The achievements of Waveney's businesses have been recognised with a glittering awards ceremony.

Outstanding individual and group efforts were honoured at the sell-out Suffolk Chamber of Commerce event earlier this month.

A total of 160 local business representative and special guests attended the celebration, held at the Ivy House Country Hotel, with awards ranging from apprentice or trainee of the year to business of the year.

Jennifer Cushion, chair of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Lowestoft and Waveney, said: "What an incredible night – a well-deserved celebration of all that makes the business community here in Lowestoft and Waveney so special.

"Our awards provide an opportunity for local organisations to be recognised for their outstanding achievements, as well as enabling businesses in our region to show their support for each other by sponsoring awards.

"We thank and congratulate all the businesses that have taken part and wish them a prosperous 2023."

Among those recognised were Margaret Oldham, of Disability Advice North East Suffolk, and Danny Steel, of Steel & Co, who were given Recognition of Lifetime Achievement awards, sponsored by Nicholsons Solicitors, for their dedication to the local community.

The evening culminated with B&B Skip Hire scooping the Innovation in Business Award, sponsored by East Suffolk Council, and the prestigious Business of the Year Award, sponsored by headline sponsors PCE Automation.

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added: "In these difficult economic times, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the achievements of local businesses.

"The awards act as a testimony to the depth, breadth and success of businesses in Lowestoft and Waveney and all nominees are thoroughly deserving of the recognition.

"Huge congratulations to all the finalists and winners and a big thank you to our sponsors without whom these awards would not be possible."

The evening included a celebratory bucks fizz reception, sponsored by Pleasurewood Hills, as well as a four-course meal, while proceedings were compared by Chris Bailey.

The awards were:

Business commitment to skills and education

Winner: Lovewell Blake

Finalist: Inspire

Net zero champion award

Winner: Coastal Cuisine

Finalist: Uncle Sid's Zero Waste Store

Family business award

Winner: Sweeties and Rao's

Finalist: Bee Natural Wax Melts

Growing business award

Winner: AEP Global

Finalist: Squaddie Cleaning Services

Workplace wellbeing award

Winner: Lovewell Blake

Finalist: CODE Hair Consultants

Community pride award

Winner: Waveney Car Community First Responders

Finalist: Lord Kitchener Memorial Centre

Excellence in customer service award (1-10 employees)

Winner: Carl Wright Training Services

Finalist: Becs Bakes

Excellence in customer service award (11+ employees)

Winner: Marina Theatre

Finalist: Pleasurewood Hills

Innovation in business award

Winner: B&B Skip Hire

Finalist: Sweeties and Rao's

Commitment to people award

Winner: Disability Advice North East Suffolk

Finalist: Total Balance Wellbeing Centre

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year award

Winner: Elliot Cropley, Pleasurewood Hills

Finalist: Leni Warner, CODE Hair Consultants

Most promising new business award

Winner: Sunrise Studios

Finalist: Nexus Ramps

Recognition of lifetime achievement awards

Margaret Oldham, Disability Advice North East Suffolk

Danny Steel, Steel & Co

Business of the year

Winner: B&B Skip Hire

Finalist: Lounge Nine Hair and Beauty