There’s nothing, it seems, that the Northamptonshire business community likes better than to gather together to show their appreciation for the companies and individuals that make this county great.
TV presenter and comedian Paddy McGuinness was a lively and entertaining host as the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards 2022 saw another fantastic set of companies, organisations and individuals take home the prizes at a ceremony at The County Ground in Northampton.
Bigger and better than ever, there were 14 categories up for grabs, from the Innovation Award and the Marketing Campaign of the Year through to the Professional Services Award, Community Project or Person of the Year and the new Sustainability Award. In addition, John Harley, founder of ACS was presented with this year’s special Contribution to Northamptonshire award.
There was a double success on the night for Infomedia. The company was named Business of the Year, sponsored by HR Solutions, while its Managing Director, Mark Robinson, also picked up the Businessman of the Year title, sponsored by Northamptonshire Britain’s Best Surprise.
Mandy Young who founded Adrenaline Alley, the Corby-based skateboarding, BMX, scootering and inline skating centre, was named the winner of the Community Project or Person of the Year in the award sponsored by dbfb. Mandy started an outdoor skatepark at Rockingham Speedway in 2003 after her son John was attacked and had his beloved skateboard stolen. Sadly, John died in 2010, but Mandy has continued to build the centre into the world-class facility it is today.
Accepting her award, Mandy said:
“We’ve built Adrenaline Alley up from grassroots, it’s my son’s legacy and I intend to keep growing and developing it, but for that we need all the help we can get, so this award means a lot to all of us.
The other winners were:
Loren Barber, who was named Apprentice of the Year, was commended for how she has added value to the business from the start, contributing to numerous important tasks; and Fortus Business Advisors and Accountants took the Professional Services Award, sponsored by ACS.
Dunore Utility Connections was named New Business of the Year, sponsored by UK Business Forums. The judges said how impressed they were that the company had seen a gap in the market and enjoyed immediate success.
The winner of the Innovation Award, sponsored by The University of Northampton, was Encore Environment, which has developed a process by which key waste materials can be reprocessed for the benefit of local communities and charities, while the Marketing Campaign of the Year, sponsored by Franklins Solicitors, went to Sign In App, for its professional and eye-catching campaign to build awareness and deliver its growth plans.
GSSArchitecture was named Employer of the Year, sponsored by Medigold Health. The architectural practice was recognised for the lengths to which it has gone to create a fantastic working environment with a true sense of belonging.
Moore sponsored the Land and Development Award, which went to West Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire Sport for the repurposing of a disused nine-hole golf course to create the Northampton Mountain Bike Park.
EYAS at The Falcon at Castle Ashby was named the winner of the Food and Drink Award, sponsored by SH Pratt Group. The judges were impressed by the quality of the food, describing it as having the ‘wow’ factor; and Panther Logistics were named the winners of the BIG Business of the Year Award, sponsored by MHA.
The final award on the list, the Sustainability Award sponsored by The Grosvenor Group, was presented to In2Tec Ltd, a company that impressed the judges with its use of technology, materials and processes to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
At the end of the evening, John Harley, was presented with the Contribution to Northamptonshire Award. After leaving the Royal Corps of Signals, John began his civilian career as a typewriter engineer before co-founding ACS. He’s also been integral to the setting up and success of the Brackmills BID, and as part of the British Chambers of Commerce International Advisory Council. Now retired, John is said to have inspired and mentored hundreds of employees over the years to become business leaders and owners.
“There are too many people to thank, but I can’t think of any I need to thank more than my family, my two sons, and my wife, Eileen.
“Everyone in this room has someone who helped them on their way. For me that was a teacher, James Dyer. I didn’t do well at school and left without much idea of what I was going to do, but he always encouraged me.
“I’ve often wondered over the years what he’d make of how I’d turned turn out, and now receiving this award. I always try to be humble, but I have to say this feels good.”
During the early stages of the evening, Ben Thomas, from organisers All Things Business, asked the audience to consider the plight of 10-year-old Jesse Mansfield, who has leukaemia and whose family are trying to raise £250,000 to pay for potentially life-saving medical treatment. By the end of the evening, there had been pledges of £25,000 from some of the sponsors.
Closing the awards ceremony, Ben said:
“That’s what I love about this county. We’ve come here tonight for a fantastic event, celebrating the best of Northamptonshire, but at the same time, we’ve had so many generous pledges of help for a boy very much in need.
“This could well make all the difference to Jesse and his parents, and I’m sure more donations will come in over the next few days, and I feel proud to be able to tell the family what this business community has offered to do to help.”