The third annual Eastside Awards in association with George Best Belfast City Airport was the biggest and best yet, as 320 guests attended the glittering Burns Night ceremony, hosted by television presenter Tara Mills, recognising the best of East Belfast at Hastings Stormont Hotel. The top accolade for Outstanding Contribution was awarded to East Belfast man Mervyn Hempton, who is committed to creating employment and wealth across the city with entrepreneurship and economic development at his heart. As Chair of East Belfast Enterprise, he was instrumental in the building of the business park and 60 incubation units. Before his retirement, Mervyn was Chief Executive of Allied Bakeries, achieving a major lifelong goal of securing employment or stability for more than 450 families in East Belfast and, as Chairman of Northern Ireland Bakery Council and President of Irish Association of Master Bakers, he was awarded Freedom of the City of London. He is currently Chair of Northern Ireland Piping and Drumming School which provides music tuition to children with special needs. And Ashfield Girls’ School scored a hat trick, with pupil Coleen Bergantinos scooping the Young Person of the Year award, the third year running for the school winning in that category.