Motor dealer Pebley Beach won the top award for Overall Excellence as the best of Wiltshire’s businesses were honoured at the 20th Wiltshire Business of the Year Awards at Center Parcs last night.

Trowbridge-based recruitment agency White Horse Employment Network was named Small Business of the Year, while Swindon-based customer contact centre specialist Carepo picked up the award for Customer and Staff Care.

Corsham’s Park Lane Press was named best Environmental business for the second year running, with Liz Ledger of Swindon-based Total Guide To winning Business Person of the Year.

Park Lane Press sales director Chris Pattemore said: “This is all about the team as it is the team that pulls everything together. Everyone plays their part in what we do, so this award recognises all the effort our team has put in.”

As well as picking up the top award for Overall Excellence, Pebley Beach, which is based in Swindon and Cirencester, won the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year category.

Managing director Dominic Threlfall said: “My staff do all the hard work, I just take the glory. I have such a good team behind me that makes me look good.

“I really wanted to win the apprenticeship award and once I had that I was happy to go home with that, but to win the overall excellence award is incredible.”

The ceremony, organised by Newsquest Wiltshire, publishers of the Swindon Advertiser, Wiltshire Gazette & Herald and Wiltshire Times, was held at Center Parcs’ Longleat Forest holiday venue, near Warminster, with the local business community coming together to celebrate the successes of the last 12 months.

Before the start of the award ceremony, a special message from Prime Minister David Cameron was read out by BBC Wiltshire’s Graham Rodgers, who was host for the evening.

The message read: “Tonight you’re celebrating the very best in Wiltshire business, the hard working people and organisations that are helping this country become the enterprise capital of Europe.”

Etherlive MD Chris Green said: “We were up against some excellent competition and I imagine it was a hard job for the judges, but it will be great to go back to our staff with the award as everyone was happy to just be shortlisted.

“Daryl Taylor, environment manager at Hills Waste Solutions, said: “The award for Services to the Community was the most important for us and the one we wanted as we have always been a Wiltshire company.”

Other winners included Chippenham-based event technology service Etherlive, which won the Innovation and Growth award; Chris Priddy from Swindon YFC, in the Leadership and Social Influence category and Hills Waste Solutions, which won Services to the Community

Commercial law firm Thrings, a long-time partner of the event, once again sponsored the Overall Excellence award.

The other sponsors are Nat West, BBC Wiltshire, Business West, the European Union regional development fund, Mainline Employment, Baker Tilly, Excalibur, Wiltshire Enterprise, Wiltshire College and Newsquest.

The Winners

Business of the Year:  Pebley Beach.
Apprenticeship Employer of the Year: Pebley Beach
Business Person of the Year: Liz Ledger, Total Guide To Ltd
Customer and Staff Care: Carpeo
Environmental : Park Lane Press
Innovation and Growth: Etherlive Ltd
Leadership and Social Influence: Chris Priddy, Swindon YFC
Services to the Community: Hills Waste Solutions
Small Business of the Year: White Horse Employment Network Ltd