Published: 00:03, 24 November 2014
| Updated: 08:40, 24 November 2014
Two firms with global pedigree have underlined Medway’s reputation as a great place for business by winning a prestigious contest in its 30th anniversary year.
Dovetail Games, a world leader with its Train Simulator video games, was named Business of the Year in the Medway Business Awards 2014, winning a handsome trophy and a cheque for £1,000.
The Fountain Workshop, which designs, manufactures and installs hi-tech fountains worldwide, won the Best of the Best Award competed for by seven past winners that continue to thrive in Medway.
The accolades were presented at a glittering gala dinner at Priestfield, Gillingham, on Friday.
Nearly 400 guests from the worlds of business, charity, national and local government attended the star-spangled occasion hosted by BBC South East presenter Rob Smith.
Awards founder David Jones, a former editor with the KM Media Group, presented the Medway Business of the Year trophy.
The ceremony looked back to the start of the awards in the wake of Chatham Dockyard’s closure in 1984 and charted Medway’s remarkable economic revival ever since.
Paul Jackson, chief executive of Dovetail Games, based in Chatham Maritime and now employing 100 people, said: “I’m incredibly proud. I was born here, my kids were born here, this is my town and to be able to bring a high-technology company here and grow it so rapidly has been an absolute joy.
"The creative sector is incredibly important to Great Britain and will be for Medway.”
Mr Jackson said the cash prize would go towards a Christmas party for all the staff.
The Fountain Workshop, based in the Historic Dockyard Chatham, had achieved the rare double of being Medway Business of the Year in both 1999 and 2010.
A jubilant David Bracey, technical director, had flown back from a business trip to the Caribbean specially to be at the gala.
“We won’t celebrate properly until we have the whole team around us,” he said.
Managing director Ian Kirkpatrick added: “Medway has been good to us and we’ve tried to support Medway in the way it has supported us.
"We’ve always told people that Medway means business. We mean business and we’re really happy to be here.”
The event raised more than £1,700 for The Wisdom Hospice, also founded 30 years ago.
Other awards went to Dovetail Games (Healthy Workplace); N-Fuze Design (ECITB Training and Development); Classic Filters (Growth & Innovaton); Jubilee Clips (Manufacturing); MC Personnel (Growth); Total Machining Solutions (Commitment to Customers).
The other finalists were Diggerland, GC Hurrell & Co, Lustre Consulting, Sian Bostwick Jewellery and 24 Hour Printline.
A Medway Business Awards 30th Anniversary results and picture special will be in the Medway Messenger on Friday November 28.