EXCEPTIONAL businesses in Hambleton are celebrating after being awarded in a district council scheme.

Nine Hambleton businesses were honoured for being the top in the district for everything from championing apprentices to providing the best customer service.

Deputy leader of the Council, Councillor Peter Wilkinson, said: “These awards give the council a great opportunity to highlight some of the people and businesses here in Hambleton - recognising the range and diversity, their achievements and those of the people who work for them.”

“The quality of the entries in this, our fifth year, has been even better than in previous years.

“It gave the judges a real challenge in deciding who should be honoured especially with the graduate award where the nominees could not be separated.”

The full list of winners is:

• Apprenticeship Champion: Nathan Brown from Carlton Service Station in Carlton Miniott – Nathan is an apprentice funded through the district council, who has developed the most in the role and demonstrated great commitment to the business

• Engaging Young Minds: David Smith and The Rotary Club Stokesley for the significant investment of time supporting young people at Stokesley School

• Hambleton Champion: Richard Gladstone from The Connection Gallery in Thirsk - he has brought galleries together across the area, promoting the district as an ambassador working with other businesses

• Innovation: Neue Schule Group in Stokesley for their innovative horse bits, used by medal winners in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and their ongoing research and development

• Best Customer Service: Fox Mouldings Ltd from Thirsk which supplies bespoke quality mouldings to customers in the UK and overseas - they have been recognised as providing excellent customer service above and beyond what is required bringing more people to Thirsk

• Graduate Champion: Beth Ellin from Bow House Digital Ltd in Easingwold and Laura Mellis from Emplaw Solutions in Bedale are recognised as graduates funded through the district council who have contributed so much to the individual businesses

• Best Business Improvement District Business: Julie Hutson of Colin Hutson Accounting Ltd recognised for all the time and energy she has provided to the steering group and board

• Most Accessible Business: The Millings residential home at Bedale for their talented staff, plus the level of care and involvement of the residents and families in the service they offer

• Vibrant Market Towns Ambassador: Sally Anderson for championing Northallerton as a vibrant market town, establishing events and services to support the town as an excellent place to do business

Northallerton Tesco was given a highly commended award in the Engaging Young Minds category for the work they have done as a large company engaging locally.

The awards held at the Forum in Northallerton were sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses, Dales of Thirsk, Inspired Pet Nutrition, Northallerton Business Improvement District and Proper Tasty of Northallerton.