Winchester is gearing up to recognise all that is best about business. The 11th Winchester Business Excellence Awards (WBEA) are now open to nominations and 100 of the most prominent businessmen and women were at the Holiday Inn for a glitzy launch.

The event is organised by the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Winchester BID and the Daily Echo’s sister paper the Hampshire Chronicle to celebrate the diversity and quality of business in Winchester.

Awards include business of the year, entrepreneur of the year, rural business of the year and the green innovation award, which is intended to recognise the importance of green credentials alongside economic success.

Any company in the local authority district of Winchester with fewer than 200 employees can enter. The closing date for entries is Friday, March 8. The winners will be announced at a glittering gala evening at Winchester Guildhall in June.