CHESHIRE businesses are celebrating after winning the top three prizes in the prestigious High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise.
The winners were announced at a special ceremony at the University of Chester’s Warrington campus.
His Grace, The Duke of Westminster KG, OBE, TD, DL, Foundation Chancellor of the University, was the keynote speaker at the event, and discussed his experiences, as one of the most successful businesspeople in the country and a staunch supporter of the economic prosperity of the area.
The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Nicholas Bromley–Davenport, said: “Following on from the success of last year’s award, I was happy to approve and endorse the event for my year in office. I am delighted by the support shown from all of our prestigious sponsors, who exemplify the quality of enterprise and entrepreneurship in our area.”
First place was awarded to BiG Storage, which currently operates from sites in Chester, Warrington, Handforth Dean, Macclesfield, Morecambe and Lancaster. The company offers a combination of domestic self-storage facilities, together with flexible business space.
Founded in January 2006, with its first site based at the former Chester Chronicle press on Sealand Road in Chester, the company has gone from strength to strength.
Within two years, BiG Storage has become one of the 10 largest self-storage and business centre operators in the UK, providing 3,000 storage and business space units.
BiG Storage’s first prize comprises a free place for one of its managers on an award-winning MBA programme at the University of Chester (value £8,000) plus £5,000 in cash.
Second place and a £5,000 cash prize was awarded to EBL Group, of Sutton Weaver, which specialises in construction, roofing, cladding and handling insurance claims. Established 25 years‘ ago as a ‘one man operation’, carrying out roofing repairs and annual maintenance programmes, the company has continually grown and now has over 90 employees and a turnover of more than £9m.
Third place and a £3,000 cash prize went to Northwich-based company, PMI Health Group, which provides healthcare, insurance and risk management services.
Founded in 1986, the company helps clients to cut the cost of employee illness, minimise the levels of sickness absence and retain good staff. The company offers a range of pioneering, added-value client services, earning it a leading reputation for innovation amongst its peers.
Runners-up were registered charity, Age Concern Cheshire, of Northwich, which is the county’s largest provider of care services within the voluntary sector, supporting thousands of older people to live independently, giving them greater choice and control over their lives.
Professor Des Hickie, Dean of Business and Management at the University of Chester, said: “BiG Storage is a very well deserved winner. We look forward to welcoming its nominated manager onto our MBA course, where we will help them take the latest management ideas and new thinking back into the business.”