A businesswoman who helped grow a plastic life-like flower company has won a national sustainability award.

Anna Ball won the best green business accolade at the Best Business Women Awards in London at the end of September.

Floral Image has more than 1,200 displays at any one time in offices, restaurants and other businesses across Sussex.

The business, which first started in Australia, has a “lower carbon footprint” compared to fresh flowers as the flowers are re-usable. Companies get fresh flower arrangements every month.

The flowers are made from fabrics or various types of plastics.

The Argus: One of the floral image displays One of the floral image displays (Image: Floral Image)

Anna, from Ditchling, co-founded the business in the UK with her husband Richard.

She said: “I’m incredibly proud that the green credentials of Floral Image have been recognised. We seek to bring life-like flowers into businesses in a sustainable way, brightening spaces with colour without the hassle of fresh flowers.

“Colour is known for its ability to influence human emotion and flowers put a smile on everyone’s face.

“The award recognised that our enduring lifelike arrangements significantly reduce the environmental impact associated with the cultivation, transportation, and disposal of fresh blooms.”

One of the business’ clients is family-run Golden Lion Group which owns pubs in Brighton and Hove.

Leanne Day, owner of the chain, said: “The displays we get from Floral Image allow us to refresh our look every month with a bright new display that our customers always comment on.

“It’s great to work alongside another local business and to see Anna’s work recognised with the awards.”

Anna and Richard enable 24 franchises of Floral Image across the UK from their office in Henfield.

The Argus: Anna and her daughter HeidiAnna and her daughter Heidi (Image: Supplied)

As well as running her business, Anna and Richard also look after their eldest daughter Heidi, 13, who has a life-limiting genetic condition.

“I had no intention of being a businesswoman”, said Anna.

“It wasn’t my plan. But looking after Heidi has spurred me on, given me purpose and driven me forward.”

Anna and Richard have raised more than £75,000 for charities in the area since 2016 and Floral Image is sponsoring Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice “Snowman Ball” this December.