All the winners from Rising Stars business awards

A NEW Lifetime Achievement accolade was awarded to Bedfordshire champion Professor Les Ebdon at a glittering awards ceremony in Bedford on Thursday night.

Thursday, 10th November 2011, 11:05 pm

Professor Ebdon, vice chancellor and chief executive of the University of Bedfordshire, was rewarded for the “outstanding contribution he has made to the county and for assisting so many people in their education.”

The new accolade recognises an “exceptional personal contribution to the county” in the eyes of judges at the Rising Stars Bedfordshire and Luton Business Excellence Awards.

> The blue riband Company of the Year award, sponsored by Barclays, went to Bedford-based solicitors’ Woodfines, with Toybox Day Nurseries Ltd, of Biggleswade, Sandy and Stotfold being highly commended.

> The Bedford BID district improvement award, to recognise those who make an outstanding contribution to enhancing the reputation of the county town centre, went to people power organisation We Are Bedford with Victorial arcade shop Hanworth Interiors being highly commended.

> Luton businessman Mohammed Nadeem won the Entrepreneur of the Year accolade, sponsored by Nisa Local, with Jo Wallis, of Totternhoe-based Warnebus Minibus Solutions being highly commended.

> The Apprentice of the Year title, sponsored by Bedford College, went to Zakar Hussain, of Wates Construction/ Building Schools for the Future National Skills Academy, in Luton. Amber-Louise Hartley, of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management in Lower Woodside, near Luton, was highly commended.

> The Mansion House country house and parkland venue for weddings, corporate events and celebrations in Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, won the title of Small/Medium Sized Business of the Year, sponsored by Mayfair Financial and Mortgage Consultants Limited. Totternhoe-based Warnerbus Minibus Solutions, was highly commended.

> A Dunstable-based butcher’s shop, appropriately called The Butcher’s, won the category New Business of the Year, sponsored by award organisers Premier Newspapers. Emperor Blinds, of Bedford, was highly commended.

> Warnerbus Minibus Solutions, of Totternhoe, near Dunstable, shortlisted in four categories, was awarded the Customer Care Excellence title, sponsored by accountancy firm Keens Shay Keens. Houghton Trading Limited, which runs convenience stores in Houghton Regis and Toddington, was highly commended.

> The Green Business Award, sponsored by Pronto Plumber, went to Pure Planet Recycling Ltd, of Bedford. Motor racing supplier Showtrax International Ltd, of Sharnbrook, was highly commended.

> Lynda Gentle, general manager of Mayfair Insurance and Mortgage Consultants, in Bedford, won the Employee of the Year accolade, sponsored by Specsavers. Gary Bilborough, manager of the Nisa Local convenience store in Toddington was highly commended.

The awards were judged by retail industry expert Don Gillett, Central Bedfordshire College vice chairman Paula Grayson and Charles Little, director of chartered accountants and business advisors Keens Shay Keens Limited.