The BKU Awards took place last night in the stunning environs of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, hosted by GP turned comedian and star of ITV’s daytime quiz show The Chase, Paul Sinha.
Over 250 members of the industry turned out to see the stars of the bathroom and kitchen industry pick up their awards and celebrate the achievements of the past 12 months.
First up were the Bathroom Brand categories. Best Shower Brand went to Hansgrohe; Best Sanitaryware Brand, RAK Ceramics; Best Bathroom Taps Brand, Crosswater; Best Bathroom Furniture Brand, Roca; and Best Bathroom Accessories Brand, HiB.
The UK’s best bathroom and kitchen retailers also got to enjoy their moment of glory. Independent Bathroom Retailer of the Year went to Abbey Kitchens and Bathrooms; Independent Kitchen Retailer of the Year, Diane Berry Kitchens; Multiple Retailer of the Year, CP Hart; New Kitchen Retailer of the Year, Snug Kitchens (Newbury); New Bathroom Retailer of the Year, Beyond Bathrooms; Kitchen Showroom of the Year, Diane Berry Kitchens; and Bathroom Showroom of the Year, Hobsons Choice Swindon.
In the Kitchen Brand categories, Best Appliances Brand was awarded to NEFF; Best Worksurfaces Brand, Cosentino; Best Kitchen Taps Brand, Franke; Best Kitchen Components Brand, Blum; and Best Kitchen Sinks Brand, to Franke. Masterclass Kitchens meanwhile, scooped the award for Best Overall Kitchen Brand.
In the ‘General’ Awards categories, Best Distributor went to Frontline Bathrooms; Best Software Brand, Virtual Worlds by Logicom; Best Heating Brand, Bisque; and Best Flooring Brand, Karndean Designflooring. Uform meanwhile, snapped up the highly coveted Best Overall Brand of the Year Award.
Always an exciting set of awards, the winners of the People categories were announced last. Helen Casewell from AEG was named Best Sales Representative, while the Best Customer Service Award went to Kerry Fuller from Claygate.
Ripples founder Roger Kyme was granted the Lifetime Achievement Award – he was away on a well-deserved break so his daughter, Nicola Crow, head of sales for Ripples collected the Award on his behalf.
Michelle Brereton of Not Just Kitchen Ideas was the lucky recipient of a case of Vogue anniversary wine, having been picked at random by Paul Sinha to have the back of her brochure signed.
A charity heads & tails at the end of the evening saw another guest pick up two Club Wembley gold tickets, while over £1200 was raised for children’s charity Barnardo’s.
The World’s No.1 Michael Jackson tribute act, ‘NAVI’ then took to the stage to perform a catalogue of hits including Smooth Criminal, Thriller and Man in the Mirror with everyone up dancing until late.
Reflecting on the evening’s success, BKU’s Carl Hearnden said: “What a fantastic night, congratulations to all of our 2016 winners. Thanks also to our sponsors, as without their backing the event of wouldn’t have been possible. The early popularity of the BKU Awards points to a very exciting future for the event and its winners. I’m looking forward to seeing it grow.”