SCORES of businesses flocked to the INSPIRE Awards last night, a programme that celebrates the best of business in north Hampshire.

The black-tie event, which included a three-course dinner and champagne reception, was held at The Hampshire Court Hotel, Chineham on Thursday, 24 November.

There were 12 awards presented on the night, each one recognising the work a North Hampshire business does and how it is thriving.

The awards were;

New Business of the Year, which was sponsored by the Typeface Group and won by Connective Chiropractic. The runners up were: Sixth Sense Marketing and UCPS Learning.

Family Business of the Year, which was sponsored by Brackenwood and won by L.Hunt and Sons. The runners up were: Ripton Windows, Cool Porjects, Fresh and Clean Services.

Entrepreneur of the year award, which was sponsored by Haines Watts Chartered Accountants and was won by Steve Whatley. The runners up were: Nicola Hartlands, Robert Collard and Joseph Munns.

Young Businessperson of the Year, which was sponsored by Minuteman Press and won by Tommy Gentleman. The runners up were: Farah Fonseca from Fonseca Fitness and Curtis Meek from Shenton Group.

Apprentice of the Year, which was sponsored by the University of Winchester and won by Ashley Mutumbarade from Be Wiser. The runners up were: Louis Pennington from VIVID and Edwards Bartlett from Grainger.

Service Excellence Award, which was sponsored by Vitacress and won by Petra Jewellery. The runners up were: Harmony Made to measure and The Hair & Beauty Studio.

Innovation Excellence Award, which sponsored by BaByliss and won by Vuepoint Solutions. The runners up were: nDreams and Loma Systems.

Employer of the Year Award, which was sponsored by HR Dept and won by SB Joinery. The runners up were: Reassured and Hireserve.

Small Business of the Year Award, which was sponsored by The Breeze and won by IWaste. The runners up were: ACC and The Packaging Experts.

Business and the Community Award, which was sponsored by The Gazette and won by Basingstoke Sports Trust. The runners up were: Champion Group and Acelerate Driver Training Solutions.

International Business of the Year Award, which was sponsored by Fluor and won by Driven International. The runners up were: Spafax and The Packaging Experts.

Business of the Year Award, which was sponsored by Herrington Carmichael Solicitors and won by SB Joinery. The runners up were: ayre Chamberlain Gaunt and DCSL.

The Inspire17 Charity Partner was Heartburn Cancer UK, which raises awareness of oesophageal cancer, the sxith greatest cancer killer in the UK.

Attendees enjoyed a speech from David Flatman, a retired England Rugby Union player who now has become well known on radio and TV.

They also enjoy the entertainment of a mind reader who successfully read the minds of three members of the audience.

The event was sponsored by; Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Menzies, Hart District Council, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Everyone Active, The Basingstoke Gazette, Herrington Carmichael Solicitors, HSBC, Chineham Park, Willmott Dixon, Absolutely Offices, FACETV and Destination Basingstoke.

John Biffen, partner at Menzies and chairman of the Inspire Steering Committee said: "A huge thank you to all those involved in making Inspire a reality, especially the steering committee, without whom the Inspire Business Awardss would not be possible - INSPIRE17 is a demonstration of a business partnership that works - continually evolving and developing - like any good business."