PUBS, hotels, restaurants, bus companies, gin makers and recruiters have been revealed as finalists in the Brighton and Hove Business Awards 2016.

Reflecting Brighton’s diverse range of businesses, popular attractions such as Sea Life Brighton and the Sewer Tours from Southern Water also make the shortlist.

Only one company – Ticketmedia – makes the final in three different categories.

Hove based Ticketmedia was established in 2006 and is a leading printer of advertising on the back of bus tickets and other receipts.

It is responsible for 98 per cent of the bus ticket network in the UK, as well as 28 million adverts a month on Oyster card receipts.

It was also recently announced as a commercial partner of the British Airways i360, and will be handling all tickets, point-of-sale receipts and associated back-of-ticket advertising.

The company is up for The Award for Business Beyond the City, The Creative Industries Award with boss Jeremy Burbidge also up Managing Director of the Year.

Another seven business are on the shortlist twice.

These include Curry Leaf Café, which after opening just over two years ago in Ship Street, now also has a kiosk at Brighton Station and serves its regional Indian street food from the kitchen of The Temple Bar on Western Road.

The popular and vibrant business is a partnership between former Chilli Pickle chef Kanthi Kiran Thamma and former food critic and journalist Euan Sey.

Curry Leaf Café, which just last weekend it revealed it had its busiest weekend since opening, is up for Best Place to Visit and Best New Kids on the Block.

One business that will be hoping to make it a hat-trick of wins is Sea Life Brighton, having previously won Best Place to Visit two years on the trot.

The Victorian aquarium, which dates back to 1872, was designed by West Pier architect Eugenius Birch.

To this day it remains on the city’s most popular attractions, and is hoping a ticketing partnership with the i360 will maintain its prime position among residents and tourists.

Also up for two awards, The Green Business and Best Place to Work, is The Big Lemon, the sustainable bus company whose fleet runs on used chip oil.

Founded by Green councillor Tom Druitt, a committed campaigner on green issues, The Big Lemon has raised £250,000 for investment in electric buses.

Since it launched in 2007 more than a million passenger journeys have been made on The Big Lemon with more than half a million litres of waste cooking oil used and 900 tonnes of CO2 emissions saved.

Its next phase is to run bus services purely on electricity from renewable sources with no emissions and no carbon footprint.

Boutique hotel Blanch House will be hoping to win Best Customer Service having narrowly missed out on awards in previous years.

And tapping to the city’s knack for indulgence and having fun, Brighton Gin is up for two awards, Best New Kids on the Block and Business Beyond the City.

Kathy Caton and Helen Chesshire stumbled across the idea of Brighton’s first legal distillery during a late-night drinking session.

Its turquoise branding and strong social media presence have helped quickly make it a firm favourite amid the current gin rival.

The finalists will compete for 14 awards in categories which include the creative industries, professional services, managing director and the best event, as well as the best place to work.

Awards will also be made to the person who, in the judges’ opinion, has done the most for Brighton – the Outstanding Brightonian – and an overall Judges’ Choice award for The Best Business in Brighton.

Commenting on the shortlist Mike Gilson, chair of the judges and editor of The Argus, said: “Brighton & Hove has got a lot to shout about and there’s no better platform for shouting than the BAHBAs.

“The entries seem to cover every aspect of business life from creative digital services to hospitality and the night-time economy. Few other places in the country can boast such a range of businesses let alone the quality that we have seen on this year’s shortlist.”

Sponsors for 2016 include Allied Irish Bank, Brighton and Hove Buses, Cardens Accountants, City Cabs, Dental Health Spa, Gatwick Airport, Gemini Print, Graves Jenkins, Martin Searle Solicitors, RBS, Robinson Low Francis, TSS Facilities and Yelo Architects.

Title Sussex, Juice 107.2FM and The Argus are media sponsors.

The BAHBAs are supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Brighton & Hove City Council, Brilliant Brighton, the Brighton and Hove Food Festival, the Brighton Business Curry Club and Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance.

They have all come together to create a competition which acknowledges the diversity and uniqueness of Brighton and celebrates those companies, organisations and individuals who really build the Brighton brand.

The awards will be presented on Friday 15 September at All Saints Church Hove.

Tickets can be purchased online at

The shortlist in full...

Business in the Community

Bevendean Community Pub

Brighton and Hove Bus Company

Best Place to Visit

Curry Leaf Cafe

Sea Life Brighton

The Sewer Tours, organised by Southern Water

Best Event in the City

Brighton Fringe

Burning of the Clocks, organised by Same Sky


The Sussex Beacon Half Marathon

Green Business Award

The Big Lemon

Green Mop

Recharge Cargo

Best New Kids on the Block

Brighton Gin

Circulate Digital

Curry Leaf Cafe

Award for Best Customer Service

Blanch House

Flowers Unlimited

The Grand Brighton

Award for Best Place to Work

The Big Lemon


Switched On

Award for Business Beyond the City

Brighton Gin




Award for Best Independent Retailer

Flowers Unlimited

Pretty Eccentric

Small Batch Coffee Roasters

Whirligig Toys

Creative Industries Award

The Chinese Room

Pretty Eccentric


Professional Services Award

Classic Consulting

LA Law

Magenta Associates

Managing Director of the Year

Heidi Carroll, MEERKATworks

Jeremy Burbidge, Ticketmedia

Danielle Plowman, Ellie Ellie

Fastest Growing Business Award

Ellie Ellie

Hyve Managed Hosting

Sawyer and Co