A rapidly-growing biotechnology firm was acclaimed by hundreds of its local business peers last night after being named as Courier Country’s top company of 2015.
Dundee Technopole-based CXR Biosciences became the third winner of the coveted Business of the Year prize at the glittering Courier Business Awards ceremony at the Fairmont St Andrews.
CXR’s coronation came at the culmination of a fantastic evening at which 20 firms and leading business figures were recognised for the huge contribution they make to the local economy.
The second major prize of the evening the Outstanding Contribution Award went to Stephen Leckie, the colourful chief executive of Crieff Hydro Hotel and one of the region’s most prominent hoteliers and business ambassadors.
Prior commitments meant Mr Leckie was unable to attend the ceremony in person, but he sent a video message to guests to say he was overwhelmed by the honour.
He said: “It is such a lovely surprise to receive an award like this.
“I feel so privileged to be working in such a nice area as Perthshire, and working with so many great, great businesses and people.”See Monday’s Courier for a special 12-page picture supplementMore than 570 guests gathered for the black-tie dinner, which was again held in association with Henderson Loggie chartered accountants, in the hotel’s stunning atrium.
The evening’s entertainment kicked off with a dance display accompanied by a spectacular light show.
But there was also a huge surprise in store for guests as The Voice winner Stevie McCrorie a former Fife firefighter made an appearance during dinner.
DC Thomson Publishing chief executive Ellis Watson welcomed guests to the event dressed as a Minion!
Host for the 2015 awards was Lord Alan Sugar’s former Apprentice right-hand man and Countdown presenter Nick Hewer. He brought the evening to order by announcing the first award of the night.Click here for a photo gallery from the eveningThe Apprentice of the Year title a new category introduced for 2015 went to Alastair McLean, who is currently completing his joinery apprenticeship with Fife Council.
He won the award after the judging panel which was chaired this year by Dundee-born Clydesdale Bank chairman Jim Pettigrew and included Scottish business heavyweights Nick Kuenssberg, David Smith and Fife entrepreneur Jackie Waring recognised his exceptional progress and the contribution he has made to the local authority since he was first taken on in 2011.
Another innovation for 2015 was the Deal of the Year category, an award designed to recognise the best corporate transaction completed by a north-east- based business.
The Social Impact category was also added, to reflect the increasing importance of the not-for-profit sector.A full selection of photos will be available to buy atphotoshopscotland.newsprints.co.ukThe Deal award went to Bank of Scotland and John St Properties for their joint efforts in getting a £3.1m social housing deal in Dundee off the ground.
The Social Impact prize was taken home by Dovetail Enterprises, a business that provides work for people with a range of abilities.
The final change for 2015 was the addition of the Local Matters award, a prize which was sub-divided into four categories to celebrate the best local firms in Perthshire, Fife, Dundee and Angus.
The Courier Business Awards celebrates commercial success in Fife, Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and the Mearns and guests applauded as awards were presented to a variety of outstanding businesses covering everything from tourism to rural and science and technology and services businesses.
Courier editor Richard Neville said the business talent in the north-east of Scotland was breathtaking.
“The Courier Business Awards are in their third year now but we are still uncovering hidden gems,” he said.
“Despite the occasional hurdles that all economies face, the local business scene is thriving.
“We are seeing inward investment on the back of major infrastructure projects, such as the V&A Dundee design museum, and our established local companies are showing they have the ability to move with the times.
“The entries pack for the Courier Business Awards contained so many inspiring stories of dedication, innovation and achievement that it was a truly difficult job for the judges to choose a single winner in each category.
“In many ways this region’s greatest economic asset is the strength in depth of the business base.
“The winners of the Courier Business Awards 2015 demonstrate that point all too well.”THE WINNERSBusiness of the Year
Stephen Leckie, CEO, Crieff Hydro
Science and Technology Business of the Year
Services Business of the Year
Small Business of the Year
Social Impact Business of the Year
Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Business of the Year
Forbes of Kingennie Country Resort
Young Business of the Year
Winner Synergy Fabrication
Local Matters Angus
Rossie Young People’s Trust
Local Matters Dundee
Hillcrest Group of Companies
Local Matters Fife
Ivan Wood & Sons
Local Matters Perthshire
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Apprentice of the Year
Alastair McLean, Fife Council
Deal of the Year
Bank of Scotland and John St Properties
Digital Business of the Year
Family Business of the Year
Growth Business of the Year
Manufacturing Business of the Year
Retail Business of the Year
Rural Business of the Year