KEiBA 2017 finalists announced after receiving record number of entries

The 50 finalists for KEiBA 2017 have been revealed after the most prestigious business awards in Kent received a record number of entries.

Competing in 16 categories, the lineup features the best companies in the county, from apple growers to art galleries and construction contractors to clothes retailers.

Judges sifted through 312 entries for this year’s awards – the highest number ever received.

KEiBA entrants are celebrated at a gala awards night
KEiBA entrants are celebrated at a gala awards night

New innovations for this year includes splitting the SME category into small and medium business of the year and creating a new construction project of the year.

The finalists were unveiled at the Kent Vision Live exhibition at the Kent Event Centre in Detling.

They will find out who has been crowned the winners at the ninth annual gala dinner at the same venue on Thursday, June 22, hosted by organisers Kent County Council and the KM Group.

Kent County Council cabinet member for economic development Cllr Mark Dance said: “To be a KEIBA finalist, you have to be the best of the best against your peers in this wonderful county of ours.

“The hard work and determination and the obstacles you have overcome have finally paid off.

“You are now part of an elite band that has been judged and you have passed the scrutiny of the panel. A huge well done.”

KM Group managing director Richard Elliot said: “It’s fantastic yet again to see such a broad range of finalists covering so many sectors, both big and small.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see a record number of entries and particularly in the new categories of construction project of the year, plus the new small and medium business awards.

“I wish everyone could be a winner. Good luck and I look forward to seeing you at the awards in June.”

The finalists for KEiBA 2017 – the Kent Excellence in Business Awards – are:

Apprenticeship of the Year

CRM Logistics – Katie Town

Gillingham FC Community Trust – James Hare

HatHats Coffee Company – Charlotte Thomson

FareShare Kent delivers to food to the community
FareShare Kent delivers to food to the community

Business Commitment to the Community

The FAR Academy

FareShare Kent

Neighbourhood Furniture Store

Commitment to the Environment Award

Bloomsburys

Lucas - Fit Out & Finishing Specialists

Wingham Wildlife Park

From left, WW Martin directors Neil Peck, Mike Darling and Ian Posnett on the site of the redevelopment of the former Flour Mill in Ramsgate, which will be turned into 72 homes
From left, WW Martin directors Neil Peck, Mike Darling and Ian Posnett on the site of the redevelopment of the former Flour Mill in Ramsgate, which will be turned into 72 homes

Construction Project of the Year

Directline Structures

Walker Construction UK

WW Martin

Customer Service Award

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Infinity Group

Sleeping Giant Media

Childrensalon sells luxury children's clothes
Childrensalon sells luxury children's clothes

Employer of the Year

The British Assessment Bureau

Childrensalon

KIMS Hospital

Entrepreneur of the Year

Lucas – Danny Lucas

The Red Eagle Group – Wayne Hodgson

Sleeping Giant Media – Luke Quilter

Exporter of the Year

Bedfont

The Fountain Workshop

Jewelultra

The AC Goatham and Son packhouse in Hoo
The AC Goatham and Son packhouse in Hoo

Large Business of the Year

AC Goatham & Son

Childrensalon

Infinity Group

Manufacturer of the Year

Brillopak

Colorcon

Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems

Adjustoform makes mannequins for dressmakers
Adjustoform makes mannequins for dressmakers

Medium Business of the Year

Adjustoform Products

Bedfont

Brillopak

Obart Pumps

Small Business of the Year

Dassie Artisan

South East Timber & Damp

Three R’s Teacher Recruitment

Wildwood Media

Start-up of the Year

HatHats Coffee Company

Matilda Hays Flowers

Nikita By Niki

Integrated Technologies Limited specialises in advanced manufacturing
Integrated Technologies Limited specialises in advanced manufacturing

Technology Business of the Year

ITL Group

Michelson Diagnostics

Trading.co.uk

Turner Contemporary, Margate
Turner Contemporary, Margate

Tourism & Leisure Business of the Year

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks

Turner Contemporary

The Juice Executive and Think Press managing director Alexandra Auger
The Juice Executive and Think Press managing director Alexandra Auger

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

The Juice Executive – Alexandra Auger

Nikita By Niki – Nikita Mahon

VooServers – Matt Parkinson

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