Mark Pembleton, recently retired Economic Growth Manager at Portsmouth City Council, was given the Lifetime Achievement award at The News’ Business Excellence Awards in recognition of a long and distinguished career in local government laying the groundwork for Portsmouth’s businesses’ success and prosperity.
A trained accountant, he has more than 20 years’ experience in economic development, and has steered a course for Portsmouth – whether that be winning £6.9m in Future High Streets Funding or £20m in Levelling Up fund cash for the city, or leading overseas marketing of the city with trade visits to Bangladesh and China.
Also at the Business Excellence Awards, the overall Business of the Year award went to Pro Pods, a company finessing a new way of living, creating ‘boutique’ style houses for young professionals. Pro Pods also won the Entrepreneur of the Year award for boss Daryn Brewer. Other highlights included Carrington West winning both the Training Programme of the Year and Large Business of the Year award and Package Free Larder and Wightlink, joint winners of the Sustainable Business of the Year. Employer of the Year Award went to the Coastal Kitchen Family.
Speaking about winning the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mark Pembleton said: ‘It’s fantastic…but I feel there’s so many other people who deserve it just as much. When you work for local government, you have a team. It is not just me, it’s about everybody else too.’
Paying tribute to his work, Editor of The News Mark Waldron said: ‘He did much to help small businesses during the pandemic, including personally manning the phones when businesses called for help and support.
Here are the full list of winners:
Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan, said: ‘It’s fantastic to be back at Portsmouth Business Awards and celebrate some of the outstanding achievements that local businesses, apprentices and entrepreneurs have made over the last year.
‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of our city, but it’s also encouraging to see how long-term industry partners of our city are helping to develop the next generation of talent, as Portsmouth begins its economic recovery from the pandemic.’
Editor of The News Mark Waldron said: ‘Each year we celebrate local business success whatever the challenges – and this year’s awards are extra-special after all that we’ve been through.
‘So many businesses have been affected by Covid and the business world has seen a huge change as many people continue to work from home.
‘For some the pandemic has meant pivoting and showing enterprise after government restrictions affected their ability to trade. How they have coped and adapted has been inspirational.
‘Now restrictions have been lifted and society returns to a new normality, it is a good moment to reflect on and celebrate how much has been achieved even in the face of adversity.’
Main image credit The News. Portsmouth / Alex Shute