Finalists announced for Preston’s city centre awards

Posted on - 10th February, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Looking down Fishergate Pic: Tony Worrall
Looking down Fishergate Pic: Tony Worrall

Nearly 50,000 votes have been cast to decide the finalists in a Preston-based awards ceremony.


The Preston ‘Smiles Better Awards’ – run by the city’s Business Improvement District – recognises people and businesses for their work in Preston city centre.

Fifteen categories include retailer of the year, restaurant of the year and the City Star award.

There’s also due to be a Special Recognition Award handed out on the night by the organisers.

In previous years it has gone to Friargate florist Margaret Mason and Church Street fishing shop stalwarts Ted Carter.

Read more: New scheme shows exactly how many people are using the city centre

The Smiles Better Awards ceremony is being staged at the Guild Hall as part of the Lancashire Business Festival, which runs throughout March.

John Gillmore of BBC Radio Lancashire and Danny Bee were the presenters, and were joined by Jake Wood - EastEnders actor - centre - to host the last time the awards were held in 2016
John Gillmore of BBC Radio Lancashire and Danny Bee were the presenters, and were joined by Jake Wood – EastEnders actor – centre – to host the last time the awards were held in 2016

Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: “The businesses in Preston city centre consistently offer outstanding service, and the ‘Smiles Better’ awards are our way honouring these people and organisations. It’s their efforts that keep people returning to our city centre time and time again, and for that, we thank them’.”

Sponsors of the awards – which sees the public vote for who they want on the finalists list – are Abbey Telecom.

Managing director Tony Raynor said: “The large amount of votes cast is a tribute to all the great customer-focused work being carried out by staff in Preston’s shops, restaurants, bars and cafes.

“This positive response to the awards from the general public again highlights Preston’s deserved reputation as a vibrant shopping and visitor destination that delivers fantastic levels of service.”

The awards take place on Tuesday 20 March and the full list of finalists is below:

Bar of the year
Wings and Beer

Club of the year
The Warehouse

Restaurant of the year
We Don’t Give A Fork
The Olive Tree Brasserie
CoCos Soul Food
Turtle Bay
The Health Shack
Pizza Express

Pub of the year
Ships & Giggles
The Wellington
The Black Horse
The Addelphi
Twelve Tellers
Roper Hall
The Old Black Bull

Personality of the year
Mark Freejack – Evoque
Lauren Conroy-Clough – The Warehouse
DJ Set J – The Adelphi
DJ Ben – The Warehouse
Brian Hudson – Yates
Leroy Allen – City Beat FM
Andrew Forster – Lofty’s
Luke Wilson – Baluga

Leisure manager of the year
Dave Brown – Switch
Zohra Gunner – CoCos Soul Food
Neil Yari – Evoque
Scott Galpin – Yates
Dan Taylor – The Black Horse
Adam Coulson – Twelve Tellers
Craig Almond – The Adelphi
Andrew Forster – The Wellington

Retail manager of the year
Lisa Barber – Boots
Sarah Forster – Thorntons
Beverley Wilkes – Debenhams
Sue Clark – New Look
Jon Cotton – HMW
Michelle Littlefair – PDSA
James Howe – Richer Sounds
Sue Dodwells – Greggs

Multiple retailer of the year
Marks & Spencers
Richer Sounds
Ann Summers
River Island

Independent retailer of the year
Banana King
Townhouse Coffee & Brew Bar
That Comic Shop
Bakes by Susannah
Yog Yums
Action Records

Best customer service – leisure
Chelsea Chard – Glovers
Tom Havlin – Baluga
Alice Corke – Costa
Danny Petricco – JD Gyms
Pamela Leith – The Wellington
Jon Walling – Evoque
Jamie Rattigan – The Adelphi
Katie Heron – Yates

Best customer service – retail
Sam Eaves – Ann Summers
Sarah Forster – Thorntons
Sue Dodwell – Greggs
Gary Gilboy – Age UK Lancashire
Paul Roscoe – HMV
Lisa Barber – Boots
Janine James – Victoria’s Vault
Jacueline Bates – Slaters

Outstanding achievement – retail
Margaret Mason – Margaret Mason
Laura Smith – Marks and Spencers
Andrew Stringer – St George’s Centre
Robin Carter – The Original Art Shop
Shanice Baron – The Perfume Shop
Keith Mitchell – Fishergate Shopping Centre
Gordon Gibson – Action Records
Sarah Forster – Thornton

Outstanding achievement – leisure
Rob Binns – Glovers
Leroy Allen – City Beat FM
Ranya Ball – Yates
Leigh Sweetman – Evoque
Lisa Billington – Warehouse
Richard Simkin – Guild Hall
Andrew Forster – Loftys
Simon Rigby – Guild Hall

City Star
The Fishergate Bollard
Andrew Stringer – St George’s
Simon Rigby – Guild Hall
Leigh Sweetman – Evoque
Ed Walker – Blog Preston
Stephen Connolly – Preston Police
Andrew Forster – Loftys/The Wellington
Lisa Billington – The Warehouse

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