They’re simply the best!

ALMOST everyone who’s anyone in the tight knit Milton Keynes business community was at Doubletree by Hilton at stadium:mk on Thursday.

Some 560 people representing firms and organisations from across the new city and North Bucks gathered for the annual chamber of commerce business excellence awards.

Award winners at the 2011 Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards

Award winners at the 2011 Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards

Both Milton Keynes MPs were joined by the mayor, Milton Keynes Council’s leader and representatives of the voluntary and private sectors.

The only person who wasn’t there but intended to be was Christian Horner, team principal of Red Bull Racing, He passed on his apologies via massive video screens in the hall, thanking the people of Milton Keynes for their “tremendous support” during the team’s glorious Formula 1 season.

He said the team’s early retention of the drivers’ and constructors’ championships was “testimony to the workforce” at Tilbrook. Mr Horner said: “We are very proud to be based in Milton Keynes.”

Mr Horner’s place as main speaker was taken by Steve Nevey, Red Bull Racing’s relationship manager. After apologising for “not being him”, Mr Nevey enthralled the audience with amazing facts about Red Bull’s 700 horsepower cars and its 520-strong workforce.

They have teams of people watching TV screens during races, listening to engines and looking at driving statistics to spot every single wheel angle and instrument display of their opposition.

“We respect the competition because we know how good they are,” said Mr Nevey.

Red Bull works with a range of local businesses who Mr Nevey says are “totally inspirational”.

Master of ceremonies and BBC business journalist Declan Curry reminded the audience of the gloom surrounding the threats to the global economy. But he admitted: “While that goes on you will do what you do best. You will win orders and create jobs.”

He praised local companies for their world class success.

l Silvia Vitiello, president of Milton Keynes and North Bucks Chamber of Commerce, said: “Some people say awards are ‘backslapping’, well, yes, that is what they are.”

l Established Milton Keynes manufacturer Beardow Adams scooped the blue riband business excellence award, sponsored by Volkswagen Financial Services. Established in the new city in 1977, the maker of industrial hot melt adhesives also won the Manufacturing Excellence category, sponsored by World Trade Center Holdings. Sold worldwide, its award winning hot melts are an important part of thousands of everyday products, including food packaging.

l The award for Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Powernet, was picked up by IT specialist, Paul Tomlinson, of Mirus IT Solutions.

Mirus IT provide managed IT services for small to medium size organisations across the region.

l The Business of the Year (above £5m turnover), sponsored by Lynx Network, was won by Racelogic Ltd.

The company provides solutions to global customers by utilising the latest high accuracy GPS technology.

l The Business of the Year (£1 - £5m turnover), sponsored by Mirus IT Solutions, was won by full service agency Interdirect. It specialises in digital design and development, advanced content managed websites, bespoke software solutions, PR, marketing and social media.

l The Business of the Year (below £1m turnover), sponsored by Beardow Adams, was won by Abbot Fire Group.

Abbot specialise in fire safety products and services.

l The award for Achievement in International Trade, sponsored by Traka, was won by CN Group. The company was established in 1997 to develop its disposable piping bags for the UK food industry.

A highly commended award went to Choice Waste Management.

l The award for Best Business Improvement Through Application of Innovation / Technology, sponsored by The Open University, went to logistics company WH Barley. The company has 40 years of dedicated focus within the distribution, storage and freight logistics sector.

l The Award for Excellence in People Development, sponsored by Nampak, went to the central Milton Keynes three star hotel Jury’s Inn.

l The award for Business Supporting the Local Community, sponsored by Milton Keynes Shopping Centre Association, was won by Oxley Park Veterinary Services trading as Midsummer Veterinary Group. It is a small animal practice based in Milton Keynes for over 25 years.

The main practice in Stantonbury Fields is supported by branch surgeries in both Eaglestone and Oxley Park.

l The award for Excellence in Customer Care, sponsored by Abbot Fire Group, went to Carey Pensions UK.

The company is a fully regulated independent pensions administration and trustee company providing bespoke pension schemes for individuals and groups; partnerships and companies.

l The Energy and Environmental Award, sponsored by Coca Cola Enterprises, was won by The Re-Use Centre. It is a non-profit making organisation that collects, free of charge, items no longer required by the public, but which are still of use and would otherwise end up in landfills. Items are displayed in the ReUse Centre and then sold on a low charge cost-plus basis.

l The award for Most Innovative Use of Digital Media in Communications, sponsored by CMC Solutions, went to The F10 Group. It has three arms, F10 Recruitment, an executive search consultancy, Smart Recruit Online a fully automated, flat fee, online recruitment service and Ask The Experts, a social media members website for the technology sectors.

> To see Natalee Hazelwood’s video report of the awards night visit www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/business