It’s been quite a year! And it was quite a night when it came to celebrating the best of the Northamptonshire business community at a sparkling awards ceremony last month.
The Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards 2021 saw finalists, sponsors and guests gather at The County Ground to mark success and achievement in what has been one of the most challenging periods ever.
Hosted by former newsreader and TV personality Sir Trevor McDonald, the awards recognised hard work and commitment of the sector. Twelve awards, from Marketing Campaign of the Year through Apprentice of the Year to BIG Business of the Year, were presented, while Amarjit Singh Atwal from the Sikh Community Centre and Youth Club in Northampton was presented with a special Contribution to Northamptonshire award.
Welcoming everyone to the glittering evening, Ben Thomas, from All Things Business, said:
“It’s fantastic to think that we’re gathering once again to recognise and celebrate the very best the county’s business community has to offer. So much has happened since our last live awards event and I have to admit, at times, I did wonder whether we would see a night like this again. We are proud of what we have done to support the business community over the past two years, and how the business community rallied when it needed to.”
“It’s great to be hosting the awards and it’s a fantastic evening out there and All Things Business have done an amazing job tonight.
“I’m delighted for the club and myself to have this recognition because it is a team effort, we can get success off the field, with events like this, but we also need success on the field, and when they come together, then we have a really successful business.”
“It has been a challenging year in our industry, it’s been very hard work, so we’re delighted with this award. Our late chairman, Brian Johnson, established this company as a local company and while we have won national awards, I think this local business award would be the one he’d be most proud of.”
“I think what made us stand out to the judges was that we have had fantastic growth and we have a brilliant team around us, and it’s that expert team that has made us stand out from the competition, and will help us pursue our dream of being the Number One R&D practice in the UK.”
The other winners were:
Timotay Playscapes in the Marketing Campaign of the Year Award, who’s innovative and imaginative strategy when the pandemic halted face-to-face marketing opportunities impressed the judges.
Eckland Lodge Business Park was named the winner of the Land & Development Award, sponsored by Moore. The factory and warehouse development includes six high-spec units across three buildings. The judges were impressed by the use of quality materials and the inclusion of a solar park, biodiversity and environmental sensibility.
Afterwards, Daniel Howes from Eckland Lodge said:
“We were up against some really stiff competition, so it was a bit of a shock to hear our name read out. The green credentials of what we’ve done are incredibly important, it’s one of the first things clients ask about, so it’s fundamental to what we do.”
The winner of the Innovation Award was the app developed by Support 4 Independence which gives vulnerable adults the support and assistance they need with everyday tasks and to keep them safe. The judges described it as an innovative product that provides a range of possibilities to the community is supports.
The Apprentice of the Year award went to Matthew Leach from pHp Architects, who was described as someone who has given 100% to his studies as well as growing his role within the practice and supporting colleagues whenever and wherever help is needed.
Hibiscus, the fine dining restaurant at Delapre Abbey, took the Food and Drink Award. The judges were impressed not only by the menus and culinary skills but by the socially responsible, locally-sourced and sustainable approach to food.
Northampton Town FC Community Trust, which reached out during the pandemic to support those alone and vulnerable, were named winners of the Community Project or Person of the Year in the award sponsored by dbfb.
The Professional Services Award, sponsored by ACS, went to Howes Percival, whose long history in Northampton, combined with its strong client relationships and technical investment and innovation impressed the judges.
James & James Fulfilment was named Employer of the Year sponsored by Northampton Saints. Recruitment continues apace at the e-commerce fulfilment specialist, who moved into new premises on the Brackmills Industrial Estate in Northampton last year to facilitate its rapid growth.
The judges mentioned the firm’s learning development plans for staff and the ability to ‘grow their own’ talent.
At the end of the evening, Amarjit Singh Atwal, whose organisation not only provides hot meals for rough sleepers in Northampton town centre, but during the pandemic started a food bank that was providing, at its height, more than 300 vulnerable people in the local community, was presented with the Contribution to Northamptonshire Award.
“I had no idea about the award, so I was really surprised. It’s recognition for all the hard work the team has put in, and for all the beneficiaries we’ve been able to help during the COVID period.
“It means a lot to me, we want to help as many people as possible and we’ve received a lot of support from local businesses to help deliver the services we do.”
As the 2021 Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards draw to a close, preparation for 2022 begins. To keep up to date, check out the website https://allthingsbusiness.co.uk/awards/nbea/ and follow the awards social pages: Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter