Showcasing Excellence Award

Sponsored by Ipswich Central

The Showcasing Excellence Award is presented to, from left, Matthew Coward and Karen Finch of The Hearing Care Centre by Paul Clement of Ipswich Central. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Entries for this award were invited from Ipswich town centre area businesses which excel in their activities and believe they would be worthy winners.

As this award is about showcasing the overall excellence of the businesses shortlisted, demonstrating the drive and ambition for success within Ipswich, entrants were expected to provide details of:

  • A sound business plan and sales and marketing strategy;
  • Environmental awareness;
  • Commitment to the community;
  • Background on the business and a brief history;
  • Why their company should win;
  • How their business has improved based on the category requirements;
  • An established market position;
  • Excellent growth or expansion;
  • Potential for sustained growth;
  • Innovation in products, services or processes;
  • Customer and staff engagement;
  • Effective leadership and management;
  • An ethical approach to business; and
  • Strong business results.

Overall, the award aimed to recognise the company that best demonstrated all-round excellence in business. The judging focused on financial performance and future objectives, the competitive advantage of the business, a commitment to customer service and examples of specific strategies which have driven business growth.




The Hearing Care Centre

The Hearing Care Centre, established in 1998 by audiologist Karen Finch, is a family-run private hearing care practice based in Ipswich, with a further 23 local outreach centres across Suffolk and Norfolk.
The company offers a variety of services under the umbrella of hearing including hearing assessments, fitting of the latest hearing aid technology, earwax removal and noise protection.
Karen’s team consists of 23 employees, including seven hearing aid audiologists.
The judges said: “In a highly competitive market, The Hearing Care Centre has an impressively clear view of its place in the sector, priding itself on delivering first-class, attentive, and compassionate customer care.
“Owner Karen Finch has grown the business from scratch and it continues to develop impressively. Karen is also now diversifying into other areas of health care.”


The runners-up

New Wolsey Theatre

The New Wolsey Theatre is a 400-seat auditorium with a 100 seat studio – a mid-scale theatre with large-scale ambitions!
Its mission is to develop and produce a dynamic programme of theatre, for all the people of Suffolk and surrounding areas.
The theatre has a particular reputation for its actor-musician shows and rock’n’roll pantomimes, as well as its PULSE Festival which represents a snapshot of contemporary theatre from across the UK.
The judges said: “The New Wolsey Theatre fully understands the important role it plays in a number of ways: in the local arts scene, in showcasing Ipswich as a vibrant place to visit, and also in terms of the importance of social inclusion.
“It delivers impressively on all these aspects. The judges were impressed by the theatre’s project to increase engagement with its customers, and also by the New Wolsey’s determination to promote inclusivity within its programme.”

The Greyhound Public House

The Greyhound is a popular Adnams pub on the edge of Ipswich town centre, offering a welcoming environment and a great venue to meet friends, celebrate a birthdays, host a business lunch or have a quiet drink and relax.
Food boards change daily while keeping the £6 weekday lunch, famous chilli and burgers on bar menus. There is a car park and beer garden at the back of the property and free Wi-Fi. All food is cooked from fresh ingredients on the premises alongside a great selection of real ales, lagers, wines and soft drinks.
The judges said: “In difficult times for many pubs, we were impressed by the strong and consistent business growth at The Greyhound.
“This is a tribute to the focused approach of landlord Dan Lightfoot, who places huge emphasis on giving his customers what they want – including service with a smile from his staff.”