In pictures: Car parts firm and Caprice the stars of Shropshire Business Awards

Former supermodel Caprice lent some star quality to an awards bash attended by hundreds of businesspeople in Shropshire.

In pictures: Car parts firm and Caprice the stars of Shropshire Business Awards

The supermodel-turned-entrepreneur was the guest speaker at last night's Shropshire Business Awards, which saw 640 people come together for a celebration of the cream of the county's crop at Telford's International Centre.

Richard Sheehan, chief executive of the event's organiser Shropshire Chamber of Commerce, said: "Once again the success of Shropshire business has been celebrated in spectacular style.

"The reactions from the winners made it very, very clear what it means for businesses to be recognised by these prestigious awards, and to do so in the presence of our celebrity guest speaker Caprice made it all the more exciting.

"She was very engaging with the audience, taking time to chat to many Shropshire businesspeople, and no doubt a number of selfies were taken that will be coveted for many a year."

Specialist castings manufacturer Grainger & Worrall, which makes parts for high-end motor cars including the top Formula One teams, from factories in Bridgnorth and Telford, was the runaway winner on the night.

Best New Business: TSB Returns, trading as Rebound (Telford)

Managing Change: Grainger & Worrall (Bridgnorth)

Technology, Enterprise & Innovation: Shyre (Shrewsbury)

Outstanding Customer Service: Eaton Manor Country Estate (Church Stretton)

Manufacturing Excellence: Salop Design & Engineering (Shrewsbury)

Best Small Business: Ethero (Wellington)

Business In The Community: The Telford Whitehouse Hotel (Wellington)

International Trade Through Export: Thermserve (Telford)

Apprentice of the Year: Maxwell Amenity (Allscott)

Travel Tourism and Hospitality: Henlle Hall Holidays (Henlle, Oswestry)

The firm scooped the blue riband Company of the Year award, the highest accolade on offer at the event which recognises a business's overall performance.

And the company, which employs more than 400 members of staff and has six foundries, also landed another award, in the Managing Change category. Things might have been even better for the manufacturer as overall it made the final four in an unprecedented four categories.

But in the Manufacturing Award it was pipped to the post by Shrewsbury-based Salop Design and Engineering, and it lost out to Allscott-based turf care company Maxwell Amenity in the Apprenticeships category.

Mr Sheehan added: "I'm sure there are many people today who are reflecting on very fond memories of a great night in Shropshire. Every shortlisted company was a winner in their own right, but there has to be a single winner on the night.

"It's not the first time that we have had a company that has taken more than one award, but to do so takes something very special. The decision for the judges was almost simplified by the quality of what they were presented with, and the manner in which they were greeted."

Telford-based reverse logistics company Rebound, which helps businesses which trade online to organise returns of products, won the Best New Business award, while Shyre, which has developed a new method of tinting lenses for colour-changing glasses, won the Technology, Enterprise & Innovation gong. Eaton Manor Country Estate, near Church Stretton, picked up the Outstanding Customer Service Award, Ethero in Wellington won Best Small Business, and Telford manufacturer Thermserve was recognised in the International Trade category.

Henlle Hall Holidays, near Oswestry, was recognised in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Award, and The Telford Whitehouse Hotel in Wellington won the Business In The Community category.

Ray Grocott, of Whitchurch haulage firm Grocontinental which is a two-time Company of the Year Award winner, was handed the new John Clayton Award by chamber president Keith Winter in recognition of his service to the local community – including putting £1 million of his own money into a new medical centre in Whitchurch Road, Prees.

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