BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Paignton Zoo and Environmental Park
PAIGNTON Zoo and Environmental Park scooped the most prestigious award of the evening as it was crowned Business of the Year. The winner was chosen from among the victors of the 10 individual categories.
Judge and Herald Express editor Jim Parker said: "Our awards ceremony has revealed some extraordinary businesses in the community doing incredible work, so this final award was an incredibly difficult decision for the judges.
"Well done to Paignton Zoo."
Earlier in the evening, the zoo had triumphed in the Best Sales and Marketing category.
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The zoo's director of marketing and development, Pippa Craddock, said she was 'shocked' to be called up to the stage for a second time to pick up the award.
"It's amazing," said Miss Craddock.
"There are so many great businesses out there. They are really diverse businesses that have achieved so much, so for Paignton Zoo to be named Business of the Year is a real honour.
"It's been tough over the last couple of years. Like other businesses, we have suffered from the recession.
"Our staff and volunteers are so dedicated and our success is down to them and their hard work.
"It's also down to the local people and businesses that have supported us. We couldn't do what we do without them."
The Business of the Year award was sponsored by Torbay Development Agency and Torbay Council and presented on their behalf by Alan Archer.
Miss Craddock added that everyone at the zoo would be 'very proud' to have been named Business of the Year and would 'shout it from the rooftops'.