Some of the winners from the night
Some of the winners from the night

Top Edinburgh businesses awarded

An audience of hundreds of Edinburgh’s business leaders acclaimed 16 organisations for their outstanding achievements during the past year at a glittering ceremony last Thursday.

Finalists of the Business Awards were announced last month and 69 businesses were in the running to be crowned the winners across the 16 categories. Winners were announced on the night, with Edinburgh Airport picking up two awards – Best Perfrmoing Business (51+) and International Trade. The Airport was joined by Projeckt42 which was awarded Best New Start Up, Games without Frontiers who collected the Innovation in Business award and The Kitchin with Citadel Youth Centre, which was judged Inspiring Partnership of the Year.

Guests heard from speakers including Sophie Dekkers, UK Country Director at easyJet, Colin Temple, Managing Director at schuh and Graeme Smith, Managing Director at Amazon Development Centre Scotland, who joined the event host, television presenter David Tanner, on stage.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce chief executive Liz McAreavey said: “Our Business Awards have grown significantly over the past seven years to become a key date in the Edinburgh business ­calendar.

“This year was our biggest and best yet, showcasing the vibrant, enterprising and quite frankly fabulous business ­community we have in Edinburgh.

“What is particularly heartening this year is the number of submissions for our new award Inspiring Partnership, which recognises businesses engaged in sustainable and valuable partnerships with the third ­sector.

“This was by far the most entered category, highlighting the appetite from the business community to address the inequalities in our city.

“I would like to extend huge congratulations to all winners and finalists, all of whom are truly inspirational and well deserving of the recognition. Sincere thanks also to all our sponsors whose support has enabled this event to go from strength to strength.”

Among those attending were Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey, its chief executive Andrew Kerr, Paul Wheelhouse MSP and Liz Cameron, the chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Winners List – Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Awards 2018

Best Performing Business (1-10 employees) sponsored by DJ Alexander: AM Bid Services

AM Bid Services is one of the most highly regarded bid consultancies in the UK. This reputation has been achieved through delivering winning bids for customers and a commitment to train, advise and coach business leaders to bid more effectively, to grow their own businesses.

Best Performing Business (11-50 employees) sponsored by DJ Alexander: Grassmarket Community Project

The Grassmarket Community Project offers a mixture of education programs, drop-in services, social enterprise and social integration activities. Though founded on work with those traditionally labelled ‘homeless,’ this project has been extended to adults who have been marginalised by lack of opportunity, skills and aspiration.

Best Performing Business (51+ employees) sponsored by DJ Alexander: Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is the fastest growing airport in the UK for international passengers. Their strategy is to grow through choice – they believe if they can offer passengers choice at every part of their journey, they choose how they want to travel and are ultimately happier.

Developing the Young Workforce sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce: CompanyNet

The IT industry is facing a significant skills shortage. Technology is an exciting, innovative, and thriving sector with a rock-solid future, yet talented workers are difficult to find.

Creative Marketing sponsored by Cameron Presentations: Lothian Buses

Lothian is Edinburgh’s principal bus operator and the UK’s biggest municipal company. The company has a vision to deliver a safe, efficient, sustainable and socially-inclusive transport service for all those who visit, live, work, or study in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

International Trade sponsored by Regus: Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is the fastest growing airport in the UK for international passengers. Their strategy is to grow through choice – they believe if they can offer passengers choice at every part of their journey, they choose how they want to travel and are ultimately happier.

Innovation in Business sponsored by Forth Ports: Games without Frontiers

Games without Frontiers’ highly adaptable learning platform has the promise to change the way we learn, educate and teach. Its greater purpose is to introduce this method into UK education thereby providing a solution more compatible with future working environments.

Young Leader of the Year sponsored by Turcan Connell: Chris Kirk, Chisholm Hunter

Chris Kirk (26), manager designate at Chisholm Hunter, Princes Street. Chris joined the company in Glasgow five years ago as a sales assistant and has rapidly progressed to be manager designate in Chisholm Hunter’s new flagship store on Princes Street, Edinburgh.

Highly Recommended: Sarah Singh, Edinburgh Trams

As service delivery manager, Sarah is responsible for delivering a safe, efficient and reliable tram operation. She has the largest team with more than 80 colleagues which include drivers, controllers and duty managers.

High Growth sponsored by Edinburgh Airport: BSC Edinburgh

BSC Edinburgh (formerly known as Edinburgh Language Centre) was established in 2002 and offers a range of high quality programmes for adults and teenagers who wish to learn English in Scotland.

Excellence in Health and Safety: Edinburgh Trams

Edinburgh Trams is the award winning operator of the city’s tramway with a vision to be an integral part of the future success of Edinburgh and the Lothians by providing world-class, environmentally-friendly and socially-inclusive transport.

Best New Start Up sponsored by Business Gateway: Projeckt42

A new organisation that brings a variety of activities to the community in Leith. Projket42’s aim is to work with our community to help build resilience and encourage positive change in people. They aim through delivering a variety of mental health, fitness and yoga classes to help children and adults see and understand the connection between mind and body, and appreciate the need to take care of both.

Director of the Year sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland: Celine Sinclair, The Yard

As a parent of a child with autism and user of The Yard, Celine joined their board before being appointed chief executive in 2006. Since then, she has spearheaded an enormous transformation to create the sustainable model of whole family support that is The Yard now. Celine has greatly increased the long-term sustainability of The Yard by implementing an ambitious, well planned and resourced growth strategy.

Diversity in Business sponsored by Edinburgh Trams: Dishoom

Dishoom pays loving homage to the Irani cafés that were once part of the fabric of life in Bombay. Opened early last century by Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, there were almost four hundred of these cafés at their peak in the 1960s. Now fewer than 30 remain.

Responsible Business sponsored by City of Edinburgh Council: Anderson Strathern

Anderson Strathern provides a complete range of specialist legal services, driven by the needs of clients and delivered by highly skilled professionals. Their varied client base includes private individuals, commercial businesses, social enterprises, charities and the public sector.

Inspiring Partnership sponsored by Essential Edinburgh: The Kitchin with Citadel Youth Centre

The Kitchin has partnered with the Citadel Youth Centre to develop young people – training them in the kitchen and on how to serve and deliver a top quality experience for guests. The partnership led to two ‘Supper at Citadel’ events being hosted by the young people.

Highly Commended: Hibernian FC – GameChanger Initiative Hibernian FC through its involvement with the GameChanger Initiative.

Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce: Mally Graveson of Heehaw