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Cheshire Business Awards 2016 honours the cream of the crop

Gallery of pictures and full list of winners from this year's glittering Chester Cathedral ceremony

Chester Cathedral provided the spectacular setting for the 13th Cheshire Business Awards which celebrated the creativity, initiative and determination demonstrated by firms large and small throughout the county.

It was the third time the 900-year-old historic building has welcomed the awards, organised by Trinity Mirror with the help of executive sponsors SAS Daniels.

Friday’s festivities began with an introduction from Michael Green, Trinity Mirror executive editor Cheshire weeklies, who described this as an exciting time to be part of the business community in the county, especially in Chester itself.

He said: “Progress is being made all the time on the new £100m Central Business Quarter near the railway station which, over the next 15 years, is estimated will create 3,500 jobs, provide 200 new homes and retail opportunities, as well as a new hotel and leisure facilities.

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“Only last month, the long but eagerly awaited £300m Northgate Development received planning permission which aims to deliver around 500,000 sq ft of new shops, restaurant and leisure facilities over two phases of construction, creating around 1,000 new jobs.

“And we are little more than six months away from the grand opening of the £37m new Storyhouse theatre which will provide a much needed boost to the cultural and tourism offering the city provides.”

Michael Green, Trinity Mirror executive editor Cheshire weeklies, giving the opening address at the 2016 Cheshire Business Awards

 

But he added the focus of the awards was the ‘great people’ who bind all this together: “Great people doing great things showing inspirational leadership, exceptional vision, innovative marketing and brilliant customer service in their individual fields.

“Tonight is an opportunity to celebrate your individual successes and take pride in the role you have all played in confirming Cheshire as a county packed with business talent.”

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Regional managing director of Trinity Mirror North West and North Wales, Carl Wood, then took to the stage to pay tribute to former editor-in-chief of Trinity Mirror Cheshire Eric Langton who died earlier this year following a long battle with cancer.

Mr Wood outlined the distinguished career Mr Langton enjoyed in journalism, which also saw him run the city’s experimental Chester Tonight daily newspaper in the 80s before moving on to the Daily Post prior to taking up his role running the whole portfolio of Trinity Mirror titles in Cheshire.

But he also emphasised Mr Langton’s unwavering support for the Cheshire business community, something which continued after his retirement from journalism when he went on to become the chairman of Chester Renaissance, playing a key role at a vital stage of the development of the new Storyhouse theatre which is due to open next spring.

Kate and David Langton with host Lucy Meacock present the Eric Langton Judges' Choice Award to Cheshire Ice Cream Farm at the 2016 Cheshire Business Awards

 

Later in the evening, Mr Langton’s daughter Kate and son David took to the stage to make a special presentation of the Eric Langton Judges’ Choice Award which this year went to the hugely successful tourist attraction Cheshire Ice Cream Farm based in Tattenhall.

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The tributes to Mr Langton continued when Granada TV news presenter Lucy Meacock took over as host for the evening and began by explaining it was the former editor-in-chief who got her involved with the Cheshire Business Awards 13 years ago, an association she has been proud to continue ever since.

A total of 12 awards were handed out at the Cathedral on Friday night culminating in the biggest presentation of the event, the SAS Daniels Business Person of the Year.

This is a judges’ choice award and not open for entry. The winner selected by the judges is an individual who stands out from the crowd, has an entrepreneurial spirit, demonstrates outstanding achievement and inspires others around them.

For 2016 the award was presented to Colin Brew, chief executive officer of the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

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With more than 20 years’ experience of managing business teams and building on customer relationships, Belfast-born Mr Brew’s aim is to be an advocate for local business and promote profitability, good employment and the generation of wealth throughout West Cheshire and North Wales.

His specialties are in leadership and management, business engagement and support, policy and representation. He relishes his spare time and enjoys keeping up with his two young children, as well as tinkering with his classic MG, cycling, running and metal detecting.

Kaye Whitby, partner and head of commercial SAS Daniels, and host Lucy Meacock with SAS Daniels Business Person of the Year Colin Brew at the 2016 Cheshire Business Awards

 

Kaye Whitby, partner and head of commercial at SAS Daniels, said: “Our Business Person of the Year is also a keen lobbyist of national Government for changes that benefit us in Cheshire, most recently collaborating on the fringes of our community with a view to increasing the opportunity and reach for our local businesses.

“Our winner is a superbly networked individual, who is the voice of thousands of businesses, working long hours and late nights for their benefit.

“Much of this work is behind the scenes, so it would be fair to say our winner is one of the ‘unseen’ heroes of the local economy.”

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Helping to make the event even more memorable for guests and VIPs were a selflie photo competition and a collection which took place in aid of the Chester charity Miles of Smiles which enables children with a terminal illness, sickness of disability to have the holiday of a lifetime at Disneyland Paris.

Following Friday’s event, Kaye Whitby of SAS Daniels said: “SAS Daniels have been extremely proud to be involved in the Cheshire Business Awards once again this year.

“It was truly inspiring to see so many businesses who I know have made significant investments to ensure that Cheshire remains a high growth area and a magnet for investment.

“Well done to all those businesses who won or were shortlisted, it was great to celebrate their success with them on the night. I look forward to another great year ahead for the region.”

The full list of award winners at Friday's ceremony is as follows:

GREEN BUSINESS AWARD:

Winner: The Land Trust - Warrington-based organisation which owns and manages public open spaces, such as country parks, nature reserves and woodlands for community benefit.

Also shortlisted:

Cheshire Barn Homes of Great Barrow

Hero Renewables of Middlewich

BARLOWS UK APPRENTICESHIP:

Winner: Everybody Sport and Recreation - Holmes Chapel-based organisation responsible for delivering leisure services in partnership with Cheshire East Council, running 15 leisure facilities including the new Holmes Chapel Community Centre and Crewe Lifestyle Centre.

LIVERPOOL JOHN LENNON AIRPORT CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AWARD:

Winner: Chester Racecourse - The company is responsible for both Chester and Bangor-on Dee’s historic racecourses along with all catering and conferencing facilities on site.

Also shortlisted:

Hero Renewables of Middlewich

Rhino Safety Limited of Sandbach

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR:

Winner: Barlows UK Ltd - Malpas-based company which started life in 1948 as a small electrical repair shop. The company has steadily grown over the years and now has two main offices offering a full range of electrical services. Still family run, Barlows has remained local and when expansion was necessary relocated to an industrial estate just a mile away from where the company was initially founded in the heart of Malpas.

Also shortlisted:

Prism Solutions Ltd of Congleton

Everybody Sport and Recreation of Holmes Chapel

BUSINESS START-UP AWARD:

Winner: Businesscomparison.com - Chester-based company which helps businesses save money and make the right decisions, by providing simple solutions that help to create a culture of comparing.

Also shortlisted:

No Brainer Agency of Warrington

TechnoSpark of Chester

INNOVATION AND ENTERPRISE AWARD:

Winner: Chester Cathedral - Founded as a Benedictine abbey in 1092, the cathedral has a rich and varied history offering worship and prayer, welcome and hospitality, pastoral care and education, and a creative use of its heritage including recent innovations such as Cathedral at Height.

Also shortlisted:

Cheshire Farm Ice Cream of Tattenhall

TechnoSpark of Chester

Hallnet Ltd of Warrington

Car Tinting UK of Saltney

Beer Dock of Crewe

Iron Gut Publishing of Holmes Chapel

SCOTTISHPOWER BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD (UP TO 10 EMPLOYEES):

Winner: Lucy Quartermain - Chester-based award-winning young, English contemporary jewellery designer and silversmith. Her designs can be seen on numerous A-listed British and American celebrities and in many top glossy magazines such a Red, Vogue, Look and Cosmopolitan.

Also shortlisted:

Pink Spaghetti of Chester

Beer Dock of Crewe

NAT WEST BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD (11-50 EMPLOYEES):

Winner: d3t Ltd - Founded in 2011, Runcorn-based d3t consists of a group of highly experienced professional developers with skills covering an array of development activities.

Also shortlisted:

Plastic Card Services of Macclesfield

Land of Beds of Helsby

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (OVER 50 EMPLOYEES):

Winner: Tyres On The Drive - Founded in Holmes Chapel by Dominic Clark in 2011, Tyres on the Drive is a forward thinking company that knows that satisfied, happy customers are the future. They believe that success is built on great customer service and word of mouth.

Also shortlisted:

Cheshire Farm Ice Cream of Tattenhall

Everybody Sport and Recreation of Holmes Chapel

BENTLEY MOTORS YOUNG BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR:

Winners: Josh Brown and Tom Haworth of TechnoSpark - Multi award-winning Chester company, specialising in creating memorable experiences for clients’ customers. Their bespoke USB flash drives and TechnoVid video book range provide unique and innovative memorabilia for brands big and small.

Also shortlisted:

Sam McGarrigle of Beer Dock in Crewe

Rhiannon Thompson of Spinney Day Nursery in Hoole Village

THE ERIC LANGTON JUDGES' CHOICE AWARD:

Winner: Cheshire Farm Ice Cream of Tattenhall - Family friendly tourist attraction considered to contain the world’s largest purpose-built ice cream parlour and Europe’s largest sand and water play.

SAS DANIELS BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR AWARD:

Winner: Colin Brew, chief executive officer of the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce - With over 20 years’ experience of managing business teams and building on customer relationships, Colin Brew’s aim is to be an advocate for local business and promote profitability, good employment and the generation of wealth.

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