Smiles Better Awards
The winners of the Preston Business Improvement District (BID) ‘Smiles Better’ Awards were handed out at a ceremony at Evoque on April 9th.
The competition, sponsored by The North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce (NWL Chamber), saw more than 200 nominations from businesses and individuals across the city centre, which were whittled down to 80 finalists.
More than 68,000 votes were cast in total for the seventeen accolades which were up for grabs, the winners of which were chosen through the public vote.
Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: ‘These awards are always hotly contested with healthy competition between nominees, which is no bad thing. The city centre is awash with great people working very hard, in great businesses, and its good to recognise them publicly; they are the very reason many people visit Preston’.
The BID Special Recognition honour was awarded to Peter Alexander of Blitz by Dawn Cheetham, President of the NWL Chamber of Commerce.
Peter has been a recognisable figure in Preston’s leisure economy for decades, beginning his career at the Warehouse before owner-operating Blitz. Peter is strong advocate for the city centre and its music scene representing the sector on several national panels.
Townhouse Coffee & Brew Bar’s Bernice Newton, noted for her ‘Big Friargate Clean-Up’ project, was announced as the ‘City Star’.
The awards were presented by BBC Radio Lancashire’s John Gillmore and radio favourite Danny Bee.
Popular TV news presenter, Paul Crone, who began his journalistic career at the Lancashire Post in 1981, made a surprise guest-appearance to hand out awards to the recipients of ‘Outstanding Achievement in Leisure’ and ‘Outstanding Achievement in Retail’, and to meet all winners and finalists.
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the NWL Chamber, said: ‘We were delighted to sponsor the ‘Smiles Better’ Awards for 2019, the competition showed how passionate
city centre businesses are and how they continue to evolve, adapt and offer great service.
“There was an air of excitement in the room and the winners, and finalists, are to be applauded’.
Click HERE to view the event gallery.
A list of the winners is below:
RETAIL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Winner: DAVID BULLOCK – PRESTON MARKET
INDEPENDENT BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
WINNER: TOWN HOUSE COFFEE AND BREW BAR
BAR OF THE YEAR
MULTIPLE RETAILER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: MARK O’ROURKE GROUP
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN A LEISURE BUSINESS
WINNER: LEE JOHNSON – SWITCH
LEISURE MANAGER OF THE YEAR
WINNER: DAVE BROWN – SWITCH
RESTAURANT OF THE YEAR
PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR
WINNER: DJ BEN – THE WAREHOUSE
PUB OF THE YEAR
WINNER: TWELVE TELLERS
EVENT OF THE YEAR
WINNER: BONGO’S BINGO
NIGHTCLUB OF THE YEAR
WINNER: THE WAREHOUSE
BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE IN A RETAIL BUSINESS
WINNER: SUE DODWELL – GREGGS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN RETAIL
WINNER: GORDON GIBSON – ACTION RECORDS
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN IN LEISURE
WINNER: LISA BILLINGTON – THE WAREHOUSE
WINNER: BERNICE NEWTON – TOWNHOUSE COFFEE & BREW BAR
SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
PRESENTED TO PETER ALEXANDER