MORE than a hundred business-minded people from all over the Cotswolds gathered to celebrate local achievement at the Fairford and Lechlade Business Club Awards ceremony.

From a host of nominations, six businesses and individuals were selected as winners of their category at the annual event.

Fairford accounting firm Mitchell and Sarjent bagged the coveted Business of the Year title, Most Outstanding Business Student was awarded to year 11 Farmor’s School pupil Andy Butler, and The Deli, in Fairford, was awarded New Business of the Year. The Standard caught up with three of the prize-winners to find out more.

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Howard Dowler Award – Richard Truscott

COMMUNITY hero Richard Truscott was presented with the special Howard Dowler award for his contribution to schools, local organisations and events.

The award is named in memory of the former Fairford town councillor and FLBC member and recognises individuals that have made an outstanding effort in helping local projects.

Marketing manager Richard, of Lechlade Garden Centre, said winning the award was a complete shock.

The 30-year-old has organised funding for a number of projects, including a gardening scheme at Coln House School in Fairford Richard said: "It’s lovely to be recognised in this way, but the work that we do is not just down to me – it’s down to the whole team that we’ve got here."

The garden centre seeks to fund local projects where it can to promote opportunities and growth in Fairford and Lechlade.

Business Person of the Year – Louise Jenkins

HARD working nursery manager Louise Jenkins scooped Business Person of the Year after being nominated by fellow nursery staff and parents.

Louise, who has been manager of the Old Station Nursery in Filkins for four years, was thrilled with the prize.

"There were some pretty big businesses there so I was delighted that someone like me working at a little local nursery could win."

Under Louise’s dedicated management, the now-thriving nursery has seen the number of children more than double and been praised by Ofsted for its strong staff team and partnership with parents.

Sarah Steel, managing director of The Old Station Nursery, said: "Louise is an inspirational leader who always goes the extra mile, which is why she thoroughly deserves this award."

The nursery was also runner-up in the Business of the Year category.

Most Innovative Business of the Year – The Trout Inn

A LIVELY pub in Lechlade was awarded Most Innovative Business of the Year for putting on a host of unusual events to keep customers coming back.

Customers at The Trout Inn can expect a lot more than a quiz while they enjoy a pint. Landlord Bob Warren impressed the judges with a diverse range of events, including classic boats, steam engine and tractor days, concerts, plays and even hosting Gifford’s Circus.

Bob said it was fantastic for the family-run business to get recognition for its year-round attractions and fundraising efforts.

"Our customers are always asking, what are you going to do next?" he said. "We are a pub and we want to stay that way, but we do much more than just open the doors and say ‘here’s the beer’."

The next big event that Bob and the team have planned is a charity fete on May 16.

Bob was also runner-up in the Business Person of the Year section.