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Don’t miss your chance to be part of this year’s Times Business Awards 2023, which will be hosted by broadcaster and journalist Nick Ferrari with headline sponsor Berkley Homes as the event’s headline sponsor. Lilly Croucher reveals how you can enter, who the key sponsors are for each category and everything else you need to know about this prestigious event ahead of the entry deadline on February 20…


The Times Business Awards take place next month on March 30 and the headline sponsorship has just been announced as being Berkley Homes, Southern Counties.

Its Managing Director Peter Smith said: “Berkeley Homes are delighted to sponsor the prestigious Business Awards Ceremony which also happens to be a major social and networking event for Tunbridge Wells. As a local business providing much needed homes and placemaking communities throughout the borough, we are pleased to support the wider business communities at this event.”

And the good news is there’s still time for local companies to submit their category applications in order to be recognised as being the best in what they do. But you’ll have to be quick as the entry deadline is fast approaching: submissions close on Monday, February 20.

The Times Business Awards are organised by SO’s sister publication the Times of Tunbridge Wells and are now in their sixth year. The annual award ceremony will be held in the Victoria Theatre at Salomons Estate and will see broadcaster and journalist Nick Ferrari handing out the gongs.

Now in their sixth year, the awards celebrate the best businesses in the borough courtesy of a number of categories including Best Creative Business, Charity of the Year, Best in Food & Drink and Best Start-Up.

Each category is sponsored by a local company and so far wealth management firm Charles Stanley is sponsoring the Entrepreneur of the Year category, with The Finance Hub supporting the Best Business for 26+ employees and Childrensalon supporting the Best Family Business.

Those who sponsor are also encouraged to enter the Business Awards but cannot enter the category they are sponsoring.

One of the awards’ newest sponsors is last year’s Entrepreneur of the Year winner, Andrew Mann for his company Clarity Homes & Commercial, which provides services and project management to the property industry.

Clarity will be sponsoring one of two new categories for 2023; the Green Business Award, which recognises companies for their commitment to the environment.

Mr Mann told us: “After winning the Entrepreneur of the Year award last year, I was keen to sponsor a category that celebrates progressive and proactive businesses.

“The environment is something we should all be concerned about, and it is something we try to address on every project as a responsible construction company.”

Gillian Palmer of The Finance Hub decided to sponsor a Times Business Awards category as she says she ‘understands the challenges, hard work and commitment’ local firms undergo in order to thrive.

“I’ve been in their position before…these business owners are an inspiration to all of us.”

Childrenswear retailer Childrensalon were named Outstanding Business in 2016 and have become regular sponsors since 2017.

CEO, Michele Harriman Smith said: “It is wonderful to sponsor the Family Businesses of the Year award.

“We enjoy meeting other family businesses that are growing and experiencing the same challenges as we have, and we look forward to taking part again in the future.”

Over the years the gala event has been hosted by a number of famous faces including MPs Michael Portillo and Edwina Currie, Radio 2’s Ken Bruce, and Strictly Come Dancing’s Anton Du Beke.

Last year’s event was hosted by TV presenter and journalist Eamonn Holmes who mingled with guests and took selfies throughout the night after presenting awards to each winner on stage.

Speaking ahead of hosting this year’s event, Nick Ferrari who hosts the weekday breakfast show on radio station LBC told us: “I’m really looking forward to hosting the Times Business Awards. The past few years have impacted businesses across all sectors in many different ways but despite the challenges, so many have not only survived but thrived. The evening will be a great opportunity to celebrate that and provide local entrepreneurs with the recognition they deserve.”

The awards are open to everyone whether they’re an entrepreneur, small start-up or a multi-million pound business. There is a category for everyone.

Companies shortlisted for an award will be able to buy tickets to the black-tie dinner to celebrate their achievements over the year and network with the wider business community.

Applications must be submitted by February 20 and are free to enter. Head to for more information



Presenting the sixth annual business awards is media personality and radio host, Nick Ferrari who is most well-known for his weekday breakfast show on London-based radio station, LBC.

Nick is an established journalist having written for many Fleet Street publications such as the Sunday Mirror, The Sun, the News of the World’s Sunday magazine and the Daily Mirror. He still has a regular column in the Sunday Express.

Nick started his radio career on Talk Radio in 1999 as a co-presenter of the Big Boy Breakfast show with David Banks. In 2001 he presented his first breakfast programme on LBC and took the regular slot in 2004 ,where he continues his 7am to 10am show every weekday.

On TV, Nick was a regular guest on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV and still appears on ITV’s This Morning and Sky News’ The Pledge.



Start-Up Business of the Year (Sponsored by Cornerstone)

Companies founded since January 2021, which have really been attracting notice.


Creative Business of the Year (Sponsored by Integra Property Management)

This is a strong sector for Tunbridge Wells, covering the creative, design, marketing and PR sectors which have made our town their home.


Entrepreneur of the Year (Sponsored by Charles Stanley)

An entrepreneur is more than just a business person. Entrepreneurs turn their ideas into business opportunities and may run more than one company.


Green Business of the Year (Sponsored by Clarity Homes & Commercial)

This new award category will recognise companies for their commitment to the environment, whether through reducing energy usage, ‘localising’ their supply chains or any other green initiatives.


Charity of the Year (Sponsored by Lexus Tunbridge Wells)

In this new award category, judges will analyse the charities and not-for-profit organisations which play such a positive role in the life of our area, looking for impact, sustainability and imagination.


Best in Food and Drink (Sponsored by NFU Mutual)

This award is for the local companies producing or serving truly remarkable food and drink. Entries are welcomed from fine dining restaurants, gastropubs, simple cafés and food and drink producers – any company which can demonstrate how it puts Tunbridge Wells or the local area on the map with its gastronomic excellence.


Best Family Business of the Year (Sponsored by Childrensalon)

The judges will be looking for the business that best demonstrates how running a family business has added significantly to its competitive advantage. The winner will need to show how being a family business has had a positive impact on its achievements.


Best Business 1-25 Employees (Sponsored by TN Recruits)

This award category is for the companies with a workforce of up to 25 which have maintained consistent growth and strong financial performance, both meeting its customers’ expectations and supporting its employee’s welfare and growth.


Best Business 26+ Employees (Sponsored by The Finance Hub)

Consistent growth, financial performance and an engaged, positive workforce are just some of the criteria that set these companies apart from other medium to large businesses in the area.


Outstanding Business of the Year (Sponsored by Thomson Snell & Passmore)

This award will reveal which company demonstrates the best combination of growth, ambition and quality of management in the area. The ‘outstanding’ company has delivered on a compelling business strategy, while developing its employees’ skills and looking after staff.

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