Winners of the in-Cumbria 2019 Business Awards have been revealed.
At a glittering ceremony at the Halston in Carlisle, finalists and business leaders gathered to hear who had won the hotly contested 17 categories up for grabs.
The ceremony was hosted by broadcaster and journalist Cathy Newman, who gave the audience her take on Brexit, US presidents and how to talk in front of Princess Anne.
Winner of the top accolade of the Robin Burgess Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria, renamed in honour of the former chief executive of CN Group, who died earlier this year, was John Grainger.
The executive director of Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster said: “No individual can achieve something like this, it takes lots of people to make a difference.
“I am very pleased about the way things are looking (for Cumbria). You look back 10 years, we didn’t have a university, we didn’t have an airport.
“But most important thing is the family and social aspect of that business in Cumbria.
“That’s what it’s about, it’s about trying to achieve things for the next generation going forward because they’ve got a lot to cope with in the next 30 to 40 years.
“We know that the climate change issues are something that will be solved not by the generation after me, but the generation after that. It’s the young people, that’s the future and that’s who we’re trying to build a base for.”
Businessperson of the year was John Coughlan, chief executive of TSP Engineering, based in Workington.
The other finalists were Anand Puthran, of McMenon Engineering, also in Workington and Michael Pemberton, of property firm BEC.
Mr Coughlan said: “Every honed athlete has a good team behind them. The athlete may receive the award, but without the team behind them doing what they do it wouldn’t happen. I am really delighted and I am delighted for everybody that is a member of our team.
“I’ve probably put in the knowledge and experience of different industries and different companies, but I have a whole team of people who are willing to buy into those principles and look into different ways to do things to change.
“We are starting off the year with orders in the order book of almost £45m so that’s almost doubling turnover on an annual basis. It gives us a real good start. We are doing work right across the UK and we’re starting to get recognition outside the UK.”
Other winners included Carlisle’s Clark Door, which picked up the Best Manufacturing accolade and the new Flying the Flag for Cumbria award for being a world-leading manufacturer and exporter of specialist door systems.
Genesis Homes, based in Penrith, took home the Best New Business award and its managing director Nicky Gordon was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
And the first winner of the Best Ethical/Green Business category was printing firm H&H Reeds, based in Penrith and Carlisle.
Luke Dicicco, group business editor at Newsquest Cumbria and editor of in-Cumbria, said: “The awards were a huge success – a real celebration of Cumbria’s business prowess.
“Every year entrants, finalists and our ultimate winners continue to raise the bar, making our job extremely tough. Our winners really are the cream of a very healthy crop. Huge congratulations to them and to our finalists.
“I’d like to pay specific tribute to John Coughlan for winning what had to be one of the most coveted prizes on the night – Best Businessperson.
“He, like so many business leaders in the county, has an impressive and inspiring story to tell – achieving great things during a time of significant uncertainty.
“I’d also like to congratulate John Grainger for receiving the Robin Burgess Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria award. John’s career is far from over, but the award recognises the significant impact he has had so far.
“This year we renamed the award in honour of former CN Group chief executive and chairman, Robin Burgess, who sadly died this year. Robin was a huge fan of in-Cumbria and know he would have been looking down on the awards ceremony with great pride.
“We could think of no better way to honour him and the contribution he made during his distinguished career.”
“I’d also like to thank our awards host, Cathy Newman, for an excellent job, our expert judges, who took the time out of their busy schedules to decide the winners, and our sponsors for their support in helping us to put on such a great show.
“It has been a real team effort, with many more people behind the scenes working so hard to put on event that has become the biggest date in Cumbria’s business calendar.
“While our attentions turn onto 2020, and how we will top this year’s awards, I hope the celebrations continue for some time to come.
“As a business community we have so much to celebrate.”
Winners and finalists
Robin Burgess Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria: John Grainger, executive director of BECBC
Businessperson of the Year: John Coughlan, TSP Engineering, Workington
Finalists: Michael Pemberton, BEC, Cleator Moor; Anand Puthran, McMenon Engineering Services, Workington
Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Nicky Gordon, Genesis Homes, Penrith
Finalists: Lisa Dykes, iCan Health & Fitness CIC, Carlisle; Vanessa Lana Brown, VL Aesthetics, Carlisle
Apprentice/ Trainee of the Year: Jasmine Scaife, Kaefer, Sellafield
Finalists: Alex Dawson, Wood/ i3 Decommissioning Partners, Sellafield; Daniel Jackson, Innovia, Wigton
Best Large Business: theidol.com, Penrith
Finalists: i3 Decommissioning Partners, Sellafield; Bender UK, Ulverston
Best SME: Taylor and Braithwaite, Appleby
Finalists: More Handles, Carlisle; FlexMR, Milnthorpe
Best New Business: Genesis Homes, Penrith
Finalists: Lakeland Fleet Management, Carlisle; 32 West, Ulverston
Best Family Business: Stan Sherlock Associates, Carlisle
Finalists: Woodward SHE, Lillyhall; Scallywags, Carlisle
Best Professional Services Company: Responsive Limited, Workington
Finalists: Prospus Group, Carlisle; Bendles LLP, Carlisle
Best Tourism and Hospitality: Tullie House, Carlisle
Finalists: Holbeck Ghyll, Windermere; Pure Cottages Group, Windermere
Best Manufacturing: Clark Door, Carlisle
Finalists: McMenon Engineering Services, Workington; TSP Engineering, Workington
Flying the Flag for Cumbria: Clark Door, Carlisle
Finalists: English Lake District China Forum, Bowness; Trade Copiers, Penrith
Best Customer Service Excellence: Bender UK, Ulverston
Finalists: theidol.com, Penrith; David Allen IT Services, Penrith/Carlisle
Best Innovation: Activf-ET, Dalston
Finalists: Bender UK, Ulverston; Innovia Films, Wigton
Best Best Green/Ethical Business: H&H Reeds, Penrith/Carlisle
Finalists: Ullswater ‘Steamers’, Glenridding; Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick
Best Community Involvement: Sealy UK, Aspatria
Finalists: Oxley Group, Ulverston; OneAIM, Moor Row
Best Marketing Strategy: James Cropper, Burneside
Finalists: Old Vicarage Residential Home, Grange-over-Sands; Lakeland Leather, Ambleside