County’s top businesses honoured at High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise

Posted on 28th March 2010

A trio of leading business from across Cheshire is celebrating after winning prizes at the High Sheriff's Award for Enterprise.

It is great to meet entrepreneurs who enjoy innovation and keep growing even during tough times.
John Timpson CBE, Chairman of Timpson Ltd

The winners were announced at a special ceremony held in the Malloy Hall at the University of Chester last night, Wednesday, March 24.

Founded in 2006 by former High Sheriff of Cheshire, David Briggs MBE, the Award for Enterprise is judged on ambition, innovation, growth, enterprise, and employee and management development.

The entrants are also required to explain how they will ensure their company continues to expand in the future.

The current High Sheriff of Cheshire, William Fergusson, said: "We have had some exceptional entries this year and given the extremely challenging trading conditions,
to see such a diverse group of businesses that are all prospering is quite remarkable not to say hopeful for all our futures."

John Timpson CBE, Chairman of Timpson Ltd and keynote speaker at the event added: "I am delighted to be part of The High Sheriff's Award for Enterprise 2010. It is great to meet entrepreneurs who enjoy innovation and keep growing even during tough times.

"Business plays a big part within our community, not just by providing employment and creating wealth, but also by giving a stable economic base for Cheshire families."

First place, and a free place for one of its managers on the University's Masters of Business Administration programme (worth £9,000) was awarded to flooring manufacturer Flowcrete UK Ltd.

The Sandbach-based firm, which employs 70 people and boasts a turnover of £20million, is inspired by excellence in people, products and service as well as continual innovation and sustainable growth, and impressed judges with its focus on innovation, brand development, partnerships and operational excellence.

Mark Greaves, Group Managing Director of Flowcrete UK Ltd, said: "Flowcrete is delighted to win this prestigious award, which will help support and strengthen our strategy to be the world's leading specialist flooring company by continual improvement of our people, products and services."

Second place, and a £4,000 cash prize, was awarded to Dandy's Topsoil Ltd in Chester.

A family run business since the early 1800s the company shows a strong commitment to environmental issues and has increased its product range to include many recycled and organic products, some of which are produced from materials it has diverted from landfill and waste sites.

Dandy's Topsoil Ltd is as committed towards the future of the business as its employees and is always looking for ways to invest in both its products and training the 22 members. It is also dedicated to the environment and aims to become carbon neutral by 2013.

Third place, and a £2,000 cash prize, was presented to Wilmslow based Citation Plc.

Operating since 1995, Citation Plc's position as one of the leading health and employment law consultancies in the UK has gone from strength to strength.

Despite the economic downturn, the firm has consistently maintained sales levels and its employee and client numbers are up year on year, bucking the trend for much of the economy.

Since its conception the firm has grown rapidly in size and last October achieved its goal of investing in a purpose built headquarters to house its 210 employees.

The NeuroMuscular Centre, in Winsford, was presented with a special award for Social Enterprise for its work to support people affected by muscular dystrophy, while Cheshire Farm Ice Cream, Global Air Training Ltd, both in Tattenhall and Grosvenor Garden Centre, in Chester, were all presented with highly commended certificates.

Professor Phil Harris, Executive Dean of the University's Faculty of Business Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, added: "It is great to see so many vibrant businesses succeeding in Cheshire, built on entrepreneurial spirit high values and being focused on the customer.

"The High Sheriff's Award Ceremony showcases the best in Cheshire."

The awards prize fund was made possible thanks to significant contributions from the following regional and international sponsors: Bank of America, Barclays; Business Link; Cheshire East Council; Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance; Cheshire West and Cheshire Council; Halton Borough Council; Northwest Regional Development Agency and the University of Chester.

Above picture:

Chris Pyke, Associate Dean Chester Business School; Adam Dandy, Dandy's Topsoil Plc; High Sheriff for Cheshire William Fergusson; Alan Dean from Flowcrete UK Ltd; Karen Jarvis from Flowcrete UK Ltd; Nigel Lee from Citation Plc; Prof Phil Harris, Executive Dean at Chester Business School; Fran Hulbert, Chairman of Chester Business School Advisory Council and John Timpson CBE, Chairman of Timpson Ltd.