The Inspire Business Awards Gala Dinner took place on Thursday evening when winners in 13 categories were announced.

The Inspire Business Awards attracted entries from all types and sizes of business from across north Hampshire, and this year’s formal ceremony was extra special after having to go virtual in 2020.

Everyone was delighted to be able to gather again to celebrate achievements.

The evening included a reception, a 3 course dinner and entertainment, as well as the awards themselves, and guests could relax knowing that everyone had shown evidence of a negative lateral flow test before sitting down.

The culmination of the evening was the announcement of the Winner of Winners which was awarded to RazorSecure, a young tech company based in Basingstoke working on cyber security for the rail network, having won the Excellence in Digital Technology Award earlier in the evening.

"RazorSecure are a company that provides vital security to much of the country’s rail network, their solution uses artificial intelligence," said Bill Browne from LocaliQ, the marketing firm behind the Basingstoke Gazette and Andover Advertiser, sponsors of the Digital Excellence Award.

"They have grown significantly in recent years and the prospect of them scaling even further is mouth-watering as they have few competitors."

“The judges all agreed that RazorSecure would be exceptional ambassadors for Inspire and an example of how Hampshire can be held up as a seedbed and pioneer of innovation in sectors and technologies, and deserving recipients of this overall winner award”, agreed John Biffen, Partner at Menzies and sponsor of the Winner of Winners Award.

The full winners on the night were:

  • Large Business of the Year - Reassured
  • Medium Business of the Year - Wildflower Turf
  • Small Business of the Year - Safe Hands Bookkeeping
  • New Business of the Year - Swagpack
  • Business and the Community - The Designlab
  • Employer of the Year - Basingstoke Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Innovation for Growth Award - Centerprise International
  • Service Excellence award - Dignity Pet Crematorium
  • Young Business Person of the Year - Laura Fisher
  • Environmental Responsibility Award - Disastercare
  • Wellbeing at Work Award - GDS Instruments
  • Excellence Digital Technology Award - RazorSecure
  • Winner of Winners - RazorSecure

The evening was compered by Felicity Edwards from Destination Basingstoke, and Mark Jones, Head of Charity for the Hampshire Hospitals Charity, to which guests were invited to donate during the evening.

“I am delighted that all the guests at the Inspire Awards had the chance to hear about the Hampshire Hospitals Charity, and we are so grateful for their generous donations," said Alex Whitfield Chief Executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

"This money will be used by the Charity to give support to our staff and their mental and physical wellbeing at a time when we all, perhaps, appreciate the importance of their roles in caring for us in our times of need."

“There have been lots of challenges and uncertainty to overcome in bringing the awards evening together, but with the help of our sponsors, partners and suppliers we are delighted to be able to host the first large business event of its kind in region since the start of the pandemic," said Kathryn Nield, Event Manager at Destination Basingstoke. "Our thanks to the sponsors, the hotel, staff and all our suppliers as well as the businesses themselves for their support in making the evening a success."