THE best of Borders business gathered at Springwood Park in Kelso last week for the 2018 Scottish Borders Business Excellence Awards.

For the fourth year in a row, this annual awards event was presented by the Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce (SBCC), and sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Malcolm Buchanan, managing director, Corporate and Commercial, the Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “These awards have once again shown the wide range of fantastic businesses operating in the Borders. We’re delighted to have been able to play our part in recognising their success, and their future potential.”

Attended by over 200 guests, the flagship business event was once again hosted by TV presenter Fiona Armstrong.

Fiona was joined by guest speakers Mary Hemingway of Prosperity Financial Advisors & Stockbrokers, and David Stevenson, CBE, founder of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

Speaking about the future potential for the region's young people, David said: "I was thrilled to be invited to the Business Excellence Awards as a guest speaker.

"As the event demonstrated, there is no shortage of opportunity within this region we call home. I’m often asked about the prospects for young people in the Scottish Borders and have no hesitation in saying that to fulfil their potential, they should leave, travel and see what the world has to offer; only then will they realise that the grass is a lot greener here in the Borders.”

Awards were presented for ten categories.

The winner of Tourism & Hospitality Business of the Year, was Stobo Castle.

Commenting on the success, marketing director, Jenni Watts, said “We’re incredibly proud to be crowned the Tourism & Hospitality Business of the Year for the second time.

"The Scottish Borders is a beautiful place to live and work in, and our location is undoubtedly one of the reasons many of our guests join us.

"This award and Stobo’s success overall is very much down to the hard work of our dedicated team of staff.”

Speaking about the success of the 2018 event, Jack Clark, Chairman of SBCC said: “This being the fourth year in which we have organised this event, the enthusiasm and ambition displayed by businesses in all sectors in our region has been recognised as significant. The majority of the businesses in the Borders are classified as micro, but are, nevertheless, the cornerstones of our economy. The support from all of our sponsors is invaluable, and without which the competition would not take place.”

Tourism & Hospitality Business of the Year Award: Stobo Castle

Agricultural Business of the Year Award: Rule Valley Simulated Game

High Growth/Turnover Award: SoConnect

Innovation in Business Award: Agenor

Social Enterprise of the Year Award: The Learning Space

Supporting Young Workforce Award: Sponsored by Johnston’s of Elgin

Manufacturer of the Year Award: Jarvis Pickle

Exporter of the Year: Johnston’s of Elgin

Micro Business of the Year Award: Hawick Autocare

SME of the Year Award: Agenor Technology