Stealing the show at the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards
THREE companies stole the show at the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards, bagging a brace of accolades each as achievements were recognised in style.
The 10th year of the South Bank celebrations saw a dozen awards handed out in front of 500 people, with a heroes and villains theme.
Ministry of Defence supplier Hitek Electronic Materials topped the bill, taking the Forrester Boyd Award for Business Excellence as well as the Kimberly-Clark Innovation Award.
Stephen Clarke, managing director of Tri-Pack Plastics was named Wilkin Chapman Grange Business Person of the Year, while the company added the NatWest International Trade gong too, having wowed judges with a 43 per cent increase in exports of the recyclable fish boxes.
And Nisa Today’s, a runner-up in 2009 and 2010 more than made up for previous close calls, taking the ABP Business Growth Award and North Lincolnshire Economic Investment Award.
John Terry, managing director of Scunthorpe-based Hitek, was “stunned” with the excellence accolade, the one award that cannot be applied for. The company impressed with the scope and range of developed products, from low-cost radar screening materials for defence and renewables use, to technical textiles for a medical environment.
Mr Terry said: “We have always had the vision that we will be the best. We have the highest quality standards, the highest approvals, the finest staff, the best suppliers, and tonight we have got an award that says we are the best, but this has been recognised from outside.
Tri-Pack’s overseas sales increased from £1.08 million to £1.56 million in the past year, helping fish processors and retailers deal with the precious raw material a more environmentally-friendly manner. More than £750,000 has been invested to enhance the Grimsby production facility and Mr Clarke has also linked up with a Spanish company to bring a new manufacturing process to the sector that could drive down transport costs too.
It was a night of pure delight after several years of toil to get his polypropylene proposition into mass supply. He said: “We don’t do it to get recognition. We do it because we believe in it. The fact you get recognition is a wonderful bonus, a great by-product.”
Nisa Today’s winning achievements included the massive rise in personnel, recent completion of the £3.75 million, 28,500sq ft member support centre, together with an average ten per cent year on year growth in the business, that fills the shelves of independent stores nationwide. The start of a £500-million distribution contract with DHL that commits the firm to the town until 2018 was also heralded.
Chief executive Neil Turton, acutely aware of the hammer blow received by Scunthorpe earlier in the day when 1,200 jobs were put at risk at Tata Steel, underlined the importance of the location. He said: “We realise Nisa has been a beacon business for Scunthorpe in recent years. We have been there since 1989.
We keep saying it is a good place to do business. We have more than 1,000 people on site now and it has never occurred to us to go anywhere else. We are very happy there, we have done very well there.”
The past 12 months saw 11 per cent growth achieved, with Mr Turton pointing to the rise in convenience shopping post recession as people scale back on the weekly bulk purchases.
Superman and Bond double Donald Standen played the role of master of ceremonies at the event.
Grimsby Institute pupils put on an excellent heroes and villains show, ahead of a marvellous blast through the top numbers of genre-defining musical Chicago, starring former Emmerdale actor Ian Kelsey.
A raffle raised almost £3,000 for Magic Moments for Autistic Kids and Grimsby & Immingham Sea Cadets, the charities chosen by area Chamber chairmen Paul Cooper and Simon Brett, with immense gratitude shown to event organiser Anne Tate. Locally born television presenter Helen Fospero once again compered the awards.
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