CLOSE-UP: How last year's winners have continued to thrive

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AS CITY firms are anxiously awaiting the announcements of the winners of The Evening Telegraph's prestigious 2002 Business Awards, business editor SARAH BUTT takes a closer look at some of last year's success stories.

AS CITY firms are anxiously awaiting the announcements of the winners of The Evening Telegraph's prestigious 2002 Business Awards, business editor SARAH BUTT takes a closer look at some of last year's success stories.AS CITY firms are anxiously awaiting the announcements of the winners of The Evening Telegraph's prestigious 2002 Business Awards, business editor SARAH BUTT takes a closer look at some of last year's success stories.

PETERBOROUGH'S Burghley Academy scooped two awards last year, and partner Tina Parsons has already been nominated for the much-coveted title of Business Person of the Year 2002.

Business is booming for the Cumbergate-based hair and beauty salon owned by Tina Parsons and husband Chris.

They have just expanded operations by moving their training side of the business into new premises in nearby Keebles Chambers in Cowgate.

Mr Parsons told Business Telegraph Review: "This marks an extension of the business. The move releases the premises we have at the salon, purely for doing hair and beauty treatments, compared to before, when we would double up on the facilities.

"We wanted to move the training part to make it a more viable business because we were compromising ourselves in the end.

"It was simply too much demand for both aspects of the business in one place.

"Students can also come from training to do work experience here at the salon, so the two aspects of the business are still very much inter-linked."

Burghley won the training and customer care awards last year and has entered for this year's Business of the Year category.

Mr Parsons added: "It's nice because clients can see we are obviously going for awards that we feel reflect our business. We know we try to give the best customer care possible and pride ourselves on providing high quality training.

"Winning the awards has made people more aware of us and the fact that we are very committed to what we do for people. Our main aim is caring for people."

MP's progress report on the city's success stories

City MP Helen Clark visited the Burghley Academy, Premier Kitchens and Tiger Software, to see how their businesses were faring almost a year after winning the awards.

Mrs Clark said: "It was excellent to visit three very different businesses who are all extremely successful and a credit to Peterborough, illustrated by their winning the awards last year.

"I can see that winning the awards has benefited them all. They agreed it was very nice to be able to market themselves as an award winner, either in looking for new clients or, just as importantly, in attracting quality new staff.

"The awards obviously provided for them for a sort of quality mark, and for this reason I think it is very important for The Evening Telegraph to continue organising these awards each year.

"They all agreed Peterborough is an absolutely great place to set up in business. They all felt they benefited from the booming economy that we have at the moment. And of course, added to this, Peterborough has the natural advantage in terms of roads and infrastructure."

At the Burghley Academy, Mrs Clark said: "Tina Parsons is an excellent example of a woman succeeding in the male-dominated world of business. I certainly admire and respect her. The new training centre is a marvellous place.

"Premier Kitchens, last year's Business of the Year, is a great example of a family firm with dad, mum and now the son, working in the business.

"I was also delighted to see they have been able to expand into other areas in the region, like Lincoln.

"Tiger Software, winner of last year's innovation award, was very interesting. The people have been brought up and studied in Peterborough and have based the business here, but have national and international clients.

"Despite the fact that last year there was a downturn in the telecommunications industries, this has continued from strength to strength and forged new business."

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