Forum wins top gong at business awards night

Padraig Canavan (Chamber President), Stephen Connolly (of award sponsors, Money Exchange), Martin Bradley (Culture Company Chair), Amanda Hamilton, Cara Mc Carthy, Charis Jones and Jim Gallagher (Millennium Forum), Sinead Mc Laughlin (Chamber CEO) and Jim Roddy (CCI). 0806IC13 Millennium Forum
Padraig Canavan (Chamber President), Stephen Connolly (of award sponsors, Money Exchange), Martin Bradley (Culture Company Chair), Amanda Hamilton, Cara Mc Carthy, Charis Jones and Jim Gallagher (Millennium Forum), Sinead Mc Laughlin (Chamber CEO) and Jim Roddy (CCI). 0806IC13 Millennium Forum
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The Millennium Forum has scooped the prestigious title of Derry’s Business of the Year for 2012.

The Forum was recognised as an exemplar of excellence in front of an audience of hundreds at the City Hotel when selected as winner in the main category of the awards organised by City Centre Initiative (CCI) and Londonderry Chamber of Commerce with the support of principal sponsor, Money Exchange.

The ceremony was hosted by UTV presenter Gerry Kelly, who praised the quality of all 39 finalists.

Following the announcement of the big win, David McLaughlin, the Forum’s Chief Executive, said the recognition outlines the theatre’s “important input into the city’s economy”. He added: “It also acknowledges the considerable impact of our business in terms of its central position in the life of the city’s Arts and Cultural sector.”

He said the success of the Forum, which has hosted more than 3.5 million visitors since opening in 2001, was down to the people of Derry and beyond. Chairperson of the Derry Theatre Trust, Martin Bradley, added: “We are delighted that the Millennium Forum has secured this level of success in the finals of these prestigious awards.” He added: “The future looks bright for our venue and we look towards the future with a positive and hopeful outlook as our city sits on the cusp of UK City Of Culture 2013.”

A total of 13 businesses received awards during the ceremony. Jim Roddy, of CCI, said the work of day-to-day work of businesses in Derry “contributes to the end goal of having a living, breathing, vibrant city”.

Chamber of Commerce President Padraig Canavan said it was important that “as a city we take time out to enjoy the achievements of those businesses that are the driving force behind our community”. He added: “The judging panel was overwhelmed with the outstanding quality of the submissions.” Stephen Connolly, the chief executive of main sponsor, Money Exchange, said: “These awards give an opportunity for all of us involved in the business community to reward and celebrate the outstanding achievements of local business men and women - and their employees - during the last year.”

For pictorial coverage of the category winners in Derry’s Business Awards for 2012 see pages 26 and 27. And there’s a special Forum pic on p30 . .