NOMINATIONS are now open for the awards which celebrates Basingstoke’s heroes.

The A Place to be Proud of Awards, now in their fifteenth year, celebrates local unsung heroes, as well as showing off individuals, organisations and projects that have made a contribution to the community.

Local businesses sponsor all of the eight award categories, with this year a brand-new sponsor and a new category.

Basingstoke Together will be sponsoring the Business and the Community award which will recognise the efforts from a business, or its staff, which makes a contribution to the community beyond normal commercial activities.

Rebecca Handley, deputy chief executive from the Basingstoke Together, said: “Basingstoke Together is delighted to support the 2018 Place to be Proud of Awards.

Our sponsored category; Business and the Community, allows us to celebrate the fantastic contributions businesses make to Basingstoke and the local community.”

The winner of the Business and the Community category will be chosen through an online vote.

A new category for this year is The Gazette sponsored Volunteer of the Year Award which will showcase the contribution made by volunteers who give their time to improve the lives and environment of others in their community.

Bill Browne, publisher of The Gazette, said: “We know from experience there are many unsung heroes out there with no thought of reward. This is a great opportunity to recognise them.”

Destination Basingstoke is once again organising the annual awards. Felicity Edwards, managing director of Destination Basingstoke, said: “Destination Basingstoke is delighted to organise these awards that celebrate the best of our community.”

The full list of categories and the sponsors are: the Arts & Entertainment Award, sponsored by Basingstoke Leisure Park; the Young Achiever Award, sponsored by Queen Mary’s College and Breeze; the Unsung Hero Award, sponsored by Festival Place; the Health & Care Award, sponsored by BMI The Hampshire Clinic; the Community Project Award, sponsored by Face TV; the Inspiring Teacher Award, sponsored by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council; the Business and the Community; sponsored by Basingstoke Together; and the Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Gazette Newspapers.

Nominations can be made online at destinationbasingstoke.

The closing date for nominations is March 23 with finalists invited to the awards ceremony at The Haymarket on June 6.