WINNING businesses from an Echo-backed award scheme were reunited yesterday at the home of Hampshire cricket.

The Hilton at the Ageas welcomed back winners of this year’s South Coast Business Awards for a celebratory lunch.

The event marked nearly three months since the companies were crowned the “best in business” at a glitzy awards night, held at the hotel in July.

Organised by the Echo, guests were treated to an afternoon of food, drink and networking – all while enjoying a spectacular view of the world-renowned cricket ground.

Business were greeted with a glass of bubbly, followed by a speech from Simon Rhodes, senior partner of the awards’ principal sponsor, Trethowans.

Representatives from the award winning businesses then had the chance to talk between themselves, as they tucked in to lunch.

One of those to attend the event was Kieron Matley, whose company, SB Joinery, scooped two awards and was crowned overall winner in July’s ceremony.

He said: “The impact of winning three awards has really been felt across the company.

“It has really helped with staff retention and recruiting top staff as well.

“I would definitely encourage businesses to apply.”

Jo Richardson, promotions executive at the Daily Echo, added: “We are proud to be able to hold the event each year and are thankful to all sponsors for their support, many have been with us since the start. We are already looking forward to 2018.”