Winners

The 2023
Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards Winners

THIS YEAR’S CATEGORIES & WINNERS

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE ICON AWARD 

Courtney Lawes 

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY MOULTON COLLEGE 

Abi Almond

J Sweeney Accountants

Apprentice accountant Abi Almond joined the business at 18 with no experience of an office environment, but her development has been rapid professionally and personally. She soon began handling clients’ bookkeeping and accounting from start to finish with ease and she demonstrates a level of skill and responsibility way above her age and experience. Abi brings enthusiasm and vigour to the business along with her inspiring professionalism and her desire to develop in her role.

NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY BECHTLE 

Hunsbury Homes 

Hunsbury Homes is a cleaning company with a difference. Instead of setting an hourly rate, the company charges a set rate per house and per number of bedrooms. Rather than clocking up hours, it’s all about ensuring everything is completed efficiently and effectively, and to the client’s satisfaction. Just over two years old, Hunsbury Homes is run by 21-year-old Tayla White, who employs 26 members of staff, from Corby to Milton Keynes, and is currently the highest paying cleaning company in the county.

LAND AND DEVELOPMENT AWARD – SPONSORED BY MOORE 

78 Derngate 

The expansion and refurbishment of 78 Derngate, the only building outside Scotland to have been designed by the renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, took 12 months and cost £950,000. Funded jointly by West Northamptonshire Council and SEMLEP, the work created a large visitor centre, rejuvenated a secluded garden and refurbished and upgraded the on-site shop. The work has enhanced and protected for the future the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and has been carried out in keeping with the historic nature of the building.

INNOVATION AWARD – SPONSORED BY UNIVERSITY OF NORTHAMPTON 

Vulcan Works

Vulcan Works provides lettable office space, workshops, meeting rooms and coworking spaces for creative and digital businesses in the heart of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter. The Grade II listed former ironworks opened in February after months of extensive construction work funded by West Northamptonshire Council and SEMLEP, and the European Regional Development Fund. This major flagship project for Northamptonshire took old and derelict buildings and transformed them into an incubation space for growing businesses.

COMMUNITY PROJECT OR PERSON OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY DBFB 

Groundwork Northamptonshire –
The Green Patch 

The Green Patch is a unique community green space in Kettering that makes a profound difference to individuals, families and the wider community. A recent threat from a new development saw a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of The Green Patch and the plans have now been withdrawn. The Green Patch runs after-school clubs, adult volunteer days and community events through its community garden with polytunnels, beehives, a health and wellbeing garden, a wildlife orchard, ponds and a play area.

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY THE GROSVENOR GROUP 

Hireful 

Hireful is a recruitment technology company that provides recruitment software and training to more than 350 companies across the UK. The Strixton-based company trains more than 1,000 HR and in-house recruitment professionals each year to improve how their organisations recruit. In order to be successful, Hireful ensures that it listens to its own employees first, so that everyone is clear on the company’s goals and ambitions and providing each individual with a career development plan, whether that leads to them staying with the company, or using it as a stepping stone to success elsewhere.

MARKETING CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY REED 

Moore

The challenge faced by Moore was to somehow make the complicated area of tax advice both digestible and interesting. The firm’s approach was the Moore Tax Advice Podcast, which offers a free, value-added service to clients, drawn on tax partners’ expertise and breaking the information down into simple and easy-to-understand short, bitesized chunks. Presented by Matthew Grief and Tim Woodgates, the podcast has exceeded all expectations and the listenership is now around 500 downloads each month and growing.

LEGAL FIRM OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY ACS STAFFING SOLUTIONS 

Howes Percival LLP 

Established in Towcester in 1790, Howes Percival has grown into the modern commercial law firm it is today through building a strong client base of regional owner-managed and mid-sized businesses and high-net-worth individuals as well as global businesses and government departments. The firm’s client base includes household names including Persimmon, the British Racing Driver’s Club, cinch and Silverstone Circuits. Its strategy is focused around people and as such, it strives as a firm to provide an environment where people feel happy, engaged and valued – creating a culture that results in the delivery of great service to clients.

FOOD & DRINK AWARD – SPONSORED BY SH PRATT GROUP 

Saffron

Saffron is a Bangladeshi restaurant that has been in the heart of Northampton town centre for 20 years. The menu remains true to owner Naz Islam’s roots, based on traditional recipes from Bangladesh and Nepal but given a modern makeover to meet the demands of 21st Century diners. Saffron is always innovative, but respects its heritage, the traditional and modern combining to create an unforgettable experience for diners. In addition, Naz has organised hundreds of charity events over the years, including hosting the annual Mayor’s Charity Dinner.

ACCOUNTANCY FIRM OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY FRANKLINS SOLICITORS 

KRW Accountants

As well as providing the standard compliance services that are expected from an accountancy firm, KRW Accountants are passionate about the digital side of accountancy, too. Being Platinum Xero Advisers allows the firm to use the best tools available in the industry. KRW invests a lot of time with clients, not just to ensure the team understands their core businesses, but to make sure the client feels fully engaged and informed about their financial situation, too.

BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY CLEAR INSURANCE GROUP 

Rachel Rowley

Encore Environment

Rachel Rowley is Managing Director of Encore Environment, which works with large construction contractors to improve their waste management strategies – challenging the conventional routes of waste disposal in a sector that generates 62% of the UK’s waste. Rachel has implemented value-led sustainable interventions that give clients better environmental choices and help companies cut their waste costs and divert waste into beneficial channels where appropriate. She has built a dedicated, loyal and skilled team, motivating other women to be leaders in the sector and supporting them to do so.

BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY MOONCOMPUTERS 

Jevgenij Lyzko 

Jev began his career with Mannol as a sales assistant but within 12 months was head of sales for Europe and GCC countries. He moved to the UK in 2018, choosing Northampton as the company’s new UK base and the home of its planned and future expansion. The team has more than doubled in numbers since last year, with Jev putting the success down to investing, recruiting at the right time, being prepared to take a risk and supporting the local community.

SUSTAINABILITY AWARD – SPONSORED BY MEDIGOLD HEALTH 

iOTA Interiors 

iOTA Interiors is committed to making a positive impact on the environment through sustainable solutions in the workplace. The workplace design company is proud to be the exclusive Plastic Whale by Vepa Partner for Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes, allowing it to encourage the use of high-end circular furniture, made with previously used materials including PET bottles, cork, steel, fishing nets and plastics. At the end of their own useful life, the furniture items can be broken down and reused, upcycled or recycled.

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY HR SOLUTIONS UK 

Mannol 

Based in Northampton, the firm is the exclusive distributor of the global Mannol  and SCT automotive aftermarket brands in the UK. Mannol supplies high-quality engine, transmission, gear and industrial oils, as well as products including antifreeze, brake fluids, greases and sealants to automotive and retail businesses, factories, garages and workshops. The company has been turned around in the past four years, taking two and a half years to pay off its debts and then seeing turnover grow rapidly, with a profit projection of £6.5m by the end of 2023.

BIG BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – SPONSORED BY MHA 

Staysure 

Founded by entrepreneurs Ryan and Lindsey Howsam to provide travel insurance, specialising in cover for pre-existing medical conditions, Staysure now encompasses several well-known brands. With its headquarters in Northampton, Staysure employs around 700 people across four sites. The company strives to be innovative with both the products it offers and how it supports its employees, with a flexible approach to working and a more diverse workforce, to ensure a good work/life balance for all.

CONTRIBUTION TO NORTHAMPTONSHIRE AWARD 

Rachel Mallows MBE DL 

IN ASSOCIATION WITH