Category winners at the Dartford Business Awards 2019


Winners of the Commitment to Skills Award, PBS Restaurants

For the third year running, Leigh Academies Trust has been delighted to sponsor the Commitment to Skills Award at the Dartford Business Awards. Working with a number of partners and sponsors, the event was ably managed by Dartford Borough Council.

This year, the Trust co-sponsored the award with NatWest. Every year the volume and quality of nominations has increased with judging proving to be an ever difficult task.

Hosted by Bluewater in the Marquee, the awards ceremony took place on Thursday 19th September and boasted the largest attendance to date with just over 400 seats being booked.

The theme of the awards this year was Pop Through the Decades

Designed to be a departure from the typical black tie awards event, the Dartford Business Awards has a specific entertainment theme each year with the 2109 theme being Pop through the Decades.  A number of tribute acts performed throughout the evening with the special guest slot being for the real 80’s band, Doctor and the Medics.

A summary of sponsors and winning nominations is as follows:

Best Owner Managed Business – Sponsored by Thomson Snell & Passmore:

Downton and Ali Associates

Bluewater Guest Experience Award – Sponsored by Bluewater:

Molton Brown

Best Use of Online – Sponsored by The Creation Lab:

Huski Home

Commitment to Skills Award – Sponsored by Leigh Academies Trust and NatWest:

PBS Restaurants Ltd T/A McDonald’s Dartford

Shop of the Year – Sponsored by Bluewater Shopping Centre:

H&M Quality Foods

Employee of the Year – Sponsored by The Learning Shop:

Alex King – Orchard Garage Ltd

Good for the Community Award:

Bluebird Care Gravesham and Dartford 

Happy at Work Award – Sponsored by Barclays and Fairfield Leisure:

Orchard Garage Ltd

The Innovation Award – Sponsored by The Nucleus and Oxford Innovation:

Practice Labs                                                                            

Young Person of the Year – Sponsored by North Kent College:

Charlie Randell – The Hug Group Limited

Dartford Living Customers’ Choice Award – Sponsored by Dartford Living:

OnPointe Pilates


Sincere congratulations to all the worthy winners and nominees.


As a Trust, we are fortunate to work with many of the best businesses in the area, a fact very much reflected in the evenings results:

Winner of the Best Owner Managed Business, Downton and Ali Associates

Longfield Academy counts owner of Downton and Ali Associates, Brian, as a valued business mentor at the academy. Brian is very much a stalwart of the local business community and his consistently successful efforts to support numerous charities are impressive.

Winner of the Happy at Work Award, Orchard Garage Ltd

Pam of family owned business, Orchard Garage Limited, is also a valued business mentor at Longfield Academy. In fact, she is also an alumnus, having attended Longfield Academy’s forerunner. Orchard Garage have also been splendid in attending and supporting Trust events such as FSB Skills 30:30 at several of our Dartford academies and the recent year 10 Careers Convention. A number of apprentices at Orchard Garage came from the Leigh Academy. Alex, current employee won Employee of the Year at the Awards and Charlie Fairway was also shortlisted for the Young Person of the Year award. Again, Orchard Garage are keen supporters of charity.

Winner of the Young Person of the Year Award, Charlie Randell of the Hug Group Ltd

Former Leigh Academy student, Charlie Randell, Social Media Manager of the Hug Group was nominated for the Young Person of the Year Award by his CEO, Andy , who is also a business mentor at The Leigh UTC.

Charlie’s determination and outstanding support of other young disabled people to grow their skills and employability was justly recognised.


Congratulations to all concerned.