Larne Business Awards 2014 honour achievements of the borough’s top firms

A glittering presentation ceremony for Larne Business Awards was held at Ballygally Castle Hotel on September 18, honouring top achievers.

The awards, organised by the Larne Times and with the support of Larne Borough Council, featured 14 categories recognising the achievements of businesses throughout the borough.

Winner of the Young Business Person of the Year at the 2014 Larne Business Awards went to Rachael Garrett. INLT 39-152-GR

Winner of the Young Business Person of the Year at the 2014 Larne Business Awards went to Rachael Garrett. INLT 39-152-GR

Awards were presented for Best Retailer, Best Export Business, Excellence in Innovation, Favourite Restaurant/Cafe, Best Customer Service, Excellence in Tourism, Best Rural Business, Best Community Engagement, Best Environmental Business, Best Digital Engagement and Use of Social Media, Excellence in People Development, Business Person of the Year, Young Business Person of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Regional Group Editor with Johnston Press NI, Valerie Martin, told guests: “This is the second time that the Larne Times has hosted the awards, and I’m delighted that once again there has been so much fantastic support from so many.

“Tonight is an occasion to celebrate the success of the many businesses represented here, from the smallest of enterprises to the largest of operations, and everyone present deserves a real pat on the back for their commitment and investment in putting Larne to the forefront when it comes to innovation, service and the provision of employment. We’ve much to be proud of in Larne and it’s a fantastic opportunity to see so many representatives of the diverse and exciting economic culture that exists here in the borough. You are all very much winners.”

Mayor of Larne, Cllr Martin Wilson, praised LEDCOM over its support for local businesses over the years.

Chief Executive of Larne Borough Council Geraldine McGaheysaid council involvement in the awards was a “ bittersweet experience” as it would be last such ceremony before the bew council assumes control in 2015. She commended Council’s support of local business during its 75 years in existence.

-after 75 years as a borough Larne Borough Council will merge into the new Mid and East Antrim District Council as of April next year. The Council motto falce marique potens loosely translated means industry by land and sea, emphasising the importance of our strategic position and the work ethic of our community.”

Mrs McGahey praised the dualling of the A8, which she said shows that Larne is ‘much more than a gateway, but a hub of regional significance and national importance.” She also highlighted the ‘exciting’ £7million Gobbins Coastal path redevelopment.

She continued: “I believe and our Council believe that we have improved our position and helped develop an array of new business ventures in the technology, energy renewables and bio medicine sectors. We have assisted in the development of our enthusiastic entrepreneurs through a series of support programmes and financial assistance.”