to deliver a sharp impressive presentation to judges, matching the high standard of their entry, and backed by a stand-out profiling of their business as they bid to secure the judges’ vote.”

 

But Vicki stressed that entrants who have not been shortlisted this year should not be downhearted.

“We were very impressed by the standard of entry - right across the board - and whittling down each category to choose our finalists has been a really tough job,” she said. “Everyone who entered should be extremely proud of their business and what they have achieved to even make them a candidate for the awards.”

 

Celebrating all aspects of the local business world, the area’s premier Awards will highlight the real “stars” across leading sectors including tourism and leisure, food and drink, retail, innovation, customer service, commitment to the community and exporting.

 

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce also recognises the value of emerging talent and individuals who have proved outstanding in their particular sector will have a chance to shine in the apprentice and employee of the year categories.

Entrants this year include regular Star Awards supporters as well as new faces, with established internationally renowned organisations sharing the shorltisted slots with emerging one man operations.

 

Chamber directors, sponsors and experts from the business world will help unearth the shiniest Stars in one of the country’s most robust judging procedures in the run-up to a glittering showdown at a black tie dinner at Crieff Hydro on Friday, November 21.

 

“The Chamber is so proud to be able to showcase the best in the business at our awards dinner,” explained Vicki. “It really is a very exciting evening for everyone and the suspense among the finalists is tangible. Everyone joins in the celebration and acclaim for our winners and that makes for a great atmosphere.

 

“We’re looking forward to another outstanding celebration of Perthshire’s high achievers this year,” she added.

 

“As the definitive local business awards, Perthshire Business Star Awards continues to attract, showcase, applaud and reward those companies and individuals who are making a difference - those keeping the wheels of commerce turning during difficult times and ‘shining’ even when our economy is at its most challenging.

 

“Over the years, the PCC Business Star trophies have become much-sought-after targets for companies to achieve,” she added, “and we have rolled out hundreds of examples of business excellence in the form of our winners. This November we will undoubtedly discover some new bright shining Stars.”

 

* This annual celebration of the best in the business world always proves a spectacular night out and tickets (£65 + VAT) can be booked in advance by contacting the Chamber office on 01738 488325 or by email to events@perthshirechamber.co.uk or online at www.businessstarawards.co.uk.

 

Our deserving finalists are:

 

  1. Employee of the Year Award sponsored by McLeod Glaziers

Dawn Baillie, CheckIn Works & Giraffe Trading

Louise Crawford, Graham Environmental Services

Mhairi Frame, Perth Autism Support

John Harvey, Vector Aerospace Component Services UK

 

  1. Apprentice of the Year Award sponsored by Perth College UHI

Kirsty Burns, Vector Aerospace Component Services UK

Scott Mason, Gary Bruce Electrical Contractors

Haley Napier, Copperfields Hairdressing and Beauty

Conor Nisbit, Kilmac Construction

 

  1. Most Promising New Business Award sponsored by Enterprise & Business Gateway

    Energy Perspective

    Strathearn Distillery

    studioEAST Chartered Architects

     

  2. Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by Graham Environmental Services

Blend Coffee Lounge

BlueSky Experiences

Craigatin House & Courtyard

Flintriver

 

  1. Excellence in Business Innovation Award sponsored by Binn Group

    Air Service Training (Engineering)

    Baby Scan Studio Perth

    Blackhills Specialist Dental Clinic

     

  2. Commitment to the Community Award sponsored by RBS

Ballathie House Hotel

CheckIn Works/Giraffe Trading

Perth Autism Support

Westbank Enterprises

 

  1. Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award sponsored by Bank of Scotland

    Ballathie House Hotel

    Crieff Hydro

    Perth Racecourse

     

  2. Contribution to Sustainability Award sponsored by Stagecoach Group

Binn Group

Perth College UHI, Perth & Kinross Green Technology Accelerator

The Gleneagles Hotel

 

  1. Excellence in Export Award sponsored by Perth & Kinross Council

    Agrivision (Scotland)

    Merlin ERD

     

  2. Business Growth Award sponsored by Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants

Carbon Financial Partners

Blimey Loans

BlueSky Experiences

Merlin ERD

 

  1. Excellence in E-Commerce Award sponsored by Bertie Browns

    Scone Palace

    VTP Clothing

     

  2. Independent Retailer of the Year Award sponsored by Fairways HR Business Support & Recruitment Specialists

    Bertie Browns

    Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier

    Loch Leven’s Larder

     

     

  3. Excellence in Food & Drink Produce Award sponsored by The James Hutton Institute

    Iain Burnett Highland Chocolatier

Strathearn Distillery

The Inveralmond Brewery

ANNUAL DINNER & BUSINESS STAR AWARDS

Click on the logo below to enter the world of the Business Star Awards 2014 sponsored by GS Group

Deadline Passed.  Good luck to all those who entered.

Shortlist will be announced shortly. 

 

Book your tickets now by clicking on the logo below. 

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