Award Categories


Fashion Store of the Year

Purpose: To recognise any retailer, large or small, independent or national, that is making a big noise in the fashion retail world!  Branches of national companies should enter as a store. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of what sets a retailer apart from its competition, either in terms of its achievements, its best practice, or its success. Examples of evidence to support the application can include sales performance, internal awards, team development, achievement of key performance indicators and customer feedback. Entries can be accepted from any retailer whose stock relates to fashion. For example, clothing, footwear, accessories and jewellery.

Retailer of the Year (non-fashion)

Purpose: To recognise any retailer, large or small, independent or national, that is making a big noise in the retail world! Branches of national companies should enter as a store. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of what sets a retailer apart from its competition, either in terms of its achievements, its best practice, or its success. Examples of evidence to support the application can include sales performance, internal awards, team development, achievement of key performance indicators and customer feedback. Entries can be accepted from any retailer other than a fashion retailer as described in Fashion Retailer. As an example, homeware, furniture, garden, food or motor trade.

New Business/Retailer of the Year

Purpose: To recognise those businesses which have gone from 0 to 100mph within two years. Criteria: The successes should speak for themselves and the judges will be looking for evidence of rapid expansion, niche-filling, excellent turnover or job creation – or all the above. Those trading for more than two years can not enter this category.

Bar /Restaurant of the Year

Purpose: To recognise the business that puts their bar or restaurant in the forefront of their industry for its outstanding service, cuisine and congenial surroundings. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of excellence in service and presentation, backed by testimonials (judges will accept evidence from review sites such as TripAdvisor), evidence of how the business caters for people with different/special dietary requirements, and any unique or outstanding elements of the business.

Hair/Beauty Business of the Year

Purpose: To recognise any business delivering excellence in the hairdressing and beauty sector. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of excellence in service and presentation, backed by testimonials from customers and the industry in general, evidence of pioneering new trends and practices, catering for customer needs across a broad spectrum and excellence in niche areas.

Leisure Venue of the Year

Purpose: To recognise any business that puts the area on the map as a wonderful place to live and visit. Criteria: The judges will be looking for evidence of the contribution of the venue in attracting visitors to the area, as well as catering for local people, and its excellence within the leisure industry. Examples of evidence to support the application can include footfall information, geographic catchment of customer base, visitor number growth, awards won and customer feedback.  

Customer Service Award

Purpose: To reward a company, or member of staff or team within an organisation, that goes above and beyond the call of duty for their customers. Criteria: The judges will be looking for clear evidence of customer service excellence. This may include customer reviews, achievement of key performance indicators, awards or recognition by other organisations, or testimonials from colleagues.

Shop Front of the Year

Purpose: To reward a business that takes pride in the aesthetic value of their premises, the look, the style of the façade and how it helps attract customers. Criteria: The judges are looking for innovation, design, creativity and robust branding, as well as appropriate illumination and striking visual impact of an effective shop front, which also enjoys synergy with the surroundings and environs.

Manager of the Year

Purpose: To recognise an imaginative and creative manager whose individual contribution to the success of a business is by valuing and investing in their employees. Criteria: The judges will look for evidence of what the manager has done that is special or outstanding for the benefit and wellbeing of their team. Examples of evidence to support the application can include team development, coaching and mentoring, achievement of key performance indicators, sales performance, and how the individual makes the company a wonderful place to work. Nominations for Manager of the Year are welcome from any member of a team / company.

Community Contribution Award

Purpose: To recognise a dynamic contribution to the local community or a commitment to the environment by a company based in or having a significant presence in our circulation area. This category is not open to businesses or organisations who undertake community activities as a core business. Criteria: Entrants will be able to show a clear mission statement, either in a one-off venture or in an ongoing commitment, to helping and/or improving their local community or the environment. The initiative can be anything that would help improve the lives of people in the area and enhance the relationship between the company and the community in which it is based. The contribution can be monetary, or involve the provision of resources and expertise.