Winners Revealed For The Exeter Space Awards 2018
All content by Sofy Robertson
The Exeter Royal Albert Memorial Museum opened its doors last night to host the first ever Exeter Space Awards, organised by Astley Media.
The bubbles were chilling, the stage was set and the polished glass of the awards winked in the light, admitting that they knew the winners before anyone else.
Compèring the awards was Tim Wadsworth, CEO of Space, and Grow’s very own Editor-in-chief, Joff Alexander-Frye.
At the side of the room, the drinks table stood waiting with rows upon rows of shining glasses waiting to be filled. The pop of the prosecco announced the arrival of the first nominees and their guests.
As the room began to fill, the buzz of noise grew to a buzz of anticipation. With over 150 people due to descend upon the RAMM, the promise of a good night was in store.
Canapés, provided by Posh Nosh, began to appear on artisan wooden boards. Swelling almost imperceptibly, the room continued to fill and the buzz continued to grow.
At 7pm, a hush fell upon the room as Tim and Joff took to the stage to welcome the room, praising the sponsors of the event and the judges who had made the final calls.
With his Powderkeg in hand, Joff began to introduce the shortlist for the Best Sustainable Business Award, sponsored by Grow Green. Sky Park, Live West and the Devon Business and Education Centre had all made the short list. The buzz of the crowd quietened as the golden envelope was passed up to the stage, announcing the Devon Business and Education Centre as the winner.
Next up was the Best Shared Space Award. Exeter City Space, Thrive Hubs, The Generator and the Devon Business and Education Centre had all made the final cut, but it was Exeter City Space whose name was read from the golden envelope.
The award for Best Public and Third Sector Workplace followed. Shortlisted for this award were just two businesses; Live West and the Entrepreneur Hub at the Innovation Centre. Claiming the polished glass trophy for this award was Live West.
Shortlisted for the Best Open Plan Award were Good Growth, Hilton Barnfield Architects, Yello Studio and PKF Francis Clark. PKF scooped this one, taking to the stage for their applause.
Sponsored by Situ was the Well-being award. More businesses had made this shortlist, making it a tough one to call. The Generator Hub, Live West, WNW Digital, Crowdcube, Oneserve and Chalk and Ward were all waiting to hear if their name would be called. The golden envelope revealed that Chalk and Ward were this year’s Well-being award winners.
One of the most anticipated awards was the Best Desk Award. The competition had reached a whole new level here because this time, it was personal. Clive at Clive’s Country Garden, Kayleigh at Love my Family and Kerri from Carousel Calendars had made the judge’s short list. With prosecco in hand, it was Kerri who took to the stage, looking rather stunned to receive the coveted Best Desk Award.
Another highly anticipated award was for Coolest Workspace, a title highly sought-after judging by the length of the shortlist. Sponsored by Signs Express this too-cool category contained Ashwoods Electric Motors, Lightfoot, Crowdcube, Optix Solutions, Yello Studio and Situ. With a lot of cheering and whooping, Crowdcube took to the stage to accept their award.
The intriguingly titled WOW! Award was next. Ashwood Electric Motors, Yello Studio and Crowdcube again made the shortlist, alongside Aptus UK and Hilton Barnfield Architects. Breaking the record for the most people on stage for the smallest work space, Hilton Barnfield squeezed in next to Joff and Tim to receive their award and pose for photos.
The final award of the evening was the Best Workspace Award sponsored by Nettl. This was the final chance for the shortlisted businesses; PKF Francis Clark, Lightfoot, Live West, Hilton Barnfield Architects, Crowdcube and Yello Studio. For the final time, the seal of the golden envelope was peeled back, revealing Lightfoot as the last winners for the night.
As a relentlessly positive media company, it could not be more fitting for Grow to attend the event and sponsor one of the awards. This night showcased a portion of the brilliance that Exeter businesses have to offer, and I have a feeling that next year, there will be even more to come.