Winners of High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise announced

Posted on 31st March 2015

Leading businesses from across Cheshire have been honoured at the prestigious High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise.

Susan Sellers, High Sheriff of Cheshire Mark Elliott, Director of Corporate Affairs at MBNA Caroline Sanger-Davies, Chester Zoo Melanie Cowieson, Chester Zoo Professor Phil Harris, University of Chester
Susan Sellers, High Sheriff of Cheshire Mark Elliott, Director of Corporate Affairs at MBNA Caroline Sanger-Davies, Chester Zoo Melanie Cowieson, Chester Zoo Professor Phil Harris, University of Chester

More than 200 guests gathered at Chester Town Hall to celebrate the Awards, hosted by the High Sheriff of Cheshire, Susan Sellers, and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester, Professor Tim Wheeler. This year’s guest speakers were Professor Phil Redmond CBE, who received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University in 2010 and his wife Alexis Redmond MBE.

Chester Zoo received the overall prize, the High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise 2014/15, sponsored by MBNA, Oliver Valves and Click Consult. Judges were looking for an organisation that had achieved outstanding commercial success and sustainable growth for this prestigious award.

Caroline Sanger-Davies, Head of Marketing at the Zoo, said: “This Award marks our outstanding commercial success and is testimony to the hard work of the zoo teams over the last year. This summer will see us opening Islands, the largest zoo development of its kind in the UK. We’ve a big and exciting time ahead of us and this terrific Award is a great way to kick off what is set to be another terrific 12 months.”

Chester Zoo wins a place for a suitable candidate on the University of Chester’s MBA programme worth £10,000.

The Mornflake Oats Award for Innovation was won by ESL Fuels Limited, a blender and supplier that specialises in the manufacture of innovative fuel products. It provides a full range of fuels developed specifically for the road, heating, heavy duty haulage and marine markets. At its terminal at Stanlow in Cheshire the company also offers storage and processing solutions. The judging panel was looking for an organisation that demonstrated a proven ability to create, nurture and develop new products or services.

Stein Trousdale, Marketing Executive for ESL Fuels, who is a business graduate from University of Chester, said: “We’re delighted to win this Award and receive recognition for ESL Fuels achievements”. The judging panel also made special commendation to The Greener Group for its outstanding contribution to solar power and renewable boiler innovations.

The High Sheriff’s Award for Corporate Social Responsibility sponsored by O2 was deservedly won by Anthony’s Travel, a family owned Coach Company based in Runcorn.  The judging panel was looking for an organisation that demonstrated a high standard of commitment in the way in which it organised and integrated its responsible business practices.  

Richard Bamber, Managing Director of Anthony’s Travel said: "We are over the moon to win the High Sheriff’s Corporate Social Responsibility Award for the second time and honoured we were deemed worthy. As a family business that's proud to be from Cheshire and employing a local workforce our ethos has always been to give back to the local community. Corporate Social Responsibility is often regarded as something only well-known large companies take part in, we have hopefully shown that small businesses, whilst not having the same financial power, have local knowledge, resources and passion for the area in which they trade which is unrivalled and they can make a difference".  Anthony’s Travel will receive £3,000 prize money.

The new Roberts Bakery Family Award of Excellence Award went to Jane Lewis, a care company based in Chester. Judges were looking for leaders of outstanding entrepreneurial families and the achievements of specific family businesses in Cheshire, Warrington and Halton.

Nick Hodson, Managing Director of Jane Lewis, said: “This Award meant so much to the family team that runs Jane Lewis. It recognises the long hours and hard work that go into running a modern, forward looking business. However, our staff at Jane Lewis are amazing, without them this Award would not have been possible.” Jane Lewis will receive £3,000 prize money.

The UKTI Award for Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year went to Cogent Breeding Limited based near Chester, the market leader in sexed semen technology and supply with an unrivalled reputation for its world-class breeding programme. Cogent’s Beachin Stud is the largest bull stud in the United Kingdom with capacity for 230 bulls. Cogent Breeding is looking forward to working with UKTI to further expand the business. CEO Andrew Turner said: “We were delighted to be invited to attend the High Sheriff’s Awards Dinner, where Cogent won the UKTI Award for Cheshire Business Exporter of the Year 2014/15. This Award reflects the hard work and commitment from people throughout the business in expanding our global reach and building up an international market for our quality products and services.

“As part of theAaward, we will be working closely with the UKTI over the next 12 months, and would wish to expand further into, selective, international markets.” Cogent Breeding will receive a bespoke 12 month package of support from UKTI.

The Cheshire Business Leaders Award for the Cheshire and Warrington Young Entrepreneur went to Co-Founders of TechnoSpark, Josh Brown and Tom Haworth, who both study at the University of Chester. TechnoSpark specialises in promotional electronic products, in particular focusing on USBs and is based in Chester. For this category, the judges were looking for growth in turnover and/or profits, developing new markets and long term potential.

Josh Brown said: “It is an honour to win this prestigious Award for Business Leaders Young Entrepreneurs. We have big plans at TechnoSpark and can’t wait for what the future holds for our company and also opportunity to contribute to Chester’s business growth.”

Oliver Yeates, founder and CEO of Clicky Media, triumphed in the Outstanding Cheshire and Warrington Business Leader Award.  Clicky Media is a digital marketing agency based in Chester. The judges were looking for an outstanding business leader, who has shown exceptional vision and leadership at the helm of a successful and growing business, which has also contributed to the development and reputation of the whole sub-region.

Oliver said: “It’s been a privilege to lead the growth of Clicky Media, and to be recognised by business leaders in Cheshire and Warrington as someone who has vision and leadership is a meaningful accolade. I have big growth plans for Clicky Media and l look forward to continuing to contribute to Chester’s business growth. What makes this Award extra special is that it recognises businesses that have contributed to the growth of the local economy. As Director of a Chester SME, l’m proud to employ local talented people that are committed and dedicated to their work and going the extra mile.” Clicky Media received £500 worth of prize money and business support from Cheshire Business Leaders.

Mark Elliott, Director of Corporate Affairs at MBNA, said: "As a Chester-based business, MBNA is glad to support the High Sheriff's Awards, which are a tribute to the vibrant local business culture in Chester and Cheshire. It's important to recognise the outstanding work that is being done to put both the city and the county on the map and ensure future prosperity. Our warm congratulations go to all of the organisations who were shortlisted, as well as the deserving winners."

Robert Ellis, Principal Accountant at Ellis & Co Chartered Accountants and Business Advisers, said: “I am delighted to be associated with the High Sheriff’s Awards both in the capacity of a sponsor and judge.

“It is always a joy to encounter fresh talent through the High Sheriff’s Awards as well as recognising the invaluable achievements of established businesses in boosting the local economy and supporting the community.”

Professor Phil Harris, the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Awards, said: “Our region is making some great business and developing some great people for the future. The finalists reflect the best businesses and organisations in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington with wonderful human stories of true grit and determination. These Awards have great sponsors all of which added to a superb Awards night.”

Susan Sellers the High Sheriff of Cheshire, said: “It has been a great pleasure to be involved in these Awards, which continue to go from strength to strength, with more entries than ever this year from right across the County. This made both shortlisting and judging even more difficult, but that is a great problem to have!”

The High Sheriff also paid tribute to the generosity of the Cheshire business community, for its fundraising efforts on the night: “I’m thrilled to be able to donate £2,125 to the five Hospices of Cheshire, whose valuable and critical work supports so many of our Cheshire residents.”

The High Sheriff’s Awards for Enterprise 2014/15 were generously sponsored by Airbus, Barclays, Cheshire Business Leaders, Cheshire East Council, DTM Legal, Ellis & Co, Halton Borough Council, Knights, KPMG, Oliver Valves, Roberts Bakery, Trinity Mirror, UKTI, Urenco, Chester Business Club, Chester Racecourse, Cheshire & Warrington LEP, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Click Consult, Marketing Cheshire, MBNA, Mornflake, Muse, O2, Warrington Borough Council, West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, Wheatsheaf, University of Chester.