THE finalists have been announced in this year’s prestigious Somerset Business Awards, with companies, charities and individuals from across the county vying for the honours.

Judges faced a tough time whittling down a record-breaking number of entries in this year’s awards, which are run annually by the Somerset Chamber of Commerce.

The 2019 finalists come from all corners of the county, from Bridgwater, Taunton, Frome, Axbridge, Evercreech, Edington, Wheddon Cross and Wincanton, to Wellington, Sparkford, Shepton Mallet, Roadwater, Watchet, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Glastonbury, Congresbury and Highbridge.

This year is the 15th anniversary of the awards and for the first time the grand final will be held at the Winter Gardens Pavilion, in Weston-super-Mare on October 25. The evening will again be hosted by Somerset cricket all-rounder Peter Trego.

Somerset Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Henagulph thanked everyone who had entered the awards and said the most hotly contested categories had included Investing in Somerset, Small Business of the Year, Young Employee of the Year and New Business of the Year.

He said: “It was great to see so many entries from both Chamber members and non-members from all corners of the county and representing a wide range of sectors and industries. These awards are the largest in Somerset and are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate all that is great about our diverse business community and I’m looking forward to the grand final next month.”

The 2019 finalists are:

Albert Goodman Family Business of the Year (sponsored by Albert Goodman):

  • Briarwood Products, Highbridge
  • Shearwell Data Limited, Wheddon Cross
  • Sparks and Daughters Ltd, Taunton

Best Use of Technology (sponsored by Porter Dodson):

  • Clear-flow Ltd, Yeovil
  • Orbital Media, Taunton
  • Somerdale International, Wellington

Small Business of the Year (sponsored by TDA):

  • PVS Group Ltd, Bridgwater
  • Race At Your Pace Ltd, Taunton
  • Somerset Exec Travel Limited, Taunton

Medium Business of the Year (sponsored by BT):

  • PRM Waste Systems Ltd, Wellington
  • Somerdale International, Wellington
  • Sycamore Process Engineering Limited, Sparkford

Large Business of the Year (sponsored by PKF Francis Clark):

  • Bridges Electrical Engineers Ltd, Midsomer Norton
  • Marston Foods, Frome
  • The Flavourworks, Wincanton

Charity of the Year (sponsored by Clarke Willmott):

  • Arc, Taunton
  • Somerset Community Foundation, Shepton Mallet
  • Weston Hospicecare Ltd, Weston-super-Mare

Employer of the Year (sponsored by Elite Staffing Solutions):

  • Lloyd and Whyte, Taunton
  • Netitude Ltd, Frome
  • Singer Instruments, Roadwater

Investing in Somerset (sponsored by Hinkley Point C):

  • Doubletree by Hilton, Congresbury
  • Melhuish & Sanders Ltd, Glastonbury
  • MMES 2012 Limited, Bridgwater

New Business of the Year Award (sponsored by Teapot Creative):

  • Race At Your Pace Ltd, Taunton
  • Sopha, Highbridge
  • Taunton Doctors Ltd, Taunton

Outstanding Achievement (sponsored by Weston College):

  • Digital Taunton, Taunton
  • Elliot’s Touch, Watchet
  • New Leaf, Bridgwater

Private and Public Collaboration (sponsored by Wessex Reserve Forces & Cadets Association):

  • Bridgwater & Taunton College, Bridgwater
  • Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), Wellington
  • YMCA Dulverton Group, Taunton

Service Excellence (sponsored by Brook Financial Management):

  • Netitude Ltd, Frome
  • SDS Limited, Edington
  • The Young Clinic (Christopher Young Opticians), Shepton Mallet

Somerset Manufacturer and Producer Award (sponsored by Bibby Financial):

  • Hullabaloos Lemonade Ltd, Axbridge
  • James Chocolates, Evercreech
  • Shearwell Data Limited, Wheddon Cross

Young Business Employee of the Year (sponsored by Clarks International):

  • Bridgwater & Taunton College – Melissa Houldsworth, Bridgwater
  • Quedam Shopping Centre – Aimee-Jade Kingdon, Yeovil
  • Hippychick Ltd – Scott Bateman, Bridgwater