SOMETIMES the awards judges find it difficult to have to decide between excellent candidates for the awards categories. Four years ago, when The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards were celebrating their 10th year, they found a partial way round that dilemma.

SOMETIMES the awards judges find it difficult to have to decide between excellent candidates for the awards categories. Four years ago, when The Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business Awards were celebrating their 10th year, they found a partial way round that dilemma.

They instituted The Judges' Award for 'the best of the rest' - a company that proved not quite strong enough to win its category, but was nonetheless an outstanding example of enterprise.

So far, the three winners have been financial start-up The Mortgage Broker in St Neots, which has gone on to win award after award, even in recession, Tackwood Services, also in St Neots, which heroically survived a catastrophic fire, and Buckden's George Hotel and Brasserie, a previous winner of the overall award, last year came a very creditable runner-up in more than one category.

Judges chairman John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, said: "The judges collectively felt that there were people who did not necessarily win but who came so close that they deserved recognition.

"We would not necessarily make the award every year unless there was someone who was worthy and deserving of the award," he added.

"Any judge can make a nomination, and each year we have had multiple nominations.

"Sometimes it has been absolutely marginal to decide between winners and runners-up - this award allows the judges to give that recognition to the one that doesn't win," Mr Bridge explained.

"We decided to do it because there were some really close decisions, such as a business that entered for three categories and did very well in all of them - though not quite enough to win - but collectively did something very creditable.

"We are really pleased to be able to do that."