Alex Fuller Santander, Keith Brownhill Dextra Group Plc, Grant Esterhuizen Lester Aldridge LLP.

One of the world’s biggest banks has joined forces with a leading law firm once again to begin the search for the company that exhibits all-round excellence in the Daily Echo and Dorset Echo-backed Dorset Business Awards campaign.

Santander and Lester Aldridge are joint sponsors of the Company of the Year Award, acknowledged as one of the ultimate accolades for businesses in the region.

The award aims to recognise high achievers and entry is open to leading local businesses of all sizes, from private companies to multi-nationals and subsidiaries. Judges will be looking for a winner who can demonstrate they meet the following criteria:

•             Excellence in customer care

•             First-class processes for research and development into new products or services

•             Outstanding financial track record

•             A strong strategy for the development of the company

•             Commitment to staff training and development plans

•             Contribution to the wider community and steps to protect the county’s environment

The current Company of the Year Award holder, Dextra Group Plc, was recognised for its impressive and consistent performance and growth over a period spanning 35 years.  The winning company demonstrated a clear vision and strong plans for investing into the future; a recipe which will ensure its sustainability and provide growth to the Dorset economy. The judges identified the firm’s success was a result of the business being well structured and highly professional throughout.

Talking about winning the award, marketing manager at Dextra Group Plc Natasha Ward said: “Being acknowledged for our achievements with a Dorset Business Award has been incredible. We are a British manufacturer competing against various international competitors and winning this award has given us national recognition for our work.

“Since winning, we have made steps into markets that may not have considered us before. It’s also about highlighting our area as one that harbours some of the best businesses in the country.

Grant Esterhuizen, Partner at Lester Aldridge, said: “It’s brilliant to be involved with an award which looks to honour a local company with dedication to excellence in all aspects of their business. We’re looking for a market leader, who can demonstrate a dynamic approach to quality and innovation.”

Mark Robertson, who heads up Santander’s Corporate and Commercial Banking team in Dorset, added: “As well as excellence in new product development and customer service, this award aims to recognise businesses with an outstanding financial track record in terms of sales growth and profitability.”

The Awards are also backed by the south’s leading radio station Wave 105 and are free to enter.  Entrants can submit an entry via or print off an entry form and submit a paper-based entry. The closing date for entry is Friday September 11. Entrants do not need to be a member of Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

For further information about the Awards, sponsorship opportunities or to reserve  tickets for the Gala Dinner which will take place at the Bournemouth International Centre on Thursday November 26 please contact Lorraine Hubbard on 01202 714810.

Sponsor profile

Lester Aldridge

Lester Aldridge is a full service law firm, advising commercial organisations and private individuals on a regional, national and international scale, from offices in Bournemouth, Southampton and London. The firm’s core practice areas are real estate, dispute resolution, banking and finance, private client and commercial services.


Whether small family companies or global corporations, Santander approaches every business customer as an individual relationship. It strives to understand a firm’s unique needs and to make banking straightforward, so it can focus on growth. That’s why its clients get a dedicated, expert relationship director. Santander also believes credit partners should meet clients directly, so decisions are as transparent as possible.