JUDGES had a tough task on their hands after receiving an incredible 171 nominations, but the winners of the 2014 Knutsford Town Awards have finally been announced.

This year’s worthy winners were presented with their awards at a special ceremony following the Civic Service on June 29.

The awards scheme, which is run by the town council, aims to recognise the valuable work undertaken by individuals, groups and businesses to benefit the Knutsford community.

Knutsford Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Garner said: “It is encouraging to see that there are so many working so hard for Knutsford.

“The level of nominations received was astounding and I hope that, as well as those who won the awards, those that take part in this community work realise how vital they are to the community and how valued they are, both by the town council and the town as a whole.”

The awards ceremony was presented by Ian Cass, representing The Forum of Private Business, which sponsored the event.

Three Civic awards were handed out on the night. The first civic award was presented to Vivienne Pike for her contribution both locally and internationally to the development of young Knutsfordians through Scouting.

The second award went to Kevin Hollins for his dedicated service to the Knutsford Academy and its integration with the wider Knutsford community.

The final civic award was presented to Derek Empson MBE in recognition of his work with a number of community organisations including the Old Folks Club, Town Plan group and for developing the Community Emergency Plan.

The 2014 community award was presented to The Welcome for being the heart of the Longridge community and encouraging interaction through a wide range of activities and community groups.

The 2014 business award was presented to Stefanie Meachin of Gusto for their engagement with fellow traders creating positive spirit for visitors and the community with initiatives such as the Bunny Hop.

The inaugural youth award was presented to Emily May Walker for her work with the 2nd Toft Guides and wider girl guiding movement in Knutsford.

Town Mayor Cllr Neil Forbes said: “It was a pleasure to present the awards to those in our community who have worked so hard making Knutsford a better place to live.

“I want to thank all those who took the time to nominate someone for the awards; the panel were delighted to see there are so many people, groups and businesses all working to the benefit of Knutsford.”

Commendations for worthy nominees

Due to the high calibre of nominations, the panel took the decision to introduce commendations to the scheme this year.

Three commendations were issued in addition to the awards. The first two went to Val Bryant for her work with the Knutsford Heritage Centre and to Kane Gunter for his work with Community Spirit and other charities; both of whom narrowly missed out on winning a Civic Award.

A further commendation was made to Phillip Nixon, for encouraging the Explorer Scouts to respect their natural environment at the Mobberley Nature Reserve.