The first winners of The Heart of Morpeth business awards were announced at a gala evening last week.
Seven category winners received their accolades and two special presentations were also made during the evening event at Riverside Lodge in High Stanners.
Richard Rutherford, the fifth generation of his family to run the Rutherfords of Morpeth department store that has served its customers for 170 years, was presented with a lifetime contribution award.
The Chocolate Gallery in Oldgate won an award for the best-dressed window to welcome back Morpeth Town FC after the club won the FA Vase at Wembley in May.
The ceremony was organised by partners Morpeth Town Team, Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade and Sanderson Arcade to celebrate and recognise excellence among the retail, service, professional and hospitality businesses based in the town centre.
Cookswell Citroen, Pegswood, was the main sponsor and the individual awards were also sponsored by local businesses and organisations.
Jacky Beesley, Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade chairman, said: “It was a fantastic evening. The competition was intense among the businesses that were put up for awards and we had nearly 1,000 votes cast by members of the public for our Retailer of the Year accolade.
“We have some terrific businesses trading in Morpeth – from sole traders to multi-nationals – and there were some very worthy winners on the night.”
The category winners were as follows. Business Manager of the Year, sponsored by Inside Morpeth magazine and ThruYorDoor leaflet deliveries: Sarah Jane Kennedy-Robson (Morpeth Chantry TIC); Young Achiever of the Year, sponsored by WCRS: Chelsea Johnson (Clarks Shoes); Customer Service Team of the Year, sponsored by The Flagman: Morpeth Chantry TIC; Independent Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Global Radio North East: The Morpeth Larder; Customer Engagement/Project Award, sponsored by Beach Design: Dalls (Packhorse Yard); Emily Wilding Davison Award, sponsored by Geoffrey Davison and Emily Inspires: Layla Welsh (French Grey Tales); Retailer of the Year, sponsored by Taylor Wimpey: JoJo Maman Bébé.