‘Outstanding performance and vision’ praised at business awards

Company of the Year - Andrew Tucknott of Tomsetts Distribution
Company of the Year - Andrew Tucknott of Tomsetts Distribution

The winners of the fifth Lewes District Business Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony at the Amex Stadium on Thursday last week (July 19).

More than 300 of the Lewes District business community were in attendance including 38 finalists, with 12 trophies presented by comedian Simon Evans.

Businessperson of the Year - Carmen Slijpen of Depot Cinema

Businessperson of the Year - Carmen Slijpen of Depot Cinema

The biggest award of the night was saved until last, with Tomsetts Distribution from Newhaven scooping the prestigious Company of the Year trophy.

Terry Nitman and Steve Hayman, Joint Managing Directors of Cheesmur Building Contractors and category sponsors, said: “We were impressed by the clear strategy for growth which has enabled Tomsetts to extend their area of operation to a global service in 2017.

“They have a strong commitment to the local area, with drivers, office staff and mechanics all based within a 15-mile radius of the business. From a number of impressive, high calibre entries this year, we were delighted to award the Company of the Year accolade to Tomsetts for their outstanding performance and vision.”

Depot Cinema in Lewes came away with two awards, having won both Tourist Destination of the Year and Businessperson of the Year for Creative Director Carmen Slijpen – making it the first year that a woman has picked up this coveted award.

Other winners included Richard Soan Roofing Services for Best Customer Service; Tiny Box Company was named Best Green Business; Barcombe based So Sussex took the Business in the Community award; Fundraising Auctions was named Best Employer; Sarah Williams from The Patchwork Cat won the LEAP Entrepreneur of the Year award; and Front Room in Seaford was named Small Business of the Year.

The judging panel, chaired by David Sheppard, Chairman of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce, was tasked with choosing the winners.

Well-respected businesspeople from sponsoring companies made up the panel, including representatives from Allied Irish Bank, Cheesmur Building Contractors, Basepoint, Veolia, Whitespace, Platinum Business Magazine, Wave Leisure Trust, RSE Group, Uniglobe Preferred Travel, LEAP and Viva Lewes.

Cllr Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: “I’m delighted to see the continuing success of this award scheme and honoured to be able to highlight the success of businesses from the district each year.

“Lewes District is home to some truly fantastic and diverse businesses and this year’s list of awards showcases the very best that the whole of the district has to offer.

“I would like to extend my thanks to all the supporters, sponsors and organisers that have helped put on another great show and wish all the finalists and winners the very best of luck for the future.”