In pictures: Celebrating the best of local business

The winners of the 2018 Lisburn & Castlereagh City Business Awards in association with Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Plastec were announced at a glittering gala awards ceremony at the La Mon Hotel & Country Club on Friday, March 23.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 5:43 pm
Updated Monday, 26th March 2018, 5:45 pm
The winner of the Best Licensed Eating Establishment sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas was The Speckled Hen Pub & Dining Room. Pictured are Jonathan Martindale from Phoenix Natural Gas and Donal Hamill, Kevin Goan and Jack Andrews from The Speckled Hen Pub & Dining Room.

Awards were presented across 16 diverse categories, demonstrating business excellence in areas such as customer service, marketing, innovation and export.

Alderman Allan Ewart MBE, Chair of the council’s Development Committee, said: “I am proud to have the opportunity to support and work with businesses within the Lisburn Castlereagh area. These business awards are the ideal opportunity to acknowledge the business excellence and innovation being achieved by our local companies.

“Every business has a role to play in the economic expansion of the Lisburn Castlereagh area; and the council will aim to do what it can to fully support them and maximise economic returns for the benefit of the whole city. Congratulations to everyone who entered the awards, our finalists and the winners.”

Among those honoured were Business Person of the Year, James Leckey of James Leckey Design Ltd, who also took the Best Manufacturing Business Award, and Hillmount, who received the Best Family Business and Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment accolades.

James Leckey, Founder and Chief Executive of James Leckey Design Ltd - an organisation that is a globally recognised pioneer in the research, design and development of clinically focussed, posturally supportive products - said: “My team and I are thrilled to accept the Excellence in Manufacturing and Business Person of the Year awards from the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Business Awards. It’s a real vote of confidence in us and what we are working hard to achieve.

“It was a great night and we would like to thank everyone involved in running the excellent event.

“Lisburn & Castlereagh City is a great place to base our business. Its proximity to large populated areas and strong transport and travel links makes it perfect for us and our growing global company. We are excited about the future and appreciate all the business and economic advice and support we get from Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.”

Alan Mercer, Managing Director, Hillmount, said: “This is overwhelming! Winning Best Family Business and Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment at the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Business Awards is a personal honour for me. My parents and I work tirelessly day and daily at Hillmount with our staff team to ensure we consistently provide our customers with the best experience whether they are buying a plant, garden furniture, a barbecue or stopping in to meet friends for lunch.”

The sold out black-tie ceremony, which was hosted by Q Radio favourites Stephen Clements and Cate Conway, also featured an opening performance by the talented Fusion Theatre Company and a sensational after dinner performance by West End and Broadway Star Rachel Tucker.

The full list of winners was as follows:

Business Person of the Year Award (sponsored by GMcG Chartered Accountants) – James Leckey, James Leckey Design Ltd

Young Entrepreneur Award (sponsored by SERC) – Sarah Gallagher, La Bella Vita

Best Tourism Business Award (sponsored by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council) – Lisburn Bowl

Excellence in Customer Service Award (Non-Retail) (sponsored by Power NI) – Carnbrooke Meats

Excellence in Customer Service Award (Retail) (sponsored by Retail NI) – McCalls of Lisburn

Best Family Business Award (sponsored by The Irish News) – Hillmount

Best Marketing Campaign Award (sponsored by Inspire Business Centre) – mxb shopper marketing agency on behalf of Bow Street Mall Shopping Centre

Best New Business Award (sponsored by Lisburn Enterprise Organisation) – VOJO Media Ltd

Excellence in Manufacturing Award (sponsored by Montupet Ltd) – James Leckey Design Ltd

Best Exporting Business Award (sponsored by OCO Global) – Brookvent

Business Growth Award (sponsored by Bank of Ireland) – Decora Blind Systems Ltd

Best Social Enterprise Business Award (sponsored by Social Enterprise NI) – LaganView Enterprise Centre

Best Licensed Eating Establishment (sponsored by Phoenix Natural Gas) – The Speckled Hen

Best Non-Licensed Eating Establishment (sponsored by Draynes Farm – The Gardener’s Rest at Hillmount

Innovation Award (sponsored by Plastec) – Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Investment in Health Award (sponsored by Public Health Agency) – Allen Logistics

For further details and more photos from the awards ceremony log on to