Business News | Local Awards Category Finalists Announced | Andover & VillagesWith only a matter of weeks to go until the Test Valley Business Awards Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony at The Museum of Army Flying on 13th September, the spotlight is on the Doing Business Locally Award finalists.

The Doing Business Locally Award is sponsored and judged by Taylored IT, and exists to celebrate businesses with a strong connection to their local community through any means, including; marketing, trading, recruiting or sourcing local produce.

The finalists in this category for 2018, are:

• Sheep Shed Gallery

• CoCo’s Canine Creche Ltd.

• The Greyhound on the Test

Of the finalists, Hendry Taylor of Taylored IT remarked:

“With so many entries of such high quality, judging has been a – very welcome! – challenge this year, actually it has been very hard to select the finalists. Congratulations to all the finalists, each of you truly reflect the spirit of ‘Doing Business Locally’. To have come this far is a wonderful achievement.”

The Test Valley Business Awards Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony, where this year’s winners will be announced, represents a great opportunity to hear about and celebrate the success of just some fascinating enterprises. It also allows guests to network with other local businesses and gain valuable publicity to promote themselves.

Paula Staff of CoCo’s Canine Creche Ltd. commented on being shortlisted:

“We are thrilled to have been selected as finalists in the ‘Doing Business Locally’ category of TVBA. I wanted to open Coco’s to provide a local service for responsible dog owners and offer something different for their dogs during the day. Our creche is an indoor play park for dogs with a woodland theme, spacious and bright and with a homely feel.

“As a new/start up business we had to call on the expertise of many local skilled professionals to create our vision, from the design of the logo by a young up and coming graphic designer through to the painting and decorating of the unit and installation of the dog safety crates in the van. The artist who designed and painted our mural has since gone on to open her own studio at The Fairground Craft Centre and we have employed youngsters from Sparsholt, who have completed the Animal Management Diploma, as well as had the pleasure of welcoming a number of regular local volunteers who come every week to get their ‘doggie fix’.

“Since we have been open we have also supported a number of local school/college students seeking work experience. Their help has been very much appreciated and I believe we have inspired some of them to work with animals in the future. Every week for the last few months we have had help from a young man from Andover Mencap – it has been lovely to see his confidence grow whilst he has been interacting with the dogs. We will always continue to support our local businesses and trades people and hope to be able to provide even more over the coming months and years teaming up with other canine professionals from the area.”

Similarly, Bea Maddison, Gallery Administrator of Sheep Shed Gallery remarked:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be a finalist in the Doing Business Locally Award, just to reach the final three is a huge achievement for us! As a team, we have worked really hard over the past year to ensure that the Gallery is reaching its full potential and is promoting our local artists efficiently; whilst utilising local businesses for our advertising and creating strong local partnerships in the process. We endeavour to continue on this pathway in the future and hope to be able to support more and more local artists and craftspeople.”

Tickets are now available for the Test Valley Business Awards Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony at the Museum of Army Flying on 13th September; costing just £55 a ticket, to include sumptuous 3-course meal and welcome drink.

To book tickets, please visit: or see: for more information.

Now in its 14th year, the Test Valley Business Awards – run by a steering group of volunteers – has become a well-established platform to champion business excellence. It is a great way of shining a light particularly on the many new and small businesses in the region, all doing interesting and valuable work, but often out of sight.

For more information about this year’s Gala Dinner & Awards Ceremony, please visit:

Polly has almost 20 years in the media industry. As Editor of Andover and Villages, she strives to bring the latest and greatest news with a minutes notice. Polly can be contacted via or alternatively called at