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Ashbourne crown winner of the “Family Business of the Year” 2021 at Warner Brothers Studios, Hertfordshire

The Inspiring Herts “Family Business of the Year Award 2021” was presented by Peter Smits, Managing Director of Ashbourne Insurance to Gatwards of Hitchin – established in 1760 – at a glittering gala evening event at Warner Brothers Studios, Leavesden – the home of Harry Potter – on Thursday September 9th, 2021. Ashbourne’s highly commended prize went to Castaway Cottage of Hemel Hempstead who is led by the youngest entrepreneur and CEO present at the awards, a very impressive 14 year old Archie Major.

The awards were presented after guests experienced the magical Harry Potter tour and an elegant black tie dinner. An audience of approximately 400 award finalists, judges and distinguished guests were in attendance. Local dignitaries, including the Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss CBE CStJ, the Mayor of Watford, the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, and prominent business leaders.

Multi award-winning, independent insurance broker and Chamber Patron, Ashbourne has sponsored the ‘Family Business of the Year ‘award for the past three years, having cast their own ‘spell’ on judges at the National Family Business Awards.

Peter Smits & Charlotte McCrossin

Peter Smits Managing Director of Ashbourne Insurance presents Charlotte McCrossin, MD Gatwards of Hitchin with their trophy.

Briege Leahy & Archie Major

Briege Leahy, CEO Herts Chamber of Commerce centre with Archie Major (14 years of age), CEO of Castaway Cottage right and his grandfather left.

Alongside Gatwards, fellow ‘Family Business of the Year 2021’ finalists included: Castaway Cottage, JHP Electrical, JPA Workspaces, Kane International, Kestronics and Taylor Heating.

Peter Smits commented, “It was an absolute privilege to present the Family Business of the Year Award to Gatwards of Hitchin – one of the UK’s oldest running jewellery businesses – and to recognise the achievements of one of the youngest Hertfordshire businesses, Castaway Cottage.  Our county is blessed with a great number of outstanding family firms and we have been pleased to help showcase them year on year at the Inspiring Herts Business Awards. After the past twelve months, working in challenging conditions of Covid-19, it was a great evening to meet face to face with Hertfordshire’s most well regarded companies and truly celebrate good news. Thank you to all the organisers, fellow sponsors and to Warner Brothers for staging the event. Looking forward to more in future. Congratulations from our team at Ashbourne to all the winners and finalists.”

Briege Leahy, CEO of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “Local businesses, large and small, are at the heart of the growth of our county and our annual awards ceremony is an opportunity to recognise business leaders’ hard work, innovation and contribution to Hertfordshire. Gatwards of Hitchin is an outstanding family business, demonstrating new and innovative ideas to continue the growth and prosperity of one of the UK’s oldest family-run jewellery businesses, whilst keeping their customers at the heart of what they do. A well-deserved winner!”

Third generation, family-run Ashbourne Insurance offers a wide range of business and personal insurance along with a claims advisory service. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and 2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of Ashbourne Insurance.

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