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Capital’s Business Sector Celebrated at Edinburgh Chamber Awards Dinner

Posted: 2nd March 2016

Edinburgh’s business community came together on Monday night at the 5th annual Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. The event held at The Sheraton Grand Hotel &Spa, which was attended by over 450 guests of Edinburgh’s business leaders, celebrated a successful year of continued excellence and growth in the city.


The winners included Can You Escape? (Best Performing Business 1-10), Queen Margaret University (Innovation in Business), former Director of Harvey Nichols, Gordon Drummond (Lifetime Achievement) and Toby Trueman from HeeHaw (Young Businessperson of the Year). 12 awards were presented in total.

David Birrell, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was fantastic to see such a great turnout at this year’s awards. We all play a role in contributing to Edinburgh’s reputation as a leading international and innovative business centre. Building on this position remains core to the Chamber’s vision for the future and key to that is inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”

Sandy Begbie, Chief People Officer at Standard Life and Chair of the new Regional Developing Young Workforce (DYW) group, ended the night by calling for continued support of Edinburgh’s young people, future proofing the city’s offering by creating more employment and training opportunities through the DYW initiative.

Winners’ comments

Alastair Watson, Director of Can You Escape? said: “It’s great to see SMEs celebrated in Edinburgh and winning this award really shows what can be achieved by a small business. Being recognised by the Chamber in this way is a great platform for our continued growth and expansion into new markets as well as continuing to deliver a great service.”

Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, said: “We’re extremely proud to have won the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce ‘Innovation in Business’ award 2016.This latest industry award for QMU is further evidence of how the university continues to demonstrate innovation in both how we operate ourselves and in the way in which we engage with the business community to drive growth, through being responsive, creative, relevant and practical in focus. The award recognises our work in food and drink development and innovation, in supporting graduate start-ups in the creative industries and the promotion of our aspirations for land across the campus.”

Toby Trueman, Head of Production at HeeHaw, said: “Having joined the board of directors in 2015 and helping to steer Heehaw to a larger and more international client base, I am delighted to accept this award”.

Gordon Drummond, former Director of Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh said: “It is an enormous honour to have been recognised in this way by the Chamber. I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with such a great brand as Harvey Nichols and this award really reflects the efforts of the whole team in Edinburgh.”

Award Winners:

  • Developing Young Workforce – Dame Sue Bruce
  • Best Performing Business 1-10 – Can You Escape?
  • Best Performing Business 11-50 – Royal College of Surgeons
  • Best Performing Business 51+ – Edinburgh Airport
  • Sustainable Development – Lothian Buses
  • Outstanding CSR – Sainsbury’s Bank
  • Creative Marketing – Cyrenians
  • Innovation in Business – Queen Margaret University
  • International Trade – Heehaw
  • Young Businessperson of the Year – Toby Trueman, Heehaw
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Gordon Drummond, Former Director, Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh
  • Director of the Year – Gareth Biggerstaff, Be-I.T Resourcing


Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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