Film studio provides perfect backdrop as awards ceremony shines spotlight on Hertfordshire businesses
The awards celebrated the achievements of the county’s businesses and charitable organisations over the last year
The “magic and wizardry” of Hertfordshire businesses was celebrated at a glittering awards ceremony held for the first time at the iconic Harry Potter film studios.
The 10th Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards, held by Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce at the Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, applauded the achievements of the county’s businesses and charitable organisations over the last year.
Judges chose a winner and awarded a Highly Commended in each of the 21 categories, which included Family Business of the Year, Most Promising New Business, The Green Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Best Use of Technology.
Briege Leahy, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “After we made the difficult decision not to hold the 2020 awards, it was fantastic to see the return of an event that I know the business community always looks forward to.
"It was a delight to be able to celebrate the magic and wizardry of their achievements in such an iconic venue.
“Local businesses, large and small, are at the heart of the growth of our county and the awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognise business leaders’ hard work, innovation and contribution to Hertfordshire.”
The overall winner, crowned Inspiring Business of the Year 2021, was JPA Workspaces, a St Albans-based supplier of sustainable design, re-location and furnishing solutions.
The judges commented that as well as overcoming its own unique challenges, the company had “identified an opportunity to use the rise of sustainability in the commercial world to develop and transform itself from a straight supplier to an organisation that now provides consultancy as well as products.”
Fiona Edwards, Head of Sustainability at JPA Workspaces, said: “We are delighted to have won The Inspiring Business of the Year award. It’s great that we, along with other local businesses, are being recognised, especially after such a difficult 18 months, we’re so pleased that sustainability has been recognised.
"Events like this bring the business community together and give us an opportunity to celebrate each other’s successes.”
Another special award, Outstanding Contribution to Business, went to Chapman Ventilation, a family-run business in Welwyn Garden City that was founded in 1967 and is now owned and managed by the second generation who took over in 1998. Chapman Ventilation was commended for its charitable work along with its support for the Armed Forces.
Accolades were handed out to companies of varying sizes, while the challenges faced by the business community over the last year were recognised with the Hertfordshire Heroes awards.
These were given to a business, individual or charity which went above and beyond during the pandemic.
The ceremony, which took place on September 9, was held in support of the BraveHerts Children's Appeal, which cares for children with life-limiting or terminal illnesses.
A number of local dignitaries attended the event, including the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE CStJ, the Mayor of Watford, the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and prominent business leaders.
Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, recently named the fastest growing Chamber in the UK by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), has continued to support its members as businesses navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic.
The Chamber thanked those who sponsored the awards ceremony, including headline sponsors Hillier Hopkins, Chartered Accountants and Tax Advisers, and St Albans solicitors, SA Law.