Melksham firm Valldata has been named the Wiltshire Business of the Year for 2011.

It beat more than 100 firms in a competition which was sponsored by Newsquest, owners of the Wiltshire Business magazine.

The winning trophy was presented at a gala dinner attended by almost 300 people.

Valldata was formed as a partnership in 1977, providing data capture services, which remains core to its main service offering today.

In 2003 the business repositioned itself as the specialist provider of choice for charities within the UK, providing outsourced payment processing and fulfilment services.

The business has grown significantly since 2003.

With an acquisitive focus, and the continued launch of new products and services, it is now established as the leading supporter relationship management company for the charity sector.

Its continued success culminated in a management buy-out earlier this year, enabling the business to continue investing in technology and expertise that create innovative solutions.

“With our expanding teams, dedicated to delivering excellence in everything we do, we aim to achieve even greater results for you through this added power behind Valldata,” said Simon Hardman, the boss of Valldata.

“Our knowledge of the charity sector is renowned. Through knowledge comes experience, and through experience comes expertise. This expertise has earned us a valued and respected reputation with long-term clients.

“Every day our staff help our clients achieve something amazing – that’s special and unique.”

This is the 18th year the Wiltshire Business awards have been held and, despite the economic turndown, it has been the biggest response yet.

Entries were more than 100 and the gala dinner was attended by almost 300 people.

“I am delighted that we have had record numbers this year both in entries and here at our gala dinner,” said Gary Lawrence, News quest’s group editor for Wiltshire.

“Even though it’s been particularly tough in the business marketplace, business awards give the local economy a boost,” he said.

“The awards demonstrate that business wants to engage with the public; they provide a profile in the market place and a recognition for the people who work that particular business.

“The sponsors are thrilled that we are doing so well and I would like to thank all of them again for their support. Without them we wouldn’t be holding an awards evening.

“I am grateful for the assistance of other companies and the mere fact that they wished to continue as well, shows their immense value.”

n The main sponsor for the event was Thrings, which is sponsoring the Overall Excellence and Wiltshire Business Of The Year Award. Other sponsors are NatWest (Innovation And Growth); the BBC (Service to the Community); Business West (Small Business); Mainline Employment (Customer and Staff Care);and Monahans (Business Person Of The Year); Eastcott Vets in Swindon (Rural Business of the Year) and an environmental award sponsored by Newsquest.