Congratulations poured in as Blairgowrie-based company Castle Water was crowned Perthshire Chamber of Commerce “Business Of The Year 2018”.

The UK’s leading independent water retailer lifted the title at a glittering Star Awards ceremony, sponsored by Binn Group, at Crieff Hydro. Castle Water CEO John Reynolds OBE and his staff celebrated winning both the Business Growth and the Developing The Young Workforce Partnership category awards before going on to claim the overall trophy.

A record audience of more than 420 representing local businesses, heard how Castle Water captured the judges’ vote for their “impressive and sustainable business growth, superb level of customer service and innovative strategy.”

“Castle Water shows excellence and expertise in all areas of their business,” explained Chamber President Ross Graham. “Top notch customer service sustained and impressive growth through innovation and a cutting-edge shining example of excellence in their field.

“We are delighted that we have this brilliant business based here in Perthshire – substantially boosting the local economy and demonstrating tremendous innovation and ambition which looks set to continue.”

Blairgowrie-based Castle Water won its first customer in April 2014. Since then, the company has undergone impressive and sustained growth within the highly regulated business water market. Today, Castle Water is supplying over 560,000 business supply points across Scotland and England.

A thrilled John Reynolds said: “Everyone at Castle Water is absolutely over the moon at this recognition of our achievements over the past four years, having grown from two employees to over 370, and having cemented a leading market position in the new business water market.

“We are especially pleased that our partnership with Blairgowrie High School has been recognised with the Developing Young Workforce Partnership Award,” added Mr Reynolds. “Through this partnership, we are delivering joint initiatives that enhance and enrich education while raising awareness to improve recruitment potential and the preparedness of young people entering the workplace.”

In other highlights of the evening, the Chamber’s coveted Outstanding Achievement Award went to Brigadier Sir Melville Jameson KCVO CBE for tireless work to promote Perthshire – its tourism, products, businesses and charities – during his 12 years as Lord Lieutenant of the area.

And Stephen Leckie, CEO of the Crieff Hydro hotel group, was awarded the Business Leader of the Year accolade, following 25 years at the helm of the long established family business – taking it from two local hotels to a family of nine high-quality independent establishments across Scotland.

In total, 15 new Business Stars shone at the 2018 showcase, recognising and rewarding outstanding contributions across the whole spectrum of local business – from tourism, food and drink production and independent retailing to customer service, innovation, sustainability and business growth.

Ross Graham, said this year’s event – sponsored by Binn Group – had proved “an outstanding celebration of business excellence”. “Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards repeatedly deliver a tremendous celebration of the vibrant business community in this area,” he added. “It’s wonderful to be able to give local companies a platform on which to shine and to showcase the amazing quality of businesses based here.”

Event organiser, Chamber CE Vicki Unite, reflected on another sellout success. “The Star Awards is the Perthshire business community’s big night out and everyone has a great time,” she said. “People are so supportive of all our nominees and our winners and the atmosphere is really lively and engaging.

“This year has been another sparkling showcase of the best in the business with a host of very impressive companies and individuals coming to the fore – Perthshire really does boast some outstanding business stars.”

“We are so grateful to Binn Group and all of our sponsors and supporters for making it all possible.”

In addition to Main Sponsor, Binn Group and the fifteen category sponsors, support was also received from Highland Spring, Perthshire Advertiser and Jelf Clark Thomson with each worthy winner taking home a beautiful, unique, handmade, glass Star Award crafted by Caithness Glass.

The Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Star Awards took place at the Crieff Hydro Hotel.

Full list of winners:

  • Blackadders Employee of the Year Award – Liam Wilkie, Kilmac
  • Perth College UHI Apprentice of the Year Award – Liam Boyle, Balfour Beatty
  • Elevator & Business Gateway Most Promising New Business Award – Tay MediSpa
  • Graham Environmental Services Excellence in Customer Service Award – Kisa’s Restaurant
  • Fairways Excellence in Business Innovation Award – Peel Tech
  • Handelsbanken Commitment to the Community Award – Perth Autism Support
  • The Enchanted Forest Excellence in Tourism & Leisure Award – Pitlochry Festival Theatre
  • Stagecoach Group Contribution to Sustainability Award – Molke
  • DWK Office Solutions Beyond Scotland Award – ACS Aviation
  • Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants Business Growth Award – Castle Water
  • ACS Aviation Independent Retailer of the Year Award – Loch Leven’s Larder
  • Castle Water Excellence in Food & Drink Produce – Clootie McToot Traditional Dumplings
  • Farquhar Print Employer of the Year – Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service
  • Thorntons Business Leader of the Year – Stephen Leckie, Crieff Hydro Family of Hotels
  • Outstanding Achievement Award – Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, Brigadier Sir Melville Stewart Jameson KCVO CBE
  • Perthshire Business of the Year 2018 – Castle Water