VOTES are now being taken as three community-minded businesses go head-to-head-to-head for a new award.

The nominees have been announced in the Business and the Community category of this year's Place to be Proud of Awards which celebrate the very best of Basingstoke, with a public vote now open to find the winner.

The nominees for this new award are Maxine Hart, of Wote Street People, based in Basing View, Lamb Brooks Solicitors, of Winchester Street, and The Champion Group, based in Roentgen Road.

The award, sponsored by Basingstoke Together, the Business Improvement District for Basingstoke, recognises commercial organisations that understand the importance of giving something back to the community they have invested in.

Lucy Boazman, chief executive of Basingstoke Together, said: “Basingstoke Together BID are very proud to be sponsoring the Business in the Community category for this year’s Place to be Proud of Awards.

"There are a huge number of businesses in Basingstoke who regularly go above and beyond to support a number of fantastic causes in the local area.

"All entrants demonstrated a real passion for supporting the community and it was inspiring to read about the great work taking place within Basingstoke.

"After much deliberation, three brilliant finalists have been selected and we would encourage the public to get behind each business and vote."

Voting closes on 5 May.

To vote, go to

The winner will be announced at the awards evening being held on June 6 at the Haymarket, along with the winners of all the other categories.

Nominations for all of the categories at the Gazette-backed Place to be Proud of Awards are now closed.

There have been a record number of entries to the event which is now in its 15th year.

The categories this year are:

• Arts & Entertainment Award – Basingstoke Leisure Park

• Young Achiever Award – Queen Mary’s College and The Breeze

• Volunteer of the Year Award – The Gazette Newspapers

• Unsung Hero Award – Festival Place

• Health & Care Award – BMI The Hampshire Clinic

• Community Project Award – Face TV and Destination Basingstoke

• Business and the Community Award – Basingstoke Together

• Inspiring Teacher Award – Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council