Judging completed for the High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise.

Posted on 14th March 2013

Judging has recently been completed for this year’s High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise, which recognise the achievements of successful businesses in Cheshire.

It was inspiring to see so many businesses thriving in Cheshire during these difficult times and showing how innovation can succeed.
Professor Phil Harris

The Awards offer thousands of pounds worth of prizes, with the winners announced at a presentation evening at the University’s Main Campus on March 21, 2013. Guests will include business leaders, sponsors, local politicians, judges and the finalists.

Founded in 2006 by David Briggs MBE, former High Sheriff of Cheshire, one of the University’s honorary graduates and now Lord Lieutenant for Cheshire, , the Awards for Enterprise are judged on categories including - Innovation; Corporate Social Responsibility and Enterprise.

The judging panel, including representatives from the University, Barclays Bank, JW Lees, Roberts Bakery and Click Consult, visited the short-listed entries during January.

The finalists in the High Sheriff of Cheshire Award for Enterprise supported by Barclays Bank are IT solutions company Blue Coffee Networks from Cheadle Hulme; the electrical engineering B&S Group from Chester and Easy MCS Ltd, also based in Chester, which supplies renewable energy training.

The finalists in the Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility prize are specialist engineering group Up and Under from Crewe and social enterprise group the Blacon Community Trust. For the Innovation Prize, sponsored by Mornflake Oats, the finalists are visual communication business GSD of Nantwich; financial services company ICC Solutions of Warrington; health industry software systems developer Kodit Database of Holmes Chapel and oil industry research and development group Raw Water Engineering Co Ltd from Culcheth.

The Guest Speaker at the High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise will be Ross Warburton MBE, Executive Director of Warburtons, the most popular bread in the UK and the company’s products are the second-best selling food and drink brand after Coca Cola.

The winner of the High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise, supported by Barclays, will receive a free place for one of its appropriately qualified managers on the award-winning MBA programme at the University of Chester worth £10,000. Winners of the Bank of America Award for Corporate Social Responsibility and the Mornflake Oats Awards for Innovation will win £3,000 each.

These three Awards are open to businesses with an annual turnover of at least £500,000 and which employ between five and 250 members of staff. The entrants are required to demonstrate outstanding performance and explain their strategy to ensure that the company will continue to expand and flourish in the future.

This year there are also two new prizes.

The Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Outstanding Cheshire and Warrington Business Leader will recognise an exceptional business person, who has shown exceptional vision and leadership at the helm of a successful and growing business that has also contributed to the development and reputation of the whole sub-region. Nominations for the award were received from individuals running businesses of all sizes. The winner will be awarded free membership of Cheshire Business Leaders, worth £500 a year.

The Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Cheshire and Warrington Young Entrepreneur was open to individuals aged 30 years or under (as at December 31, 2012) and are running a business that has been trading for a maximum of three years. The judges will look for growth in turnover and/or profits, job creation, developing new markets and long term potential of the business to determine a winner. The winner will receive a prize of £500 to invest in their business as well as free mentoring and business support from Cheshire Business Leaders.

The winners of both Cheshire Business Leaders Awards will also be invited to attend the annual Cheshire Ambassadors lunch at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel and Spa, hosted by His Grace, The Duke of Westminster, the University’s Chancellor.

Professor Phil Harris, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business, Enterprise and Lifelong Learning and Westminster Chair of Marketing and Public Affairs at the University of Chester, who is a member of the judging panel, said: “It was inspiring to see so many businesses thriving in Cheshire during these difficult times and showing how innovation can succeed.

“The High Sheriff Awards for Enterprise continue to go from strength to strength. In 2012 – 13 we have raised thousands of pounds of sponsorship and also gained the endorsement and support of new sponsors including the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Cheshire Business Leaders, Trinity Mirror Group and Marketing Cheshire. This demonstrates a real commitment to supporting businesses to grow and develop in the area.”

The High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise represents one of the highest values of any competition of its kind in the country.