Staff at a Weymouth convenience store are celebrating after they scooped a top prize for the third year in a row.

The SPAR store in Preston won the Convenience Retailer of the Year award at an awards ceremony staged by Appleby Westward, the regional distribution company for SPAR stores in the south west.

As well as the top prize the store, owned by Barbara Clements, picked up three other accolades at the awards ceremony, held at the Bournemouth Hilton Hotel, including best produce, best food-to-go and best independent store.

Mrs Clements said: “We are delighted to win this prestigious award for the third year running. My staff deserve enormous credit for all their hard work and dedication to maintaining high standards throughout the store.”

The awards cap off a landmark year for the community store which underwent a major refurbishment in the summer which introduced an improved food-to-go offer, expanded off licence, new counters and enhanced Post Office services.

Judges said: “The store has demonstrated that there is always room for improvement by redeveloping what was an already successful store and increasing the offer further. The store has an excellent Daily Deli offer, chilled food and produce offer and off licence, and continues to support the community it serves.”

Barbara and her late husband Mike acquired the store 32 years ago, developing it into a thriving neighbourhood store.

Other Dorset stores also fared well in other categories.

Olly Andrews’ SPAR forecourt store at Maiden Newton won the Community Retailer of the Year award, as well as the Best Neighbourhood Forecourt Store award, while his colleague Abi James won the Best Store Manager award.

The SPAR store at Wool, Dorset also won Best Company-Owned Store award.

The awards ceremony adopted a British Summer Party theme and was hosted by comedy hypnotist Chris Doc Strange.

More than 140 guests wearing summer outfits attended the event and were entertained by a Beach Boys tribute band along with other summer-themed activities.

Appleby Westward’s sales and marketing director, Nick Kenworthy said: “Over 50 SPAR stores entered the awards this year, and the high standards have set the bar even higher for other SPAR stores in the region to rise to the challenge in 2019.”