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FINISHING AND FIT-OUT SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR

SPECIALIST AWARDS

Its excellent track record as an employer and specialist service provider put Optima way ahead of the competition

WINNER:Optima Partitioning Systems Formed in the mid-1990s as a specialist division of HL Smith Construction, Optima is now one of the largest supply and fix partition companies in the London area.

Optima declares that it does not accept British Standards as being good enough - so it sets its own standards.

To the likely embarrassment of its rivals, this approach has enabled Optima to win the Association of Interior Specialists Award every year for the past 10 years.

The company's sheer attention to detail in every aspect of its business ensures it stays at the top.Health and safety, training, management, and design and manufacturing are all industryleading.

What the judges said:'Top of the field.Optima was by far the best candidate, showing comprehensive performance across the board.Very strong.'

FINALIST: Mivan Mivan has completed over 100 fit-out contracts during the past five years, ranging in value from £25,000 to £40 million.One of the most valuable and prominent projects was the fit-out of the new Scottish Parliament building, including its new debating chamber.Quality of workmanship is a particular strength of Mivan, and the company ensures it retains this strength through its trade and craft apprentice programme.

What the judges said: 'Good training and safety record; Mivan operates internationally as a main contractor.

The quality of its work is superb.'

FINALIST: Pel Group In its submission for this award, the firm used its performance on the £5.5 million World of Food department fit-out for House of Fraser Birmingham.The initial design required some 250 m of linear drainage to be installed within an old concrete building - a proposal that threatened to weaken the whole structure. Pel redesigned the project to avoid severe problems and delivered the whole contract on time and to budget.

What the judges said: 'Great innovators.They have a good safety record, excellent problem-solving ability and they deliver real customer satisfaction.'