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3i sponsored National Business Award winner announced

Over 1200 business leaders and guests including keynote speaker Alistair Darling, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, attended the Orange-sponsored National Business Awards, to celebrate the success of the UK’s most innovative, ethical and resilient businesses in 2009.

“I am so pleased to be invited to this year’s National Business Awards. It is the pinnacle of business awards ceremonies and this is where Britain’s best, from across the public and private sectors, get the recognition and reward they deserve”, said Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking at The Awards tonight.

17 organisations and individuals were rewarded for their contributions to business success in Britain including Co-op boss Peter Marks who won the Orange Leader of the Year award. The public was invited to vote for their favourite leader to win the accolade and their votes were combined with those of an expert panel of 25 judges to make the final tough decision.

Liverpool’s T.J. Morris under the branch Home Bargains, won the 3i Private Business of the Year category, with the award accepted by Joe Morris; London-based Inmarsat triumphed with the Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year Award; and ASOS, the online fashion and beauty retailer, was presented with the Grant Thornton Mid-Cap Business of the Year Award.

“This year we were overwhelmed by some very impressive business finalists. TJ Morris passionately articulated its ambition and differentiation that has enabled it to be so successful in what is a very competitive market“ added David Whileman, 3i Partner and Head of UK Growth Capital

Public service organisations also fared well with The Environment Agency, based in Bristol, securing the Better Regulation Award. Forensic Pathways & Cambridgeshire Constabulary won the Orange Best Use of Technology in Business Award for its innovative private public partnership that set out to improve the management of police evidence and intelligence across Cambridgeshire. As the first adopter of FPL’s state-of-the-art technology now being rolled out across the globe, the Cambridge Force has seen significant upturns in efficiency and corresponding downturns in operating costs.

A category peppered with first class enterprises, the much sought after Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year accolade, went to Suffolk’s Go Ape! High Wire Forest Adventure. “It’s past, one not without challenges, has brought to a healthy present and the Chief Gorilla (also known as Tristram Mayhew when he’s off duty) has laid out a careful and measured path to a diversified future and long term prosperity. The judges felt Go Ape! have all the makings of a model small-to-medium sized business”, said Robert Janes, Vice Chairman of Judges.

Commenting on the caliber and strength of the public and private sector organisations taking part in The National Business Awards this year, Philip Forrest, Chairman of Judges, said: 

“All finalists have demonstrated great strength in the ability to adapt and innovate quickly in response to challenging circumstances this year. We’re seeing a diverse range of businesses enjoying success, which should rightly stimulate confidence for any organisation to invest in both financial and human capital terms in UK plc. On behalf of the judges I would like to offer our congratulations to all finalists and winners on their achievement to date and wish them continuing success in the year ahead.”

Open to organisations of all sizes from all sectors across the UK, The National Business Awards, sponsored Orange, is the UK’s most prestigious independent business recognition platform with its particular emphasis on success, innovation and ethical business. The National Business Awards connects the nations’ professionals through its annual awards ceremonies and round-table events and is United Business Media’s leading awards programme.

Visit for the full list of finalists and winners. 


• The Orange Leader of the Year Award
Winner: Peter Marks, CEO, Co-Operative Group, Manchester, M60 4ES

• The 3i Private Business of the Year Award
Winner: TJ Morris – Home Bargains, Liverpool, L11 0JA

• The Coutts & Co Large-Cap Business of the Year Award
Winner: Inmarsat, London, EC1Y 1AX

• The Grant Thornton Mid-Cap Business of the Year Award
Winner: ASOS, London, NW1 7FB

• The Daily Telegraph Award for Decade of Excellence in Business
Winner: Sir Philip Hampton, Chairman, The Royal Bank of Scotland

• The Orange Best Use of Technology in Business Award
Winner: Forensic Pathways and Cambridge Constabulary, Tamworth, B77 5ES

• The Better Regulation Award
Winner: The Environment Agency, Bristol, BS10 6BF 

• The Health, Work and Well-being Award
Winner: Artizian, Wargrave, Berkshire, RG10 8PZ

• The Health, Work and Well-being for Small Business Award
Winner: The Crown Spa Hotel, Scarborough, YO11 2AG

• The ICAEW Corporate Responsibility Award
Winner: Framptons, Shepton Mallet, BA4 4BW

• The Santander Small to Medium Sized Business of the Year Award
Winner: Go Ape!, Bury St Edmunds, IP29 5HH

• The Growth Strategy of the Year Award
Winner: dotDigital, Croydon, CR0 0XT

• The IMechE Business Innovation of the Year Award
Winner: Addison Lee, London, NW1 3ER

• The Customer Focus Award
Winner: DPD, Smethwick, B66 1BY

• The Entrepreneur of the Year Award
Winner: Sara Murray – buddi, London, SW3 2ND

• The Marketing Strategy of the Year Award
Winner:  HMRC, London, SW1A 2HQ

• The Employer of the Year Award 
Winner: Cirrus Communication Systems, New Milton, BH25 5NN


For further information please contact:

Rachel Richards
tel.  +44 207 975 3573


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