A DESIGN team from Basingstoke has scooped Inspire21’s Business and the Community Award for its role in bringing the town back to its market roots despite the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Designlab, based at Clifton House on Bunnian Place, is a team of designers and developers whose work encompasses graphics and identity, products and exhibitions, websites, and digital experiences.

Last year, alongside Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, it launched the Borough Basket online marketplace, providing local shoppers with an easy way to keep supporting the area’s unique independent businesses during challenging times.

More than 50 businesses jumped on board, and the success of The Borough Basket project has since been extended and has adapted to the changing retail landscape, with a lively monthly market located in the Market Square in Basingstoke.

Reacting to receiving the reward, founder Kevin Davis said: “We weren’t expecting it, it’s completely surprising. We started it because we felt there was a need for it in the community, and no other motive, and it’s turned out to be something that really benefits people that we never expected it to.

“As Basingstoke is a market town, it’s brought that kind of spirit back to the town.”

Kevin added that the accolade has a lot of sentimental meaning for him, saying: “I was brought up in Basingstoke and visited the market place as a child, and so this revitalisation is really close to our heart. It’s special, being able to make a living in the town you’ve grown up in and give back to the community. I am proud to have had my youth here and to continue working here.”