A record-breaking 323 members of the region’s business community celebrated the success of businesses from all over the region at a glittering awards ceremony at Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries, on April 29.

There were more than 90 nominations for the 10 awards and the winners, selected from 38 finalists, were announced at the evening, which was hosted by DGChamber Business Development Manager and local broadcaster Lee Medd.

Brian Rennie President of the Chamber of Commerce, which organised the Dumfries & Galloway Business Awards said “We were delighted with both the quality and quantity of businesses which came forward for this, our third Business Awards. The judges had a tough time deciding each category so just to be shortlisted was a true achievement.”

Dumfries & Galloway College was the principal sponsor of the awards and College Principal Carol Turnbull, who spoke at the awards, said: “The creativity, talent, business skills, courage and commitment of these entrepreneurs is crucial to the economic success of the region and it is fitting that we take some time out to celebrate their achievements.

“I was surprised and pleased to see such a broad diversity and range of businesses represented and thought the standard and calibre of nominees was very impressive.

“Entrepreneurs such as these, together with a continued investment in the vocational skills education and training of our current and future workforce are vital for our future prosperity and growth.”

Raymond Boyd

Dumfries-based Raymond Boyd, Managing Director of the Boyd Group, won the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year. Raymond started the business on his own in 1995 and aims to double his workforce this year, as well as open a new 6,000 square foot head office.

Hamish Half-Goat Odinson was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Hamish, set up his business, Half Goat Leatherwork after teaching himself the traditional craft, and honing his skills, while bedbound from ongoing back surgery. He turned his passion for leatherwork into a successful business which has clients all over the world. The judges said they have never met someone who lives and embodies the business in the way Hamish does.

Ashleigh Construction won the award for Outstanding Performing Business with over 25 employees. It has offices in Dumfries and Prestwick, and employs over 120 members of staff and operatives. This number is bolstered by a further 150-plus through its Approved Supply Chain operations. It has successfully delivered a wide and diverse range of projects across the construction market, featuring many construction techniques and specialist features.

Sparklers Private Nursery was honoured for its Excellence in Customer Service, impressing the judges with the way it is always seeking to do better, developing individual training for staff and using constant feedback to improve the service delivered.

The Family Business Award went to Dumfries-based Jardine Funeral Directors, who have served the community in their time of need, for some six generations since 1862. It was a double celebration for the Jardine family as Roucan Loch Crematorium, managed by Ruth Jardine, won the award for Outstanding Business with Under 25 Employees.

The Rural Business Award went to Sue MacNiven. Sue is the only female fly fishing instructor in the UK to hold advanced certificates for both salmon and trout fly fishing tuition. She brings people to Scotland for residential and daily workshops from as far away as Australia. Coupled with her bed and breakfast business the judges felt this was a truly unique business offering.

The Third Sector was represented in the Outstanding Social Enterprise category, which recognises that these are businesses which must be sustainable while at the same time having a clear social purpose. This was a very competitive category but the judges agreed that Dalbeattie Community Initiative, with its 14 ongoing projects and events all centred on the social and economic development of the community, was a worthy winner.

Gary Mitchell from West Galdenoch Farm has built a classroom to provide training and to allow primary schools visits to his farm. His passion to give local young people the opportunity to experience working on a dairy farm earned him the title of Champion in Developing the Young Workforce.

The Most Promising Business ( Main Photo) category was open to businesses set up within the last three years. With a third of all the applications for the D&G Business Awards 2016 in this category, the judges had some of their greatest challenges to determine the winner.

They gave the award to a business that is unique, has a specialist marketplace and is doing business on a worldwide scale. United Bricks, run by 16-year-old Callum Winspear, designs and print on LEGO components, and specialises in military history. Around 70% of its sales are in continental Europe, Asia, and North America. This small business is helping to put Dumfries & Galloway on the map.



The full list of winners is:-


Outstanding Performing Business (more than 25 employees)

Sponsored by Gates Power Transmission



Ashleigh Construction



Outstanding Performing Business (less than 25 employees)

Sponsored by Gates Power Transmission



Roucan Loch Crematorium


Champion in Developing the Young Workforce

Sponsored by DG Employment Total Access Point



Gary Mitchell, West Galdenoch Farm


Excellence in Customer Service

Sponsored by Dumfries & Galloway College



Sparklers Private Nursery



Family Business Award

Sponsored by Armstrong Watson



Jardine Funeral Directors



Rural Enterprise Award

Sponsored by Scottish Power Energy Networks



Damsel Fly Fishing



Most Promising New Business

Sponsored by Business Gateway



United Bricks



Outstanding Social Enterprise

Sponsored by Third Sector Dumfries & Galloway



Dalbeattie Community Initiative



Young Entrepreneur Award

Sponsored by UWS



Hamish “Half-Goat” Odinson



Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Easterbrook Hall



Raymond Boyd


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