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The competition, based entirely on votes from members of the public and organised by Homes & Antiques magazine in conjunction with Antiques News and Fairs, awarded prizes to five businesses, from shops and vintage emporia to antiques centres and auction houses.

The winners were:

• Best antiques shop: Blighty Antiques, Cheltenham

•  Best specialist shop: Christopher Clarke Antiques, Stow on the Wold

• Best vintage/midcentury shop: Nanadobbie, Brighton

• Best auction house: McTear's Auctioneers, Glasgow

• Best antiques centre: Hungerford Arcade, Hungerford

The awards were launched in the November 2011 issue of Homes & Antiques to tie in with National Antiques Week and invited the public to nominate their favourite businesses in each of the categories. A shortlist of 25 names was announced last month.

Sarah and Andrew Seccombe of Blighty Antiques said after the announcement: "We owe a very big thank you to our customers who took time to nominate us as Britain's best antique shop. We are delighted to have won because it is voted by the public and that's the best compliment of all."

Gail McLeod, editor of Antiques News and Fairs and organiser of National Antiques Week, commented: "I have been delighted with the response to this campaign, launched last November in National Antiques Week, to raise the profile of this heritage industry and its fantastic green credentials.

The general public have voted in their thousands to give their favourite dealer or auctioneer a chance to win a coveted award."