DEREK Pierce was last night named Scotland’s Entrepreneur of the Year at a prestigious awards dinner in Glasgow.

Mr Pierce won top prize in the programme developed by Entrepreneurial Scotland to highlight the strength of business building in Scotland.

The Summit Entrepreneurship Awards were presented at the SWG 3 venue. The Herald is media partner for the awards.

Mr Pierce’s award highlights the success he has achieved at the Ayrshire-based J&D Pierce contracts business.

The company has grown from a small fabrication and blacksmithing operation into one of the UK’s largest structural steelwork contractors during his 36 years with the business.

It has worked on a range of prestige projects recently including a new hangar for Boeing at Gatwick airport.

The award was sponsored by Deloitte.

Richard Slater, partner and head of Entrepreneurial Business in Scotland with the professional services firm, said: “ Derek and his team have enjoyed standout success at a time when Scotland’s entrepreneurs are delivering at home and abroad.”

Steven Gray, won the Scale Up Entrepreneur of the Year award after developing the ROVOP remote operated vehicle business he founded in 2011 into a global business active in markets such as oil and gas and renewables.

Stuart Brown, head of SME Scotland & Northern Ireland at award sponsor Barclays, said of Mr Gray’s achievement: “No mean feat in any sector, but particularly powerful given the recent challenges in oil and gas.”

Eighteen-year-old Isla Leslie, leader of Kirkwall Grammar School’s 2017/18 Young Enterprise team, won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Michael Corrigan of Trtl was named Rising Star of the Year. Robin Watson of Wood won the Intrapreneur of the Year award with the Social Entrepreneur of the Year title going to Celia Hodson of Hey Girls.The Academic Entrepreneur of the Year award was claimed by Dr Caroline Barelle of Elasmogen.

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said the awards showcased the breadth and depth of Scotland’s innovators, change makers and entrepreneurial talent across all sectors.

The awards were staged by Entrepreneurial Scotland and STV.