The High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise – winners announced

High Sheriff Award winners

More than 300 guests gathered at Chester Racecourse to celebrate the crème de la crème of the region’s business community at the prestigious annual High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise.

Hosted by the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Alexis Redmond MBE, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler, the guest speakers during the evening were Roger Johnson from BBC North West Tonight and Phil Redmond, TV producer and screenwriter, who delighted the audience with their conversation and stories.

Warrington Disability Partnership scooped the overall prize, the High Sheriff Award for Enterprise 2018/19, sponsored by White Oak UK.

Warrington Disability Partnership is an internationally-acclaimed, user-led, pan-disability charity, developing and delivering 28 mobility and independent living services aimed at supporting disabled people and people living with long-term health conditions. Award judges found this company amazing and inspirational for its achievements.

Dave Thompson, MBE, DL, Co-Founder and Chief Executive at Warrington Disability Partnership, said:

“It was an absolute honour to have reached the shortlist in our category, and when it was announced that we had won, it felt amazing. As a medium-sized charity, we knew that we had to adopt business strategies in order to survive the past few years of austerity. We have worked hard to find the balance between the use of business acumen and the values-based ethical philosophy of our charity. The Award is truly appreciated by the whole team at WDP, as it adds credibility to our work. We would like to thank the High Sheriff of Cheshire, the organisers, the sponsors and the judges.”

Warrington Disability Partnership wins a place on the University of Chester’s MBA programme, worth £10,000.

The High Sheriff Award for Responsible Business Practice, sponsored by Warrington & Co, was deservedly won by Jigsaw Curzon House Day Nursery, a children’s nursery in Chester.

The judging panel was impressed with the business’s commitment to charity and community projects, particularly in Malawi and more locally with care homes in the area, as well as ethical provision of childcare at the centre.

Claire Taylor, Manager and Proprietor of Jigsaw Curzon House Day Nursery, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won the High Sheriff Award for Responsible Business Practice. It is a humbling commendation of the hard work our team puts into our business and an acknowledgement of the practices we have already put in place. Winning this award has fuelled our passion and determination to continue to find ways to be even more responsible in regard to our business.”

Jigsaw Curzon House Day Nursery will receive £3,000 in prize money.

Highly Commended in the same category was Technoprint based in Winsford.

The new High Sheriff Design Award, sponsored by Donald Insall Associates, was won by Louise Gardiner Ltd. Louise is a design-maker from Cheshire, producing unique embroidered artworks.

Louise Gardiner said:

“I am delighted to win this Award and I hope that it will encourage more designer /makers to enter next time as the creative industries are paramount to a vibrant community.”

Louise wins a fantastic bespoke training course in 3D computer-aided design at Donald Insall Associates’ Chester studio.

High Commended in this category was Clicky Media, based in Chester.

The Mornflake Oats Award for Innovation was won by software developers DriveWorks Ltd. Based in Warrington, its innovative, rules-based software is used for design automation and business process automation.

Judges praised thefirst-class state of the art technology at an impressive company with great energy.

Glen Smith, CEO of DriveWorks said:

“It’s a huge honour for our team to receive the High Sheriff Award for Innovation. We have developed DriveWorks technology out of a real need within industry, a need to automate and be able to efficiently design and sell configurable products. It’s a huge pat on the back to our dedicated team, as we drive forward, identifying new technologies, honing new methods and embracing new market opportunities. This all adds up to an exciting daily challenge. The collaborative work-spaces we have created and our company culture all foster innovation. It’s at the heart of everything we do. Being recognised inspires us to do more. Thank you to the sponsors of the Award, Morning Foods, for recognising that innovation is so important. We also thank the judges and hard-working team at the University of Chester which supports the High Sheriff and the Awards. It’s doubly pleasing that along with winning the Award for Innovation, we have also won a High Sheriff Award for Export. It shows that the UK can innovate and that the rest of the world wants that innovation too.”

DriveWorks will receive £3,000 in prize money.

High Commended in this category was Balluff, based near Northwich.

For the Roberts Bakery Family Award of Excellence Award, judges were looking for leaders of outstanding entrepreneurial families and the achievements of specific family businesses in Cheshire, Warrington and Halton.

There was a high calibre of entrant in this category, and the Award went to Boutique Hotel Group Ltd, which wins £3,000 in prize money. Judges were highly impressed with this entrepreneurial family’s passion and drive for the business, which includes Peckforton Castle and Nunsmere Hall, and branded them a Cheshire hospitality success story and a shining example of a strong family business.

Matthew Naylor, Sales and Marketing Director, said:

“Winning this Award means the world. We regard the Boutique Hotel Group as our extended family, we are hugely proud of what we have achieved and where we plan to be. Our hard work is only surpassed by that of our senior team, and their dedication and support. We thank them all with immense sincerity.”

The Micro Enterprise Award, sponsored by Boodles, category once again attracted high volume and calibre of entrant and was won by Chester-based IT Consultancy Valto IT Limited, who will receive £2,000 worth of prize money. Judges praised the expertise and plans of growth in this business.

Founder Hugh Valentine, said:

“Winning the Micro Enterprise Award was truly an honour. It’s such a fantastic achievement for Valto and highlights the incredible efforts of the team.”

High Commended in this category was Global Air Training based in Tattenhall.

The Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Click Consult and West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, was split between two world-class organisations in our region – the TALL Group of Companies Ltd in Runcorn and DriveWorks Ltd, based in Warrington. Judges were impressed by their international trade and success stories.

Peter Andrew, TALL Group Sales and Marketing Director, said:

“We were delighted to have jointly won the Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year Award and to have been a finalist in the Enterprise Award at this year’s High Sheriff Awards for Enterprise. Our export achievements certainly help put Cheshire on the map, with secure documents being supplied across the globe thanks to our dedicated staff in Runcorn. This win is a credit to all concerned. Our thanks go to Alexis Redmond MBE, High Sheriff of Cheshire and to the University of Chester for hosting such an enjoyable event!”

Maria Sarkar, Vice President of DriveWorks, said:

“What a joy to share the news of our double High Sheriff Awards for Enterprise success with our team. Everyone here at DriveWorks is incredibly dedicated to creating great, innovative software for our customers in the UK and all over the world, so it’s wonderful to receive this recognition. I’d also like to thank the sponsors of the Export Award, Click Consult and West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce, the High Sheriff and the hard-working team behind the Awards that makes this such a highly respected event.”

“Our software product enables anyone to configure and customise items online in 3D. They can use it to generate sales quotes and all the manufacturing data too. To promote the software and build our international revenue stream, we have built great relationships with resellers and customers all around the world. We have customers in the US, India, Germany, Brazil, France and many more countries. We’ve learnt that different things matter in different geographies and always make sure that we respect the cultural nuances, languages and time zones we operate in.

“We hope that our success will inspire other companies in this region to market their goods and services overseas too and be part of the UK’s thriving export community.”

They will each receive a two-day strategic review of their organisation.

The Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Cheshire and Warrington Entrepreneur of the Year went to Alan Ryan, from Technoprint, based in Winsford. Alan receives membership of Cheshire Business Leaders, worth £500.

Paul Taylor from Cheshire Business Leaders, said:

“Alan Ryan’s company is a great example of the often ignored or overlooked side of entrepreneurialism where it’s not about creating a whole new product, service or company but instead it’s the art of improving an existing one by shifting its focus on a gap in a difficult market and allowing the company to thrive. We’re very proud to have such a successful Cheshire businessman as our entrepreneur of the year.”

The Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Outstanding Cheshire and Warrington Business Leader went to two individuals: Peter Alderson, Managing Director of Ewloe-based business finance providers, White Oak UK, and sponsors of the Award for Enterprise 2019; and Andrew Preston CEO of Knutsford based GRI UK. They receive membership of Cheshire Business Leaders worth £500.

Peter Alderson said:

“As a local business leader, it is an honour to be recognised in this year’s Awards. We are in a region brimming with a wealth of exciting and successful businesses who are flying the flag for SME businesses across the North West and, indeed, the wider UK. White Oak UK is pleased to be sponsoring the Awards for our third consecutive year and, as a business focused on supporting development and growth through business investment, it’s encouraging to see so much regional business talent being so positively promoted as part of the High Sheriff Awards for Enterprise. On behalf of White Oak UK, congratulations to everyone who’s been recognised this year.”

There were two recipients for the Best Apprentice Award, sponsored by Barlows Electrical, sharing the £1,000 prize money. Lucy Johnstone, who is completing a Business Studies Degree apprenticeship at Renby Ltd in Tarvin, and Joseph Munn, who is a third-year Electrical apprentice at Procter & Gamble, Manchester.

Lucy said:

“I would firstly like to thank the organisers for a lovely evening, and to say thank you for this Award on my behalf of myself and Renby. I am delighted to have my hard work recognised, giving me the motivation to continue to reach my goals within my career.”

Joseph added:

“It’s an honour to receive the High Sheriff Award for Best Apprentice. I was over the moon when my training college put me forward for the Award and I’m delighted to actually win it, and to share the prize with Lucy. It’s a huge achievement for me, and I am so happy to receive recognition for my hard work over the last three years. I hope that this award can help me to push on to a successful career in Electrical Engineering.

“I would personally like to send a big thank you out to: Sally Williamson; The High Sheriff – Alexis Redmond; David Barlow; Professor Phil Harris; my managers at Procter and Gamble – Paul Mckenzie, Jed Collins, and Darren Brown; as well as all of the trainers at TTE (Training Tomorrow’s Engineers), including Anne Cannon, the Training Manager, who put me forward for the Award.”

The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire David Briggs also made a Special Recognition Award to Colin Brew for his Outstanding Contribution to the Economy of Cheshire and the Business Community during his time as CEO of West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce.

Professor Phil Harris, the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Awards, said:

“The High Sheriff Awards for Enterpriseare now in their 13th year and have once again been a wonderful celebration of business in our region.”

Alexis Redmond MBE, the High Sheriff of Cheshire, added

“It was a privilege to witness the strength and diversity of the Cheshire business economy!  Congratulations and thank you to all involved in the Awards.”

The High Sheriff also paid tribute to the generosity of the Cheshire business community, which on the night raised £2,440 for Cheshire Community Foundation.

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