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Imagine cruise to victory at Wiltshire Business of the Year Awards

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Imagine Cruising emerged as the big winners at this year’s Wiltshire Business of the Year Awards at a spectacular gala dinner at Center Parcs in Longleat Forest on Friday.

The independent travel agency saw off Swindon joinery business Edmont and Trowbridge-headquartered food company apetito to accept the night’s most prestigious prize – the Outstanding Excellence award – from Thrings partners and judging panel members, Gemma Featonby and Michael Tatters.

The accolade capped a hugely successful evening for Royal Wootton Bassett-based Imagine Cruising, whose chief executive, Robin Deller, was crowned Business Person of the Year.

The company also collected the Creative Marketing Awareness award as well as being named runners-up in the Service to the Community category.

More than 360 entrepreneurs, SMEs and organisations gathered for the awards – now in their 23rd year and organised by Newsquest Wiltshire – to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the county’s thriving business community.

Businesses and individuals were competing in a total of eight categories, with each winner gaining automatic entry into the Outstanding Excellence award category, sponsored by long-time event partners, Thrings.

The individual category winners were::

  • Business Person of the Year - Robin Deller of Imagine Cruising
  • Medium Sized Enterprise of the Year – Bechtle Direct
  • Start-up Business of the Year - Niche Recruitment
  • Customer & Staff Care - Good Energy
  • Apprenticeship, Training and Professional Development Employer of the Year - CentraHeat Heating & Plumbing
  • Services to the Community - 24-7 Staffing
  • Small Business of the Year - The National Self Build & Renovation Centre
  • Creative Marketing Awareness Award - Imagine Cruising
  • Outstanding Excellence – Imagine Cruising


Thrings partner and awards judge Ramona Derbyshire said: “The judges reviewed hundreds of entries and then met with many businesses from across the county, from sole traders and SMEs to larger, more established organisations.

“Entrants had invested huge amounts of time, effort and care into collating their submissions, and each had a story to tell.

“The cream of the county comes together for the Wiltshire Business Awards every twelve months, and every year, without fail, the judges are forced to look for new ways to distinguish the winners from the rest.

“This has been another exceptional year for the Wiltshire business community, and on behalf of Thrings, I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who has contributed to the success of this year’s awards and shone a light on our wonderful county.”