Fenland Enterprise Business Awards 2019 - all the winners and finalists at eleventh annual ceremony
- Credit: Archant
Abtec Industries and Fenland RP were the big winners at the 11th annual Fenland Enterprise Business Awards, each taking home two awards on the night.
Hundreds of people - dressed to the nines and ready to celebrate the best in Fenland business - filled the March Braza Club on Friday (October 4) as the glitzy bash got underway.
Ten awards were given out on the night and a raffle held in aid of FACET (a March-based charity which teaches those with learning or other disabilities) raised £1,150 while later in the evening a businessman handed over an additional cheque for £500.
Editor John Elworthy, who introduced the awards, said: "This was our 11th year staging the Fenland Enterprise Business Awards and we couldn't be happier.
"They really are an outstanding showcase of what Fenland is about and the stories of business success unearthed by our judges were a revelation."
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Steve Barclay, MP for NE Cambs, has been a regular guest since its launch but missed Friday's function because of his work as Brexit Secretary.
However he sent a message to the editor stating how "you and I have always known there is talent locally and great that it is shining through in the business community.
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"If we can finally get Wisbech rail moving too then that would take it to another level.
"Well done with the awards - it is a fantastic showcase for the amazing work carried out locally."
He added: "I look forward to being with you all next year."
The event was hosted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Sue Dougan.
And the winners were...
New Business of the Year
The New Business of the Year award went to Waymar Services.
Owner, Wayne, said: "I'm absolutely flabbergasted to be fair - we never would have dreamed of winning in a million years but we're amazed that we have won. It will help the business no end.
"This is our first year and we've come along leaps and bounds. Hopefully we'll progress and go a lot longer than that."
The judges said: "They are deserving winners of this award as they are capitalising on a good reputation, will show a profitable first year's trading, already have somebody working for them from outside the family, make a habit of using local suppliers where possible and are now looking to take on another person."
The other finalist in this category was The Little Marketing Company.
The award was sponsored by the Wisbech Standard and presented by Fenland District Council chairman Kay Mayor.
Small Business of the Year
Studio 11 Architecture won the Small Business of the Year award
Chris Baxter, managing director, said: "It's brilliant. We were finalists last year so it's great to win this year.
"The award highlights what we do in Fenland really. A lot of our work is out of the county so it would be good to get some more projects within Fenland as well."
The judges said: "Studio 11 Architecture have achieved a number of significant milestones during the year which has seen the company strengthen both financially but also as a team.
"These achievements, along with management's clear vision for the future direction of the company leave no doubts in the judge's mind that this has contributed to the company's commercial success."
The other finalists in this category were Bridges Fire and Security, 3B Design & Print, Falcon Hotel, Versuvio Italian Restaurant and Orlando Interior Design
The award was sponsored by Volmary and presented by managing director Wayne Eady.
Medium Business of the Year
Fenland RP Ltd took home the Medium Business of the Year award at the 2019 ceremony.
Nick Osborn, managing director, said: "It's a fantastic reward for our team because they put in a huge amount of work over the last year.
"It's been a fantastic night and it's really pleasing for me that they've been recognised.
"For the company it's really good because it recognises all the hard work and effort that we have put in over the last 13 years of the business.
"We've finally achieved the critical mass that we need to take it to the next level." The judges said: "RP's significant profit growth over the last few years continues as a result of re-investment as well as controlled costs and a passion for customer service.
"Their design service combines quality engineering with speed of service, setting them apart from their competitors in highly regulated market sectors, which includes multinational customers in medical, pharmacuetial to aerospace and automotive.
"FRP's robust strategy for growth will advance with it's current strong management taking the business from strength to strength."
The other finalists were Testermans Ltd, Agrimech and Floorspan Contracts Ltd.
The award was sponsored by Local Generation and presented by commercial director Lee Dobinson.
Customer Service Award
Abtec Industries, who are based in Wisbech, took home their first of two awards on the night, winning the Customer Service of the Year award.
Michelle Ring, director and sales director, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled. We're a family business and we have a can do attitude. Everybody is treated as an individual.
"Everybody is important to us and we give that personalisation to all our customers - each and every one of them.
"It's going to be great for us moving forward.
The judges said: "Abtec Industries Ltd are worthwhile winners of the Customer Service Award who not only speak passionately about customer service but are able to demonstrate the difference that going the extra mile and having a can do attitude makes to their customers".
The other finalists were Daddy Cabs Ltd and Fenland Timber Ltd
The award was sponsored by The Cambs Times and presented by the editor John Elworthy.
Business Growth Award
Volmary Ltd was crowned the winner of the Business Growth Award.
Chris Finlay, commercial director, said: "We're really pleased because we've worked really hard for the last five years to build the business.
"We've got a great team who have worked really hard to achieve what we have done. "We're employing nearly 200 people in the Fenland area so it's good for everyone. And our sales for 2019 have increased by 20 per cent compared to 2018.
The judges said: "This was a fiercely contested category making the decision a very difficult one.
"However the judges agreed that the winner has taken advantage of the opportunities presented from being part of a global business whilst retaining control of its own development and growth."
The other finalists were Testermans, 3B Design and Print, TVS (Total Vehicle Solutions Group) and Agrimech
The award was sponsored by Archant and presented by Rebecca Sussex, who is one of the judges.
Family Business of the Year
Abtec Industries Ltd's second win of the night came when they took home the Family Business of the Year award, which was a new category for 2019.
Michelle Ring, director and sales director, said: "I can't believe it - especially because it's a new category there were a lot more companies in the running."
The judges said: "Abtec is not only a very successful business but we were struck by the family togetherness and camaraderie.
"They clearly demonstrated the concept of "familyness, with three generations working in the business - of the seven employees five were family. The others are considered honorary family members - it was quite clear this was a close knit family working hard together."
The other finalists were Temper and Glaze, Pike Textile Display Ltd, Agrimech and
Floorspan Contracts Ltd.
The award was sponsored by Metcalfe Copeman & Pettefar LLP Solicitors and presented by Steve Welcomme, partner at the Wisbech branch and Sarah Adlam, partner from the Peterborough branch.
Supporting Young People
20Twenty Productions CIC won the Supporting Young People award, which recognises the commitment given to helping young people through education into employment.
Katherine Nightingale, creative director, said: "We're absolutely chuffed to bits. We've had a really crap year because we lost one of our team and I think, losing Geri, this is for her - totally.
"It's good for us as a company to remind us that actually we do a good job; it's what we do, it's what we live for and we love supporting people."
The judges said: "This company's passion and enthusiasm for involving young people throughout their business is truly inspiring.
"Young people have the opportunity to grow in confidence and discover new skills while experiencing something very special.
"The judges felt this company was exceptional in their ethos of supporting young people and are very worthy winners of the supporting young people award."
The other finalists were User One SBS Ltd, Volmary Ltd, Nestle Purina Petcare, Peter Humphrey Associates Ltd and Tin Fish Creative Communications Ltd.
The award was sponsored by The Fenland Resident and presented by FEBA judge Gill Prangnell.
Employer of the Year
ALS Global, based in Chatteris, was crowned Employer of the Year at this year's awards night.
Adam Rush, general manager, said: "We're over the moon. It's great support for what we're trying to do with our employees, creating the training academy and in terms of staff engagement.
"People development has been one of our core values this year so it's really important to highlight that to the local economy that we're trying to take people forward."
The judges said: "We were impressed with their approach to recruiting, induction, training and development which has proven to be an effective model for attracting new employees and increasing retention.
"Academies have been set up to provide opportunities for employees to advance their careers especially when transiting from technical role to commercial.
"Employee engagement is evident with a clear strategy which ensures an open and transparent culture positively accepted by all staff.
"ALS is an outstanding business who demonstrated their commitment to improve the ongoing development, well being and relationship with employees.
The other finalists were Volmary Ltd, Testermans Ltd, TVS (Total Vehicle Solutions Group) and Tin Fish Creative Communications Ltd.
The award was sponsored by Wisbech-based Nestle Purina and presented by factory manager Jamadagni Khandige.
The Judges' Award
Upwell-based machinery manufacturing company Agrimech took home The Judges' Award this year after winning three awards in 2018.
The judges said: "This award is going to a brilliant Fenland business that has demonstrated phenomenal growth and is going from strength to strength.
"Agrimech is definitely a business to keep watching and a well deserved winner of the judges award."
Darren Smith, managing director, and Belinda Smith, finance director, said: "It's been brilliant to support the Fenland Enterprise Business Awards again. "It's a great platform for businesses to move forward and winning last year really propelled us - not just locally, but nationally and internationally as well."
This award was sponsored by the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce and presented by Peter Watts, who was one of this year's judges.
Business of the Year
Having been crowned Medium Business of the Year earlier in the evening, Fenland RP Ltd finished their night by winning a second title - the Business of the Year award.
The judges said: "This privately-owned company has delivered on so many fronts with year on year significant growth and profitability in markets that are constantly changing and become more demanding.
"Sustaining this high standard is what makes Fenland RP so special, which is clearly demonstrated by the passion shared by all staff to ensure quality of service and enduring success."
Founded in 2001, Fenland RP's progressive approach to rapid manufacturing has been crucial to its success.
They have retained independence and built a trusted network of partners to strengthen their market position.
The award was not directly entered but chosen by the judging panel from the winning entries. It was given to a company that the judges felt had demonstrated great business practice as well as financial success.
The award was sponsored by Whiting & Partners and presented by partner Andrew Band.