IT was a night to remember as business owners, managers and employees came together for this year’s Winchester Business Excellence Awards.

The glitzy blacktie ceremony at the Guildhall celebrates the achievements of local businesses, big and small.

During the ceremony guest speaker Lord Mark Price, the former minister for state and trade spoke about the opportunity that Brexit could bring to UK businesses and the importance of embracing the digital age.

"Everyone is working on AI tech. there will be a huge shift the way businesses work and the way society works." He said

"We were the best in Europe, now we have to be the best globally".

"I'm confident if we take this momentum forward and tackle the challenges ahead I know we can be global leaders.

The event, now in its 16th year, saw Natural Travel Collection take home Simplyhealth the Business of the Year Award.

Natural Travel Collection is a leading independent travel company providing specialist holidays including trekking, wild life and bird watching breaks based in Bishop Sutton.

The company also won the Hampshire Chronicle/ Hampshire Chamber of Commerce Small- Medium Business of the year award and were nominated by their customers for The Breeze FM service excellence award award.

The Chronicle caught up with Director's Chris Breen and Teresa Bennett following their big win.

Chris said: "We are utterly delighted and tickled pink by the win. It's a fantastic award for our team. I run the business but we have an amazing team and if it was not for them we would not have won. We have worked with lots of people over the years and many have become our friends. this award is a testament to all their talent and hard work.

"It's also thanks to the hard work of our other director Nick Joynes who could not be here tonight."

This year two new awards were introduced for the Independent business of the year award backed by the bid and digital innovation award sponsored by Winchester City Council.

Full list of winners below

The University of Winchester Charity or Social Enterprise Award

Winchester Street Reach

The Winchester City Council Digital Innovation Award


The Winchester BID Independent Business of the year

Cabinet Rooms

The Breeze Service Excellence Award

Jeremy France Jewellers

Paris Smith New Business of the Year Award

Cluecapers Ltd

Hampshire Chamber/Hampshire Chronicle

Small – Medium Enterprise Award

Natural Travel Collection

Simplyhealth Business of the Year Award

Natural Travel Collection