THE best businesses in the county received much-deserved recognition as the Wiltshire Business Awards returned for its 25th year.

Hundreds of staff from small start-ups, colossal companies and everything in between dressed up to the nines to attend a glitzy black-tie ceremony at Centre Parcs to find out which of the finalists from each award category would be going home with a gong.

Graham Rogers from BBC Wiltshire hosted the evening. He said: "Wiltshire remains a fantastic place to be in business. This is a celebration of all your achievements and success with even more awards than ever before."

Laughter and applause filled the room as gobsmacked and occasionally-emotional winners made their acceptance speeches, posed for photos and brought a bottle of bubbly back to their tables.

Swindon winners included family-run Miles Window Systems picking up the new Micro Business of the Year award, Nick Evans of Safewell in Royal Wootton Bassett being crowned Business Person of the Year in the medium business category, and the purple-suited team from Appsbroker receiving the Customer and Staff Care and Medium-Sized Business of the Year awards.

Anthony Miles said: "This was a massive surprise, we almost didn't enter this year but we gave it a try and it paid off, we're very proud."

Appsbroker's head of marketing and sales Peter McShane said: "We would not be where we are today without our customers so it's important to treat them well and be extraordinary. We enjoy being part of Swindon, it's a great community to work in and we are driven by passion and hard work so these awards are really appreciated."

The entire team from Bechtle Direct in Chippenham popped champagne and celebrated on-stage when they won the Outstanding Excellence Award, with Appsbroker in second place, NCAB Group from Devizes in third and a special mention for the Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby and Football Club.

Money raised at the event went towards supporting the Parkinson's UK charity.