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Wollens chief executive Chris Hart has helped launch the North Devon Business, Leisure and Tourism Awards.

The law firm are once again the headline sponsors of the awards which have been revamped this year.

They were officially launched with a reception for sponsors and business leaders at the Brend’s Park Hotel In Barnstaple.

Chris Hart talked about the recent changes and expansion Wollens had gone through in the past year with mergers with Morgan and Pope in Exeter and Toller Beattie in Barnstaple as well as a big rebrand and renaming initiative for the former Wollen Michelmore practice.

He said: “Wollens are delighted to be the headline partner for these awards – it must be the fifth or sixth year we’ve been here.

“Our firm has seen a huge amount of activity over the past 12 months.  Firstly moving into Exeter – and that office is already growing, I’m pleased to say.  Being in Exeter has significantly increased our profile.

“Secondly, of course, we merged with the very highly regarded Toller Beattie last October so increasing the strength and depth and support across all our departments and substantially increasing the firm’s reputation.

“The most recent development of course has been the firm’s rebrand – I hope this has been visible, we’ve certainly had extremely positive feedback from our colleagues in the business and professional communities.”

Bill Martin, editor-in-chief in Devon and Cornwall for Reach PLC,  talked about the changes that have faced the newspaper business.

He said: “The newspaper industry is not just a newspaper industry any more – it is a news publishing industry that includes newspapers as one of the platforms people use to access our content.”

But he added: “Some things haven’t changed and one of those is our commitment to champion all of our communities – their aspirations and those of the businesses at their heart.”

That fits in with Wollens’ ethos to be at the heart of the community in all that they do.

The prestigious 2019 finals event will take place at the Highbullen Hotel on Thursday, September 26.

The categories for this year’s awards have been overhauled:

  • Apprentice Employer
  • Excellence in Customer Service
  • Best Innovative Business
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Best Business Start-Up
  • Best Digital or Tech Business
  • Best Business Growth
  • North Devon Visitor Attraction
  • Best Retailer
  • Best Food and/or Drink Producer
  • Best North Devon Manufacturer
  • Best Accommodation Provider
  • Best Dining Experience – Fine Dining
  • Best Dining Experience – Family Dining
  • Best Dining Experience – Food on the Go
  • Outstanding Business

Entries close on July 25 with judging taking place on August 8.

You can enter the awards here:  https://reachplcevents.com/events/devoncornwall/north-devon-business-leisure-and-tourism-awards/