In our October issue, we gave a brief overview of the winners, and the event itself. This month, SBT decided it was about time to hear from the winners themselves…
The Brighton and Hove Business Awards were a big night for businesses within the city – all wishing to win an award of their own for all their accomplishments over the year. The awards are an essential and ideal way of giving back to the business community, who have worked so hard over the year to bring consumers their specialised services and products, in turn boosting the local economy.
The big winner of the evening was Posh Totty, an 11-year-old jewellery, design and personalised gift company based in Brighton, winning the Creative Industries, Fastest Growing Business and Business of the Year Awards. Managing Director and Founder, Alice Rivers-Cripps was both thrilled and pleasantly surprised by the awards: “We were absolutely delighted just to be nominated for the awards, so to win three categories was totally unexpected and such a huge honour. Winning the Creative Industries Award means a lot to me personally, because Brighton is such a creative community. To be recognised as having that creative spark in the midst of so many talented people is so rewarding.” She added: “To win Business of the Year was a totally unexpected bonus!”
Having started from Alice’s sofa in 2004, Posh Totty Designs has come a long way, now employing 40 staff and one of the biggest jewellery workshops in the South. Last year, they made a record £2.5 million, and are so far on track for £3.2 million this year.
Nick Mosley, the Brighton and Hove Food and Drink Festival’s Managing Director, won the award for Most Outstanding Brightonian. Nick has hugely developed the Food and Drink Festival, putting Sussex on the world food map and inspiring people with good quality local food. Nick commented: “Over the past few years, we’ve grown from a one-off annual event into a year round organisation showcasing the best of food, drink and hospitality in the city and surrounding county. Not only do we have four festival periods each year, but we host monthly Sussex Wine Bus Tours, run the annual Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Awards, help administer the Brighton Restaurant Association and help market the gastronomic tourism offering of our region.”
This award was by no means expected by Nick: ” There have been some very worthy winners in the past who’ve greatly contributed to the life of the city, so to be recognised as someone in that league is an incredible feeling.”
Organic Roofs Ltd, the one-stop-shop for green roofs, from design advice, through to waterproofing, installation, contracting and reactive maintenance, won the award for Best Environmental Industry Company. Throughout 2015, Organic Roofs has concentrated on investing for growth, and Lee Evans, Director of Organic Roofs Ltd, hopes that this award marks the start of an even bigger and better future: “We’re very proud to have won this award, as we hope it will give greater publicity to our efforts to bring affordable, good quality green roofs into the city of Brighton and Hove.”
Lee adds: “Brighton has such a dynamic business community, with so many creative and conscientious people striving to do more with their companies than just chase turnove. The BAHBAs really give an opportunity to showcase not just the winners but the whole range of great work that people have been doing all year.”
Andrew Mosley, General Manager of the Grand Hotel in Brighton, said he felt very honoured to have won the award for MD of the year, commenting: “We’ve enjoyed an amazing 2015 and have seen exceptional business growth, which we believe is down to the fact that we are now independent and are therefore able to react to change and opportunity very quickly. I’m supported by a fantastic team of people who make this happen. We’re looking forward now to 2016 with more investment in the Grand on the immediate horizon, including a further uplift to our restaurant GB1, an exciting refurbishment of our lounge, as well as some bigger projects to follow.”
Vivid Events, who won the award for Professional Services, has undergone a complete brand refresh in the past year, all the while continuing to demonstrate a high level of professional service.
Rachel Hepburn, Company Director, commented: “We’re extremely proud to have been awarded the Professional Services Award and, likewise, to be recognised by the BAHBA. The accolade will really help to confirm our professionalism with not only our clients, but suppliers, employees, industry peers and the business community of Brighton and Hove.”
Julian Caddy, Managing Director of Brighton Fringe, which won the Best Event in the City category told SBT: “To be England’s largest arts festival is one thing, but to be voted by our Business peers and partners as not just the biggest, but the best event is extremely important. It feels a bit like getting the Ballon d’Or – we’re really proud.
“This year was our biggest and best ever, with more than 405,000 attendances at 3,584 performances of 784 events. We have grown audiences by more than 100% in only 4 years: that is unbelievable. Overall, the economic impact of Brighton Fringe is over £12 million – not bad for one month.”
He added: “This is a very special place, which attracts many millions of visitors, but because we are still quite close to London, it might be easy to overlook us. So these awards help raise the profile of the individuals and organisations in the city that are making a difference, that are helping make us stand out.”
All winners had thanks to give for the running of the event itself – to Kari Brown, Founder of the Brighton and Hove Business Awards, and to Midnight Communications.