SOME of the region's top performing businesses were honoured at a prestigious awards event.

The Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's business awards returned with a special event at Worcester Arena.

Sponsored by Folk2Folk and hosted by magician Ben Hanlin, the awards night saw more than 700 guests from businesses across the two counties.

After two years without an in-person awards ceremony, businesses were keen to get out and celebrate their achievements and have the opportunity to catch up with old faces and recognise the determination and innovation shown over the past year.

This year saw entries at an all-time high and ticket demand through the roof, with the event sold out months in advance.

15 awards were up for grabs, with the winners of each individual category entered into the final award, Business of the Year.

Prior to the awards ceremony, attendees had the chance to re-introduce themselves to fellow business professionals and meet new contacts during the Networking Drinks, sponsored by Yamazaki Mazak.

After drinks and a three-course dinner, attention turned to the Awards where 15 categories winners and highly commended businesses were announced.

The overall Business of the Year Award, sponsored by Folk2Folk was won by Malvern Panalytical.

The full list of winners included:

Best Use of Technology Sponsored by TechTeam – Amica24

Excellence in Customer Service Sponsored by Air Products – Malvern Panalytical

Employer of the Year Sponsored by University of Worcester – DRPG

Excellence in Innovation Sponsored by Malvern Hills Science Park – D-RisQ

Excellence in Professional Services Sponsored by Worcestershire County Council – Bishop Fleming LLP and 3WH (Joint winners)

Exporter of the Year Sponsored by Malvern Panalytical & High Growth Business of the Year Sponsored by EBC Group – OLPRO

Health & Wellbeing in the Workplace Sponsored by Cargill Protein Europe – New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE)

Manufacturer of the Year Sponsored by OGL Computers & Excellence in Sustainability Sponsored by Business Energy Efficiency Programme – Indra Renewable Technologies Ltd

Micro Business of the Year Sponsored by Worcestershire Growth Hub – SurfTech IT

Most Promising New Business Sponsored by mfg Solicitors LLP – EVA Capital Management

Small Business of the Year Sponsored by OV Group – Payara Services Ltd

Family Business of the Year Sponsored by Harrison Clark Rickerbys – ISO Quality Services Ltd

Commitment to the Community Sponsored by Sanctuary Group – Yeleni Therapy & Support

Business of the Year Sponsored by Folk2Folk – Malvern Panalytical

Sharon Smith, chief executive of the chamber of commerce, said: “After such a tough period for companies, the innovation and determination shown by our two counties business community demonstrates resilience and resourcefulness that is unique to the Herefordshire and Worcestershire area.

"I would like to wish all of those businesses who were finalists, highly commended and proud winners on the night my sincere congratulations and I hope that everyone within their organisations can be proud of their achievements.”