The best in local business flocked to Weymouth College for this year’s Dorset Echo Industry Awards.

The prestigious awards ceremony was held on Friday evening at the Hix Academy restaurant and was presented by local singer Lauren Bannon, who made it through to the final of TV show The Voice.

Introducing the event she said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming. I am really pleased to be here at the Dorset Echo Industry Awards.

“I would also like to thank the Hix Academy for a fantastic night with brilliant food.”

All the food served on the evening was prepared by students from Weymouth College. Meanwhile, the college’s performing arts students treated guests to a stunning song and dance show.

Shalim Abdul of Shalim’s Balti House in Weymouth said he was over the moon to pick up the award for Best Dining Provider.

He said: “To win against the other independent restaurants is an honour itself. It just means that what we are doing, we are doing well, and shows that we are of a high standard.”

Luke Hayter Fitness won this year’s Best New Business Award.

Mr Hayter accepted the award alongside fitness instructor Charlie Hannam.

Speaking about the new business, Mr Hayter said: “We are like the Chuckle Brothers of fitness, we try to make it not as serious and want to bring the enjoyment side out of it.

“We’re a gym for people who don’t like gyms and aim to inspire those who haven’t had the right education about fitness and nutrition.”

“With us you can have your cake and eat it.”

The Best Product or Service Award went to online care resource Age Space Dorset.

Annabel James, said she was thrilled to have received the award on behalf of Age Space Dorset, adding: “We are quite a new business and have been in Dorset for about a year.

“It’s fantastic for us to be recognised by the Echo.”

Wyvern Academy was awarded the Best Apprenticeship Employer. Headteacher Bruce Douglas said: “I am beyond delighted.

“We didn’t expect to be nominated, it was such a lovely surprise. Our apprenticeship scheme has really taken off.”

This year’s Best Long-Standing Business Award went to Tecan, based on the Granby Industrial Estate.

Neil Walker, managing director of Tecan said: “We are delighted to win the award.

“We are extremely proud to have the founder’s daughter Ella Cane with us tonight.

“The award represents the significant efforts of the team over the past 40 years.”

Ella Cane added: “My father Paul Cane would have been so proud of all the staff and I feel very honoured to be asked to represent him this evening.”

Here’s the full list of the winners:

Best Overall Retailer: Woods Furniture

Best Customer Service Provider: Boutique at No 6

Best Social Media Marketing: The Dorset Burger Company

Best Business Development or Innovative Idea: Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum

Best New Business: Luke Hayter Fitness

Best Contribution to Local Tourism: Portland Port

Best Product or Service: Age Space Dorset

Best Community Engagement: Café on the Green

Best Apprenticeship Employer: Wyvern Academy

Best Woman in Business: Sarah Attwood

Best Dining Provider: Shalim’s Balti House

Best Long Standing Business: Tecan