Lancaster’s “finest ambassadors” were recognised for their contribution to the city at a brand new awards ceremony last week.
The Lancaster BID Ambassador Awards were set up to showcase businesses and individuals who have made exceptional contributions to Lancaster city centre over the past year.
The ceremony took place at the Royal Kings Arms Hotel after finalists were selected by a panel of judges following nominations by members of the public.
Petra Onaique, from the recently opened Herbarium in Great John Street, won the Chef of the Year Award, sponsored by Printing.com.
Lancaster BID said she had received an overwhelming number of public nominations and had “brought the sublime to Lancaster”.
Katie Wright, manager of Journey Social in King Street, who Manager of The Year, sponsored by Marketgate Shopping Centre.
The new business has already won the title of Lancashire’s Best Café 2019 and Katie oversaw a 350 per cent increase in turnover in twelve months.
Josh Allen, from the Stonewell Tap in Lower Church Street, won the Bar Tender of the Year Award, sponsored by Single Malt Design. This award was hotly contested, but judges decided Josh had gained the edge on his fellow shortlisted candidates due to the exceptional feedback from both customers and his peers.
Janet Ratcliffe, of The Borough, in Dalton Square, won the Individual Customer Service award who received numerous nominations from satisfied customers including “always bright, smiley bubbly face who’s eager to help any way she can”.
The Team Customer Service Award, sponsored by Lancaster City Council, went to the staff of Buccelli’s in Church Street.
The cafe received strong feedback from customers with one saying “great customer service and very friendly staff including the owner himself”.
Abi Denby of the Stonewell Tap won the Young Person of the Year Award sponsored by Lancaster and Morecambe College.
She received numerous nominations from customers, her peers and manager.
Lancaster On Ice took the award for Visitor Attraction of the Year, sponsored by St Nicholas Arcades.
Judges admired the risk that the organisers took to bring the event to Lancaster and “are looking forward to seeing it return even bigger and better this year”.
The Independent Retailer of the Year Award went to clothes store Renes, in Common Garden Street, which was described as being “at the height of fashion in Lancaster for almost 65 years and a truly deserving winner”.
Finally, the Lancaster Ambassador of the Year Award, sponsored by Holdens Solicitors, went to publican and Pubwatch Chairman Tim Tomlinson.
Lancaster BID said: “As well as running three pubs, Tim excels in many areas which could easily go unnoticed.
“Tim has been chair of Pubwatch for over 10 years with the main aim of keeping Lancaster safe, he’s also helped produce and distribute 85,000 maps over the last five years for Lancaster City of Ale, and last year came to the rescue, with the help of others with “Lancaster Live” a replacement for Lancaster Music Festival.
“A worthy winner of the award for his many contributions to making Lancaster such an amazing city.”
Tony Johnson, Lancaster BID Manager said: “At Lancaster BID we are very proud of our first BID Ambassador awards.
“To get over 300 nominations in our first event was a triumph in itself, but to see how much everybody (not just the winners) enjoyed themselves shows how passionate the business community of Lancaster is about their City.
“Also a special thanks to The Royal Kings Arms Hotel our headline sponsor and host who were fantastic before and on the night!
“Here’s to BID Ambassador Awards 2020!!”