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KEiBA 2014: Finalists announced with gala dinner to take place at Kent Event Centre on June 26

13 May 2014
by Chris Price

From butchers to recycling firms, the finalists for this year’s Kent Excellence in Business Awards have been announced.

The list of 46 nominees in 15 categories represents companies across the county, from Edenbridge to Margate and Sevenoaks to Hythe.

There are 39 different firms up for awards, with nearly half never having entered KEiBA before.

The KEiBA 2014 gala dinner will be in June

The KEiBA 2014 gala dinner will be in June

Each has six weeks to wait before the awards ceremony at Kent Event Centre at the County Showground, Detling, on June 26.

The awards will be held in aid of children’s hospice charity Demelza and Abigail’s Footsteps, which aims to support parents of stillborn babies.

Two categories have seen entry levels at their highest ever this year, which includes a Manufacturing Business of the Year award for the first time.

The KEiBAs were founded six years ago and are run jointly between the KM Group and Kent County Council.

The KEiBA gala dinner will take place at the Kent Event Centre

The KEiBA gala dinner will take place at the Kent Event Centre

KM Group chairman Geraldine Allinson said: “I am once again delighted to see such an enthusiastic response to KEiBA from Kent businesses and I know that the judges have had a very difficult job in selecting the top entries in each category.  

“It is particularly pleasing to see so much of the county represented in this year’s finalists list.  

“I wish all the finalists the very best of luck and I am looking forward to hearing the results at this year’s gala dinner event.”

KCC cabinet member for economic development Mark Dance said: “I am thoroughly looking forward to this year’s KEiBA awards evening.

“The calibre of businesses that turn out is always inspiring and the stories they have to tell of success really helps shine a spotlight on the strength of the county in so many areas.

 “I look forward to meeting the finalists and helping support such important charities next month, while promoting the excellence that exists in Kent business.”

Demelza head of partnerships Natalie Tegg said: “Twenty years ago fundraising began to build Demelza House in Sittingbourne.

“The charity, known as Demelza Hospice Care for Children, now cares and supports around 800 families across Kent, South East London and East Sussex.

“We could not offer this vital service day in day out without the outstanding support of the business community across Kent so we are privileged to be the official charity of the Kent Excellence in Business Awards this year.

“It will give us a chance to thank our loyal supporters and talk to more organisations about the invaluable work we do across Kent and the south east.”

Kent Event Centre manager Alison Wallington said: “We are delighted that KEiBA have made the decision to come back to the Kent Event Centre for the second year running.

 “The KEiBA’s showcase excellence in Kent business and as the county’s premier conference and exhibition venue it is a natural fit to stage the awards ceremony here.”

The full list of nominees are: 

Apprenticeship of the Year

Adam Calver of Allpark Ltd, Gravesend

Terri-Jane Harris of Elsatex, Strood

Christopher Phillips of J C Rook & Sons Ltd, Margate

Business Commitment to the Community

Countrystyle Recycling Ltd, Maidstone

Dover Harbour Board, Dover

Z&B Vinters Limited, Ashford

Business Commitment to the Environment

Cyclepods Ltd, Westerham

Hadlow College, Tonbridge

M J Allen, Ashford

Customer Service and Commitment

Avenue Lettings Ltd, Sittingbourne

The Better Body Shop, Sevenoaks

Sleeping Giant Media, Folkestone

Employer of the Year

Abbott Diagnostics Dartford, Dartford

Automotive Distributors Ltd, Marden

EISL Ltd European Insurance Services Ltd, Tunbridge Wells

Entrepreneur of the Year

Louis Hurst of Amelix Group, Whitstable

Rob Knight of Ecoegg Ltd, Maidstone

Simon Hagger of Holiday Extras Short Breaks and miDrive, Hythe

Land Based Business of the Year

Fourayes, Sittingbourne

Romney Marsh Wools, Aldington

Winterdale Cheesemakers, Sevenoaks

Large Business of the Year

Facts International, Ashford

Markerstudy Group, Sevenoaks

Reynolds Group Ltd, Sittingbourne

Manufacturing Business of the Year

Ardo UK Ltd, Ashford

Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL), Ashford

MEP Ltd, Aylesford

Science and/or Technology Business

8point3 Ltd, Dartford

ID&C Ltd, Tunbridge Wells

Integrated Technologies Ltd (ITL), Ashford

SME Business of the Year

Amelix, Whitstable

Elsatex Limited, Strood

Hectic Lifestyles Ltd, Rochester

West Kent Extra, Sevenoaks

Start Up Business of the Year

Bush Grub Ltd, Sittingbourne

Finch House Cafe, Tonbridge

The Strength and Conditioning Institute, Tonbridge

Success in International Markets

Automotive Distributors Ltd, Marden

ID&C Ltd, Tunbridge Wells

Sontay Ltd, Edenbridge

Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year

Ashford International Hotel, Ashford

The Aspinall Foundation - Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks

Whiting and Hammond, Tonbridge

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Chris Wharton of The Better Body Shop, Sevenoaks

Bal Sandher of Hectic Lifestyles Ltd, Rochester

Matt Parkinson of VooServers Ltd, Maidstone

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