The best of Hampshire’s business community was rewarded at the Daily Echo’s South Coast Business Awards.

Representatives of some of the county’s finest firms donned dresses and dinner suits for the glitzy black-tie bash at Southampton’s Grand Harbour Hotel.

The awards – the fourth to be held – are organised by the Daily Echo and leading solicitors Trethowans in partnership with Business South and Destination South.

And seven firms shared the nine awards, including the prestigious Trethowans Overall Winner Award.

The award categories included the Business South Commitment to the Region Award, the Smith and Williamson Best International Performance by a South Coast Company and the Southampton City Council Award for Southampton Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Winchester-based building envelope specialist Lakesmere scooped the top prize at the awards, with the firm also winning the Hampshire County Council Growth Business of the Year Award.

Ann Summers and Knickerbox chief executive Jacqueline Gold was the night’s guest speaker, and as well as giving the audience an insight into how she has become one of the UK’s most successful business people, she delighted guests with some risqué anecdotes.

She was the guest speaker alongside Daily Echo editor-in-chief Ian Murray.

He said: “This has been the best event of the several wonderful business awards evenings we have staged. It just gets better and better and local businesses really appear to appreciate recognition for all the hard work they do.

“The success of the awards is a mirror to the continuing excellence of the south coast’s business landscape.”

Santander Corporate Banking was official judging panel partner alongside sponsors Taylor Made Computer Solutions, Baker Tilly, British American Tobacco, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, Southampton City Council, Hampshire County Council and Smith and Williamson.