Tributes have been paid to Newport businesswoman Janet Harris, who has died aged 80.

Ms Harris was the founder and organiser of the Monmouthshire Business Awards and was also involved with the City of Newport Business Club.

She worked in the advertising department of the South Wales Argus for a time during the 1990s before leaving to join Newport Rugby.

She then set up her own consultancy offering business support, event management and marketing and worked with Newport Chamber of Commerce for six years.

She was also a member of the Lions Club of Newport and became their first lady president, a position which saw her be the lunch partner of the Duke of Edinburgh when he accompanied the Queen to mark Newport's City Status.

Ms Harris, who lived in Bassaleg, was born in 1941 at the Rothbury Nursing Home in Newport and was brought up in the Isca Hotel on Clarence Place, Newport, where her father Billy Harris was the licensee. She was a former pupil of Newport High School.

Although she lived most of her life in the Newport area, she also spent about 20 years working in Devon.

She is survived by her two children Francine and Adrian.

Her daughter described Ms Harris as 'impulsive, stubborn, uncompromising' who had a passion for small local business.

Paul Matthews, of Monmouthshire County Council, which sponsored the Monmouthshire Business Awards, said: "Janet was a colourful character. She could be formidable at times but she was always loyal, trustworthy and true to her word.

"I remember very clearly when she told me (didn’t ask me) one day that she was going to build the Monmouthshire Business Awards and that within five years they would be seen as the ‘Oscars’ of Welsh business awards.

"It started in the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny, grew into the St Pierre Hotel near Chepstow and then took the biggest space the Celtic Manor had to offer - she did what she said she was going to do. I shouldn’t have doubted her and I certainly wasn’t brave enough to tell her that I did.

"At heart Janet was a big softie.

"She loved her family, she loved the whole county of Gwent and she loved people who were brave enough to start their own business.

"She was a champion for the entrepreneur recognising how lonely a place that can be.

"This lady was a force of nature and our world will be a poorer place without her. She has left her mark and it’s a mark she can be proud off.

"I will miss her hugely as will so many in the business community of Monmouthshire that she galvanised and believed in.”

Ms Harris' funeral was held at the crematorium at Langstone in May.