THE winners of the 2017 Dorset Business Awards were announced at a gala celebration last night.

More than 700 people saw the trophies presented at the BIC, with 36 companies on the shortlist in 12 categories.

Stuart Dixon, organiser of the awards at Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), said: “All our award finalists have provided valuable insights on accomplishing and maintaining success in today’s business environment and also confirm Dorset’s place on the map as a centre of business excellence. This year’s Dorset Business Awards winners have demonstrated something really special - a spark of brilliance that means they are able to stand out from the crowd.”

The winners were as follows.

- Business Leader of the Year (sponsors: DCCI, Pure Networking). Winner: Warren Munson, Inspire Professional Services. Shortlisted: Phil Whitehurst, Actisense, Poole; Rosie Wallace, Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth.

- Brand of the Year (RT Brand Communications). Winner: Muc-Off, Poole. Shortlisted: Organix, Bournemouth; The Pig on the Beach, Studland.

- Creative and Digital Impact (Liz Lean PR, Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership). Winner: Cold Banana Studio, Bournemouth. Shortlisted: Fireworx, Bournemouth; Strange, Bournemouth.

- UK Health Insurance Investing in Dorset Award. Winner: Signature Catering Group, Ringwood. Shortlisted: A-One Insurance Group, Ringwood; Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Evershot.

- Lester Aldridge and Santander Company of the Year Award. Winner: Testlink, Poole. Shortlisted: Actisense, Poole; BHLive.

- PKF Francis Clark Family Business Award. Winner: Superior, Wimborne. Shortlisted: Harts of Stur, Sturminster Newton; Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth.

- Outstanding Contribution to Apprenticeships (Sunseeker International). Winner: Atlas Elektronik UK, Dorchester. Shortlisted: Cobham plc, Wimborne; Redweb, Bournemouth.

- Outstanding Customer Service (Beales Gourmet at the Italian Villa, Luxurycare). Winner: Anytech Solutions, Poole. Shortlisted: Bournemouth Hallmark Hotels; Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Evershot.

- Retail and Leisure Experience (Dolphin Shopping Centre). Winner: Forum Jewellers, Broadstone. Shortlisted: Delfino Lounge, Poole; MacGuffin Project, Bournemouth.

- TeamJobs Team of the Year Award. Winner: Greenwood Campbell, Bournemouth. Shortlisted: Inspire Professional Services, Poole; Siemens, Poole.

- Young Chamber Award (Blue Sky Financial Planning). Winner: Atlas Elektronik UK, Dorchester. Shortlisted: Biotrack Ltd, Wareham; LoveLove Films, Bournemouth.

- UK Exporter of the Year Award (REIDsteel). Winner: Aeronautical & General Instruments Limited (AGI), Poole. Shortlisted: Actisense; Trimetals, Blandford.