More than 800 people gathered for a glittering gala dinner at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to celebrate North-east business success at the 2011 Northern Star Business Awards.

The biggest event in Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce’s diary and also one of the biggest business awards events across Scotland, the 8th annual ceremony celebrated the achievements and ongoing success of 42 finalists in 14 categories.

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New for 2011 was the introduction of four new categories – Best Campaign, Green, Energy and Outstanding Contribution to Society – to reflect changing trends in business. Some of the existing awards were also amended to take account of new working practices.

This year also saw the Chamber continue its commitment to charitable and not-for-profit members with five organisations – CLAN, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, North East Sensory Services, Befriend a Child and Cornerstone – each receiving more than £1000 thanks to the generous donations of the Northern Star guests.

The evening got off to a magical start with Jeff Burns, Ivor Smith and Bill Duncan of Fifth Dimension entertaining guests at the pre-dinner reception with their own brand of magic and mystery.

Pre-dinner entertainment continued with the Turriff and District Pipe Band before host for the evening, TV presenter Gaby Roslin, took to the stage.

Making her first visit to Aberdeen, Gaby said that the recognition of Aberdeen’s role as one of five UK cities to watch in terms of leading economic recovery and Aberdeenshire’s success in being named as the area with the highest quality of life in Scotland showed that the region had cause for celebration.

Those celebrations began with the presentation of the first award – the Lifetime Achievement Award, introduced for the first time last year in recognition of outstanding, on-going commitment and achievement. This year’s recipient was Aberdeen Harbour Board in recognition of more than nine centuries of service to the region.

Closing entertainment was provided by Souls of Prophecy Gospel Choir.

Photographs from the evening can be viewed via the Chamber website at www.agcc.co.uk Photographs can also be viewed and purchased directly from the official photographer, Donald Stewart Photography at this link