THE launch of the 2019 Winchester Business Excellence Awards (WBEA) is taking place next week.

This year’s launch party will be on February 21 at Chesil House as a breakfast event, starting at 8.30am, and guests will hear more about the competition and gain networking opportunities.

The official ceremony, organised in partnership by the Echo's sister publication the Hampshire Chronicle, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Winchester Business Improvement District (BID), will run on June 6 at the University of Winchester.

Paul Spencer, executive director at Winchester BID, said: “The Winchester Business Excellence Awards are now in their 17th year and recognise the achievements of local businesses and rewards them for their commitment to excellence.

“The awards are renowned across the Winchester District as a highly prestigious event providing an opportunity for businesses to promote major achievements and celebrate success.”

Last year’s black tie event was held at the Guildhall, and saw scores of business owners, managers and employees come together to celebrate large and small scale achievements from across the city.

Executive director at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Maureen Frost, said: “The awards are certainly important for Winchester. It is vital to recognise and celebrate the success in any city.

“This year we have a new team, and with their fresh ideas and the interesting speakers that are planned, the awards are set for a great year.”

The awards is working with Simplyhealth Professionals, main sponsors and also sponsors of the Business of the Year award.

Awards categories, with sponsors in brackets

Business Leader (Paris Smith)

Young Business Person

Social Enterprise

Large Business (Winchester City Council)

SME/Independent Business (Winchester BID)

New Business

Digital Innovation

Eco Business (Winchester University)

Service Excellence (Brewin Dolphin)

Millennium Egg

Each award is open for entries from the date of the launch and will be open for placement via