Winners unveiled at Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards 2017

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 19 May 2017

WE’VE unmasked the winners!

The 2017 Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards winners have been revealed at The Baths Hall, Scunthorpe, with 13 accolades presented at a Phantom of the Opera themed bash.

Grimsby seafood 'knight' Steve Norton won the Grimsby & Scunthorpe Telegraph lifetime achievement award, with 'Lincolnshire Chef' Steven Bennett named Wilkin Chapman Business Person of the Year. 

Scunthorpe construction contractor GS Kelsey took the Forrester Boyd Award for Business Excellence, with first-time entrant, Humberston's Central Insulations, taking two gongs as growth and development were recognised.

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Here's the full list of winners, and a description of what set them apart for the judges: 

​Grimsby Carpet Warehouse Small Business Award winner: Beauty at the Gate, Holton-le-Clay.

Judges heard how: “Since opening just over three years ago, Beauty at the Gate has grown from three treatment rooms and four members of staff to eight rooms, four units and 14 members of staff. In 2016 the salon won the top two national awards within the beauty industry, was a finalist again this year and recently opened the first salon dedicated to men. With its own online consultation portal for therapists, new ranges and quality products this company looks set to continue its considerable success.”

Runners-up:  Root2 Recruitment Ltd, Louth; Tilletts Clothing, Cleethorpes

ABP Business Growth Award winner:  Central Insulations Ltd.

Judges heard how: “Trading for almost 30 years from its current site on Wilton Road Industrial Estate in Grimsby Central Insulations has built up an enviable reputation for providing clean hygienic food safe linings and temperature controlled environments to a range of customers across the food industry. With good growth turnover in the last financial year increased by over thirty percent, largely from developing major insulated building envelope projects such as distribution centres for supermarket chains. With solid strategic investment of over £1 million in the business during 2016 the company looks set to expand further.”

Runners-up:  Flixborough Eco Technologies; Grimsby Carpet Warehouse/ Carpet Runners UK

The Wilkin Chapman Business Person of the Year Award winner: Steven Bennett,  Oaklands Hall Hotel.

Judges heard how: “A baker and butchers’ son from Louth Steven Bennett moved his cooking style to a very run down Oaklands Hall Hotel in 2012 and set up his multi award winning Bistro The Comfy Duck. In 5 years turnover has quadrupled and staff numbers gone from 26 to 76. Recently awarded his second Rosette and granted Guild of |Master Craftsman in 2014, Steven has marketed himself as ‘The Lincolnshire Chef’ and regularly appears at local, national and international events. Judges were impressed with Steven’s energetic approach, his drive and commitment to the area.  A true business champion.”

Runners-up:  Jo Smedley, Red Herring Games Ltd; Myles Shaw, Grimsby Carpet Warehouse/ Carpet Runners UK

The Barclays International Trade Award winner: CAT TECH International Ltd.

Judges heard how: “Cat Tech provides catalyst handling services for petrochemical plants around the world. The team has a global reputation for providing expert support and skills to refineries on every continent and providing local expertise on the ground. 96% of the turnover last year was generated from non-UK markets sites and in ten different countries including Australia, Kazakstan, Singapore and Thailand.   All controlled and co-ordinated by the head office in Scunthorpe using local labour, trained and sent overseas. The company is now ready to take advantage of opportunities within the US market.”

Runners-up:  4Matic Design and Manufacture Ltd; Ramsden International

The Bridge McFarland New Business Award winner: Qualiluminar Ltd.

Judges heard how: “Qualiluminar Ltd offers a wide range of home living solutions. This business custom designs and builds static caravans, lodges, log homes, modular homes and New Build projects all to customers’ exact requirements.  Founded just two and a half years ago owners David and Mark Webster took advantage of the Chamber of Commerce’s Start-Up Loan Scheme to get this business on the road to success. With a plan to target high-end markets the company is currently promoting its solar power and brick cladded range. Judges were impressed with the positive start this innovative business has made.”

Runners-up:  Liz Drury Voiceovers; Pink Jacket Marketing

The Franklin College Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner: Liam O’Leary, Laser Red.

Judges heard how: “Laser Red are an award-winning digital agency based in Lincolnshire made up of highly passionate designers, developers and digital markets. Starting with this business at the young age of only 14 Managing Director Liam O’Leary has worked his way steadily through the company, continually beating annual targets and achieving an organically strong business with no debt and cash positive accounts. Turnover has more than quadrupled in the last four years.  With sales figures and profits exceeding expectations judges were impressed with Liam’s impressive track record compared to competitors and peers.”

Runners-up:  Ben Charlesworth-Browne, Alan Browne (Lincolnshire) Ltd; Lewis Parry, Abbys Wine Bar & Bistro Ltd

The North East Lincolnshire Business Development Award winner: Central Insulations.

Judges heard how: “Central Insulations Ltd has traded for almost 30 years from its site on Wilton Road Industrial Estate in Grimsby. The company provides clean hygienic food safe linings and temperature controlled environments to a range of customers across the food industry, including many blue chip companies and household names.  More than £1 million has been invested in the company during 2016. The vast majority of staff are local and spend with local businesses last year was over £1 million.  Turnover in the last three years has increased by a total of 40%.”

Runners-up:  Laceby Manor Golf Resort; PME Power Systems Group Ltd

The North Lincolnshire Business Investment Award winner: Youth Engineering Scunthorpe Ltd.

Judges heard how: “Youth Engineering Scunthorpe Ltd more commonly known as ‘YES’ is a charity business that exists to boost the employability skills of disadvantaged unemployed young people in Scunthorpe, primarily aged 18 to 24, who are struggling to get on the employment ladder. Specialising in engineering skills, particularly component manufacture and sub-assemblies, 18 candidates have now been placed in full-time employment with local businesses. This business was established in May 2014 with support from the North Lincolnshire Regional Growth Fund and capital investment by local businessman and founder Tim Strawson.”

Runners-up:  GS Kelsey Construction Ltd; Moulded Fibre Products Ltd

The Grimsby Institute Training Excellence Award winner: 4Matic Design and Manufacture Ltd.

Judges heard how: “4Matic Design and Manufacture provide specialist equipment and machinery primarily to the food industry sector. Starting back in November 2011 operating with 3 employees this company now employs 31 and can boast the leading high street names within their portfolio. 4Matic is lucky to have an MD who is passionate about training, is a huge supporter of local next generation engineers and gives inspirational talks to local training centres and organizations. To date the company has put 6 apprentices through training, with 2 already fully trained and competent.”

Runners-up:  Driver Hire Grimsby and Scunthorpe; John E Haith Ltd

The DFDS Excellence in Community Award winner: North Lincs Tyres.

Judges heard how: “North Lincs Tyres, based at Lockhill Grimsby was established in 1994 and is one of the area’s leading tyre companies. Not so well known is the amount this company do for local charities. They were nominated by Lauren Alexander of The Health Tree Foundation, who felt they deserved some recognition. At Christmas the company donated £5000 to the Health Tree Foundation to grant wishes on the Amethyst Cancer Suite. Other efforts involve a John O’Groats challenge, sponsorship of an annual Charity Golf Day and Octfest. Every year the company donates £15,000 to three local causes and recently has agreed to fund 5 local defibrillators.”

Runners-up:  ONGO; Youth Engineering Scunthorpe Ltd

The HBP Systems Innovation Award winner: First Media.

Judges heard how: “First Media is a small team doing big things! This creative and digital agency provides web design and software development, eLearning and event production to a range of clients locally, nationally and internationally such as the FA, UEFA, Rugby League, Premiere League, International Olympics Committee and SAKs Hair & Beauty.  From a 2 man band creating CD ROMS in a small office they are now a full service agency with a core staff of 10 plus freelancers. They specialize in new and innovative techniques helping businesses increase efficiency and reach new markets.”

Runners-up:  ID Architecture; Root2 Recruitment Ltd

Forrester Boyd Business of Excellence Award winner: GS Kelsey Construction Ltd.

Judges heard how: “GS Kelsey has been synonymous with building in Northern Lincolnshire and the Humber area for a hundred years, three generations of the family have remained committed to working and investing back into their local area.  The company, led by MD Matthew Robinson, has seen significant investment in 2016 with a new corporate logo and brand new £300,000 premises on Brigg Road in Scunthorpe. Leading by example the business has recruited three apprentices in the last 18 months with plans for two more. Huge supporters of doing business locally, the company saw a £4 million spend locally in 2016 and 80% of work opportunities went to businesses within Northern Lincolnshire. A shining beacon of business excellence.”

Grimsby and Scunthorpe Telegraph Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Steve Norton.

A stella seafood career spanning 50 years was brought to an end as summer slipped into autumn last year.

Steve Norton, announced his retirement from the role of chief executive of the Grimsby Fish Merchants’ Association, a high profile position in the town’s primary industry he had held for 15 years.

It was a decade and a half that saw transactions worth half a billion pounds completed by those he represented, with the sole traders and major corporates all benefiting from his experience.

Mr Norton enjoyed a distinguished career, playing a key role in a number of innovations, including the development of chilled fish which now makes up the largest part of the retail seafood market.

He joined Rossfish in 1966 – quite a year - and went onto work in various roles for Findus, Nestle and Young’s Seafood. He joined the latter as Marks & Spencer and Waitrose were expanding their fish ranges beyond the freezer cabinets.

Young’s came up with a new concept called chilled fish, both natural fillets and coated, which had a longer shelf life than fresh fish from the traditional slab.

“It was truly pioneering work and I was proud to be in at the beginning,” he has remarked.

Joining the FMA in 2001 at the invitation of then chairman Bill Hobson, it was a time of great change. The old fish pontoon had given way to a new market and Grimsby’s fishing fleet had all but disappeared, which meant merchants depended almost entirely on Icelandic supply.

But in 2008 that arrangement almost hit the buffers. Following the Icelandic banking crash, then Prime Minister Gordon Brown invoked what was effectively anti-terrorist legislation against Iceland.

This not only caused considerable resentment with our North Atlantic trade partner, but threatened to freeze all financial transactions between London and Reykjavik which meant fish merchants in Grimsby and Hull were prohibited by law from paying for Icelandic fish. The effect could have been devastating for the Humber.

With the help of then Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell and chairman Bill Hobson, the Bank of England was lobbied to put pressure on the Treasury to grant the fish merchants a special dispensation, which saved the day.

In 2011 he led celebrations of the FMA’s centenary, and more recently was instrumental in setting up the promotional and marketing group Seafood Grimsby and Humber, overseeing an industry worth £2.5 billion a year.

But that is just half of the story. A councillor for 30 years, Steve was elected Mayor of Grimsby in 1993, and chaired the economic development department, playing a key role in the development of Europarc and attraction of big business to it.

His commitment was recognised in July 2015 when he was made Honorary Alderman.

In retirement Brian Young, chairman of the Seafish, the industry authority on seafood, said, and I quote: “Steve Norton has served Grimsby, the local authority and community so well. While Steve has worked for Grimsby FMA for the past 15 years, he has spent a career in seafood

“I would say Steve can be very proud of a distinguished career serving the local authority and the fishing industry. It is sterling work he has done for the benefit of others and we wish to applaud it.”

It is this unstinting effort to support and promote the industry that has been recognised by the Grimsby and Scunthorpe Telegraphs, and a lifetime achievement that is wholly endorsed by the Chamber here this evening.”

Juice Media Showreel 2017, featuring a few of this year NLBA nominees.

Juice Media Showreel 2017 from JUICE MEDIA on Vimeo.

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