Judges do the rounds in hunt for best companies

MORE than 20 companies are in the running to be the 10th Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business of the Year 2007. The judges last week short-listed entries for 11 categories, and will spend the next few weeks visiting all the chosen firms and individuals. Th

MORE than 20 companies are in the running to be the 10th Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business of the Year 2007.

The judges last week short-listed entries for 11 categories, and will spend the next few weeks visiting all the chosen firms and individuals. The winners will be declared at a gala evening at the Burgess Hall, St Ives, on Friday November 2, when BBC Look East presenter Stewart White will present the awards.

The competition, which is supported by Huntingdonshire District Council, is judged by some of the brightest and best business minds in the district, chaired by John Bridge, chief executive of Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.

In the Small Business category, sponsored by the Huntingdonshire branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, the judges will be taking a closer look at IT services company Bright Vision Ltd, of St Neots, contract electronics manufacturer Circuit Solutions Limited, of Hemingford Abbots, its next-door neighbour, last year's category winner TP Golf Management Limited, and Eaton Ford-based The Mortgage Broker Limited, the largest broker of its kind in East Anglia.

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St Neots chartered surveyors D H Barford and Company sponsor the Retailer of the Year category, which will be a straight fight between St Ives department store W. Eaden Lilley and Company Limited and golf equipment retailer and coaching provider TP Golf Management Ltd.

Business Person of the Year has three short-listed entrepreneurs in a category behind which solicitors Leeds Day stand. They are Ian Pask, regional manager for the Marriott Hotel, Huntingdon, Maxine Lester, who runs Maxine Lester Residential Lettings in St Ives and won last year's New Business category, and Peter Durham, director of TP Golf Management Ltd, which won the overall Hunts Post Award in 2005.

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Employer of the Year, sponsored by social landlord The Luminus Group, is also a three-cornered contest. Teligence, an established provider of professional network services to the communication and Internet sectors, has a core team of over 200 skilled professionals. Huntingdon Racecourse with 11 staff and last year's overall winner, property services company movewithus, which has just moved its 200 (soon-to-be-300) employees into new offices in St Ives, make up the field.

Greater Cambridge Partnership sponsors the Innovation Award, which will be contested by access control manufacturer, Tensor plc, which operates from an old country house at Hail Weston, process engineers Pursuit Dynamics of Huntingdon, and Godmanchester's WaspBane, manufacturers of superior pest traps.

Employee of the Year, sponsored by printers Piggott Black Bear, will be contested by Brendan Meteer of the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel, Julie White from the Buckden Village Hall Trust and Patrick Gay of Huntingdon energy absorption experts Cellbond Composites Limited, who managing director, Mike Ashmead was last year's Business Person of the Year.

In the New Business category, sponsored by business park developers, Artisan Developments (UK) Limited, Cambridgeshire Sports Physio and Back Care of Abbots Ripton, Langdale Academy of Dance in Eaton Socon and computer software design company RMIS Limited of Hartford are short-listed.

Two former awards winners, Maxine Lester Residential Lettings and another St Ives company, tape and label manufacturer Le Mark Group, are contenders for the Business Development Award. They will be head-to-head with Teligence of Papworth in the HSBC Bank-sponsored category.

Huntingdon Racecourse and the Huntingdon Marriott Hotel go head-to-head for the Training and Development Award, sponsored by Huntingdonshire Regional College.

The Marriott, last year's Employer of the Year, is also a contender for the Internet Award, sponsored by The Hunts Post's parent company, Archant Herts and Cambs. Also short-listed are the Le Mark Group and David's Wild Birds Feed, a family-run company based at the Forge in Brampton.

Last year's overall winner, movewithus, is competing for the Sustainable Development Award with Anglian Water Services Limited and St Neots-based honeycomb product and fire protection specialist Dufaylite Development Ltd. The award is sponsored by St Neots packaging manufacturer.

The overall winner of the Hunts Post Huntingdonshire Business of the Year Award, sponsored by chartered accountants Whitmarsh Sterland for the 10th successive year, will be chosen by the judges from the winners of the other company categories.

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