At a gala dinner last night, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) announced the winners of its Business Awards 2017. The atrium at Energus was packed with VIP guests and representatives of Cumbrian businesses, from major players such as the sponsors, Carr’s Engineering, Sellafield Ltd and Areva, to less familiar names and guests from across the UK and beyond.
“We decided to make the Business Awards an annual event in response to the entry levels and demand for tickets in recent years,” said BECBC Chairman, Ivan Baldwin. “No other awards so clearly celebrate the collaborations among local businesses and this year’s dinner had a real feel of friends together celebrating each other’s successes. There were some firsts with a Special Recognition Award from the Business Cluster Board and a Businessperson of the Year Award, the only category that had a member vote to decide the winner. And it was a celebration of the diversity of our membership too, from the Cumbrian operations of global companies to the smallest Micro business born and thriving here.”
The BECBC Business Awards 2017 were hosted by Kim Inglis and representatives of the sponsoring companies announced and presented the awards during a glittering evening.
The winners were as follows:
Socio Economic Commitment to West Cumbria Sponsored by Balfour Beatty
Inspiring People Sponsored by NIS Limited
Growing Business Sponsored by Nuvia Limited
Winner: Prima Uno Limited
BECBC Board Special Recognition Award Sponsored by University of Cumbria
Winner: Socio Economic Sector Group of BECBC for the World of Work programme
Businessperson of the Year Sponsored by BECBC
Winner: Sarah Purdham of Prima Uno Limited
Micro Business of the Year Sponsored by Morgan Sindall Construction and Infrastructure Ltd
Winner: Adamedia Ltd
SME Business of the Year Sponsored by Wood
Winner: Grisdales Estate Agents
Large Business of the Year Sponsored by Carr’s Engineering
Highly Commended: TSP Engineering
In his speech at the opening of the evening, Tim Davies, CEO of Carr’s Engineering said: “Carr’s has been in Cumbria for over 150 years and it’s great to support an event like this here in Cumbria. The Business Cluster is an ideal forum to create the trust and to generate the relationships that then lead to business success.”
Jamie Reed, Head of Development & Community Relations for Sellafield Ltd also spoke ahead of the first award presentations: “There’s a lot of change coming to this area and to Sellafield in the next few years. But historically, change is what Cumbria has always done and it’s what we’re good at. I heard Barack Obama talk about change and he said that we are the people we’ve been waiting for to make change happen and that’s absolutely right. Many of the people at this event are the ones who will make it happen in Cumbria.”
Presenting the Special Recognition Award to Phil Bennett of Wood and leader of the Socio Economic Sector Group, Ivan Baldwin commented on the success of the World of Work initiative so far and the exciting plans to develop this in the coming months. “The World of Work programme highlights the wide range of career possibilities with Cumbrian businesses and organisations and encourages young people to be inspired and consider those opportunities for themselves. Members of the Sector Group have worked together and with schools and the team at Inspira to create an approach that is simple but effective and that it working well for schools, for businesses and, ultimately, for students too. We’re looking forward to the next phase.”
Receiving the first BECBC Businessperson of the Year Award shortly after her company also won the Growing Business category, Sarah Purdham of Prima Uno Limited said: “We won’t be taking the foot off the gas. I’ve been blown away by the growth of Prima Uno in its first five years and it’s a real testament to our clients and to all the staff – we’ve recently opened offices in two other locations, grown to nearly 40 people and taken on our first international client in the US. Personally, I’m honoured and humbled and want to thank everyone who voted and a huge thank you to everyone involved in the business.”
Hospice at Home West Cumbria benefited from the generosity of guests on the night with donations from tables going towards this local charity in its 30th year. Linda Hewitt spoke briefly to guests and quoted one of the organisation’s carers: “If hospice had not been there, I wouldn’t have wanted to go home at night but I knew that I could trust them 100% to look after Mam.” At the end of the evening, any unopened bottles of wine from the tables were also collected together and donated as future prizes to Hospice at Home.
As Ivan Baldwin concluded: “The Business Awards 2017 were a celebration of the diversity of the Business Cluster – it’s not all nuclear. We celebrated with friends from global businesses engaging in Cumbria and we celebrated with businesses that were born here and are thriving. There are brains, beauty and heart in this area and Cumbrian businesses certainly have heart.”
Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster is a private sector-led group of more than 320 organisations, from SMEs to global businesses. Members include world-class, innovative and highly competitive companies that offer high value jobs in the region.
Click here to view films of finalists and winners