BASINGSTOKE businesses have cleaned up at an awards ceremony dedicated to celebrating local companies.

Businesses in the borough won big in the Muddy Stilettos Awards in Hampshire, which celebrates the best things to do in the county.

Winners were given their awards at a ceremony at Hattingley Vineyard last week, where they received certificates and got to meet their fellow winners and finalists to network and share best practice.

Of the 24 awards up for grabs, winners from the Basingstoke and Deane area included the best beauty salon award going to The Beauty Rooms, in Cranbourne Lane while best children’s business was given to Laverstoke-based children’s cookery class, Cookery Doodle Doo.

Elsewhere, best destination pub was given to the Watership Down Inn, based in Freefolk, and the best florist was given to Rabbit and the Rose, which is based in the Viables Craft Centre.

Overton Gallery was given the best gift shop award, with Hampshire School of Jewellery, based in Basingstoke, earned the best jewellery store award.

Best photographer was given to Sarah Dutton from Sarah Dutton Photography, based in Whitchurch while Proteus Theatre was given the best theatre/arts venue award, and Caviste, which is based in Overton, was given the best wine merchant award.

Laura Llewellyn, from the Hampshire School of Jewellery, said: “I was nominated by my students, which was great. It was really amazing and exciting to win the award, people have been so supportive.

“It has been nice to see that I’ve won through being voted for through my students, and it has been nice to see that. Two years ago, I started this from my passion which has slowly bloomed.”

Cara Steeden, PA and sales assistant at the Overton Gallery said: “We were over the moon to hear that we won, it’s really helping to make independent businesses more well known.

“It was great to see the other winners at the award ceremony as well, we were really happy to win.”