Winners announced at the first ever Thetford Business Awards
PUBLISHED: 15:27 02 May 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 02 May 2019
The first ever Thetford Business Awards has been held in the town, with businesses of all sizes celebrated for their achievements.
The vision originated with Gez Chetal in an effort to create a buzz in the town and create an event where diverse businesses can come together and celebrate recognition given by the public.
Here is the list of winners across 10 categories.
Employee of the Year sponsored by Crown Chicken
Ms Smith has been working at the Thomas Paine Hotel for the past four years. She lives and works in the town and her boss, Mr Chetal, said she is the perfect employee.
He said: “It is extremely hard to people as excellent as Natasha. She is a local girl with a baby and I have never had any problems.
“She never complains and is always at work on time, rarely ill and puts in good work. Well done to Natasha.”
Employer of the Year sponsored by The Thomas Paine
Foster Electrical Services pride themselves on providing quality, high standard work from start to finish.
It works to the highest specifications in all electrical regulations, with customers confident they can expect friendly, reliable and trustworthy electricians at all times.
Helping Business in the Community sponsored by Centurion Safety Products
Stuart Wright is a self employed chartered accountant who has a number of clients in the Thetford area. Stuart worked for 10 years for KPMG where he qualified as a chartered accountant, spending five years as group financial controller of a regional building firm, he became self employed to work round his new primary role as a house husband in 2001.
Stuart has been involved in a number of voluntary organisations in Thetford and has been able use his financial expertise to offer assistance to many groups and projects over the years; writing bids, completing registration forms and offering advice and guidance on a voluntary basis.
Hospitality sponsored by Chilterns
Terry and Pam are the landlords of the Black horse pub in Thetford. Starting off as managers in June 2014 with the attention to buy the lease in a year gave them time to see what potential there was in the town.
They said: “We actually bought the lease in June 2017 which took a lot longer than we anticipated. The pub has a 30 cover restaurant which we have built up with a very good chef Andy who has been with us since we started in 2014, we have a certificate of excellence with trip advisor and a very good reputation for our homemade pub grub.
“We have great local staff in kitchen and bar which is key in any business, we focus strongly on being part of the community which is why we still have dart teams both ladies and men, crib teams and sponsor Thetford Rovers Football Team.”
Leisure sponsored by Stapleford
Light Cinema Thetford has been open since November 2016 and has been instrumental in being a big part of Thetford's community.
From hosting film premieres, showing educational films to schools, helping to run and organise events on the green just outside to hosting Easter Egg Hunts. It has three screens all of them with digital projection also featuring spacious seats.
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Owner George O'Connor was born in Thetford, working in retail from the age of 15. His work has taken him from London to Dubai.
Innovation sponsored by Warren
Centurion was formed in 1879 in Thetford and will be celebrating its 140th anniversary later this year.
It designs and manufactures integrated head protection systems for people at work. CEO Jeff Ward said the company is there to safeguard the human ingenuity that shapes our world.
He added: “I have been CEO for three years having worked and lived in the US and Germany.
“We are trying to modernise the business and grow through new product innovation and geographic expansion.”
Retail sponsored by Andrew Francis
Precious Bear is a baby clothes store focusing on creating comfortable and cute clothes in store. Founded in Thetford on October 2017 the aim is to have clothes that are stress free when dressing baby and comfortable maternity wear as well.
The store looks to the future with the intent of creating its own brand and to succeed with the best design.
Small Business of the Year sponsored by Lovewell Blake
Situated in a Grade II-listed and one of the town centre's most iconic and beautiful landmarks, the Guildhall offers a unique experience and ideally suits hosting craft fairs, meetings and small scale performances suitable for between 40-120 people.
Nestled in the corner of the central Market Place it is surrounded by local businesses in the heart of Thetford.
Tourism sponsored by Pearsons
Dads Army Museum
The Dads Army Museum opened in 2007 following the success of the walking tours of the Dads Army Thetford locations which began in 2004.
Initially open once a month the museum now opens every Saturday from March To November and Tuesdays in school holidays attracting 10,000 visitors a year.
The museum raised funding for the Captain Mainwaring statue in the town which is a popular tourist attraction and in 2012 purchased the original Jones van from the series with the help of local benefactors and friends of the museum.
In addition to keeping the museum open the volunteers regularly attend events across East Anglia and even featured in the London Lord Mayor's parade in 2017.
Chilterns are an independent sales and letting agents, established in 1999.
As proud members of the Guild of Property Professionals it pride itself in offering unrivalled property services to clients in Thetford, Brandon and Mildenhall.
The Thetford office has featured in the Rightmove / Property Academy's “Best Estate Agent Guide 'Top 100' “ for the last two years, placing 5th out of 26,000 estate agents nationally and having been awarded 'double exceptional' standards within the industry for sales and lettings and property management.
The team in Thetford is led by Andrew Overman, an estate agent of 26 years, who was awarded The Times / Sunday Times Best UK Estate Agency Manager in 2014.