Judging hots up for Thames Gateway business awards

Judges Ian Griffiths, Melanie Sanguir, Karen West-Whylie and Jamie Banks

Judges Ian Griffiths, Melanie Sanguir, Karen West-Whylie and Jamie Banks - Credit: Archant

The Thames Gateway business awards are fast approaching, and with 12 categories to get through, the 10 judges have been busy.

We caught up with some of them before they headed out to visit the finalists.

Karen West-Whylie and Ian Griffiths are representing Barking Enterprise Centre (BEC), which supports new businesses.

Karen said the awards are “an exciting opportunity to see the range of different businesses in a much wider field”.

Ian, business consultant at BEC, has previously judged the Barking and Dagenham Business Awards so is bringing his expertise to the table.

“The winners in the Barking and Dagenham awards get entered automatically into these awards, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they fare,” he said.

“I think the Thames Gateway Awards have done well in attracting great entries in all categories.”

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Barking Chamber of Commerce treasurer and independent business consultant Jamie Banks agreed, saying: “it’s a very good cross-section of Thames Gateway businesses with a strong geographic and sector spread.

“The young entrepreneur category should be a useful encouragement to young people across the region.”

Event manager Sarah Scott-Foster sat in on the judging to offer advice about the criteria and process.

She said: “For the inaugural awards it was fantastic to see such a diverse range of businesses engaging with the event and shouting about the fantastic work that is going on right here on our doorstep.

“The judging process for any business awards is always a difficult task for the judges but I feel that the finalists that have been chosen really showcase the talent, innovation and best practice happening within our region.”

The Thames Gateway business awards ceremony will be held on Friday, October 28 at East Wintergarden, Canary Wharf.