IN front of nearly 400 influential business people, the 2017 Somerset Business Awards were announced and celebrated last night (Friday) at the annual celebratory dinner at Wellsprings Leisure Centre, in Taunton.

Hosted by BBC news presenter and TV personality Alex Lovell, the 14 awards were announced by their sponsors, before the winners were announced and invited on stage to collect their trophy and give a short speech.

Title sponsor and local accountancy firm Albert Goodman also took to the stage to welcome everyone to the awards and congratulate all the finalists.

Managing partner Richard Bugler said: "Albert Goodman was established in Somerset over 150 years ago, and throughout that period it has been our vision to assist growing and developing businesses throughout our county – just as your incredible businesses have been doing.

"The Somerset Business Awards are the only countywide annual awards that recognise and celebrate business success, and we are immensely proud to be celebrating with you all.

"We wish you all the best of luck, not only tonight but for your very bright futures.”

This year’s Somerset Business Awards winner are.

The Albert Goodman Family Business Award, sponsored by Albert Goodman LLP: 1. Bowen Opticians Ltd (Weston-super-Mare); Runners-up Jobseekers Recruitment Services Ltd (Taunton) and C & D South West Ltd (Chard).

Business of the Year 1-10, sponsored by TDA: 1. Elite Staffing Solutions (South West) Ltd (Taunton); Runners-up Puddy Vehicle Solutions (PVS) Ltd (Highbridge) and Granny Gothards Limited (Stoke St Gregory).

Business of the Year 11-25, sponsored by A.C. Mole & Sons: 1. Orme Architecture Ltd (Glastonbury); Runners-up Brook Financial Management Limited (Ilminster) and Kiddimoto Ltd (Cheddar).

Business of the Year 26-50, sponsored by PKF Francis Clark: 1. Busy Bees Cleaning and Maintenance 2000 Ltd (Frome); Runners-up Berry & Escott Ltd (Bridgwater) and Melhuish and Saunders Ltd (Glastonbury).

Business of the Year 51+, sponsored by Higos Insurance Services Ltd: 1. Norseland Ltd (Ilchester); Runners-up Yeovil College (Yeovil) and VADO (Cheddar).

Charity of the Year Award, sponsored by Clarke Willmott LLP: 1. We Hear You (Frome); Runners-up Art Care Education (Somerton) and The Willow Set (Stoke St Gregory).

Investing in Somerset Award, sponsored by EDF Energy: 1. Somerset County Cricket Club (Taunton); Runners-up Somerset Larder (Nether Stowey) and Wyke Farms (Bruton).

Marketing and Promotions Award, sponsored by ADPR Ltd: 1. Norseland Ltd (Ilchester); Runner-up Red Berry Recruitment Ltd (Shepton Mallet).

New Business Award, sponsored by Teapot Creative: 1. Elite Staffing Solutions (South West) Ltd (Taunton); Runners-up Art Care Education (Somerton) and The Sangha House (Taunton).

Service Excellence Award, sponsored by Claims Consortium Group: 1. Key Solutions Mortgages Limited (Weston-super-Mare); Runners-up ITEC Connect Ltd (Bridgwater) and Dimpsey Glamping (Chard).

Skills for Growth Award, sponsored by Wessex Reserve Forces and Cadets Association: 1. Avery Carpentry Contractors Limited (Taunton); Runners-up Bridges Electrical Engineers Ltd (Midsomer Norton) and MMES 2012 Ltd (Bridgwater).

Somerset Manufacturer & Producer Award, sponsored by Ashfords LLP: 1. Berry & Escott Ltd (Bridgwater); Runner-ups Blackdown Shepherd Huts Ltd (Ilminster) and TMB Patterns Limited (Bridgwater).

Technology & Innovation Award, sponsored by Porter Dodson Solicitors & Advisors: 1. Bridges Electrical Engineers Ltd (Midsomer Norton) Runners-up SCM Handling Ltd (Bishops Lydeard) and DNA Worldwide Ltd (Frome).

Young Business Employee of the Year Award, sponsored by Clarks: 1. Wyke Farms – Lucy Francis (Bruton); Runners-up Key Solutions Mortgages Limited – Edward Jackson (Weston Super-Mare) and Friends for Pets Ltd – Amy Wall (Winscombe).

Working together with Bridgwater & Taunton College, the finalists were filmed by media students who created a short film about each business, which were shown on the awards night and form part of the students’ final course results.