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Archive for June, 2015

Food & Drink Talent Recognised By Industry In Awards Shortlist

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Innovation, creativity and passion underpin the exceptional ideas, people and businesses that have made the shortlist for this year’s FDF Awards 2015; including Cumbrian food producer Country Puddings.

The Food and Drink Federation Awards honour the talent and inspiration in the UK food and drink sector. Finalists will find out if they have triumphed on Monday 7 September at a gala industry event at The Brewery, London.

The group and individual shortlists were chosen by a panel of judges comprised of industry experts and sponsors. Finalists include a range of well-known brands, SMEs and people who are rising stars in the industry or established innovators and technical experts.

Country Puddings has been shortlisted in the Growth Business category for Northern England along side Delicious Alchemy, The Flava People (MRC), Hawkshead Relish, Wold Top Brewery and Yorvale Ice-cream.

The annual FDF Awards ceremony is a highlight in the industry calendar as it gives food and drink companies the chance to show their customers and competitors that they are leading the way. The awards also showcase the industry’s continued and substantial contribution to the economy and consumers, in the UK and world-wide.

Steve Barnes, FDF’s Economics and Commercial Services Director, said:

“We’ve had a record number of entries across the food and drink supply chain including growers, retailers and artisan producers, ranging from the big global brands to SMEs. Our expert judging panel faced a huge challenge to get the entries down to a shortlist, but we’re really pleased with the variety and number of entrants. This is a reminder of the talented, dedicated people there are working in Britain’s food and drink industry.”

Sponsors for this year’s awards include: Aktrion Food and Drink, Alvarez and Marsal,  apetito, Food Matters Live, General Mills, Grant Thornton,  James Hutton Institute, Nestlé UK, PepsiCo UK, Sheffield Hallam University and Willis.

2015 Stars of Business Awards Winners Announced!  

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The winners of the fourth Stars of Business Awards, run by Penrith Chamber of Trade and sponsored by Dodd & Co have been revealed in a glitzy ceremony on Friday 12th June.

The awards, which were part of the Chamber’s Annual Dinner, took place at the North Lakes Hotel in Penrith with the theme ‘Celebrate Cumbria’.  Over 120 business people from the area came together to celebrate the wonderful business landscape Penrith has to offer.

Guest speaker of the evening was David Beeby, former CEO of Innovia Group, who gave an insightful speech about the future of the polymer banknote produced by Innovia Films and its introduction by the Bank of England – from right here in Cumbria!  Other special guests included local artists Tim Gustard, who was invited to be MC for the evening and also fresh from his appointment as Councillor for the Economy Portfolio Holder David Haymers MBE.

The awards, which were put together by Penrith Chamber of Trade and managed by Lisa Jackson of Acorn Marketing (Cumbria) Ltd, were to recognise the multitude of thriving businesses in Penrith and the local area and the difference they make to the local economy in our region.  Voting for this year’s awards was once again conducted online and over 1,000 nominations were made by the general public for a wide variety of businesses.

Winning businesses in the 2014 Stars of Business awards were:

Winner of the Independent Retailer of the Year award (sponsored by Penrith Building Society)

MC Ferguson.  The judges commented that MC Ferguson plays a hugely valuable role in offering something different in Penrith and in a very high street driven and competitive market.  The judges liked how they work closely with other local businesses, suppliers and artists to provide customers with a real ‘local’ shopping experience.  They were particularly impressed with this businesses’ application form and the wonderful testimonials from their customers – from right across the country and said “who would have thought a bathroom shop would bring people to Penrith”

Winner of the Independent Business of the Year Award (sponsored by Armstrong Watson)

One Call Services. The judges were very impressed with this business…and that it was a business in a niche market truly dedicated to its customers.  One Call Services not only meets the day to day demands of running a successful business, but also the needs of the local community and providing a lifeline and essential service to its customers.

Winner of the award for Outstanding Contribution to Business (Sponsored by Burnett’s Solicitors)

Alan Reading from J&J Graham. This category was extremely close, but the judges felt that Alan was not only passionate about his business, but about the town and is such a great ambassador for Penrith.  He is  enthusiastic, dedicated, a leader and a vital part of the community.

Winner of the award for Unsung Hero (Sponsored by Scott Duff & Co)

Pat Ivinson from First Class kids Nursery.  This is a really special award as it recognises the work of people that ensure the smooth running of a business, but behind the scenes.  It is often the unseen staff that makes a business successful and this award is a celebration of the wonderful achievements of some of these people and the contribution they make to the businesses they work in.  There were some fantastic nominations in this category and the comments received were heart warming.  Judges felt Pat was a genuine ‘Unsung Hero’ – she does numerous voluntary roles, continually helping others and helping to drive First Class Kids nursery forward.  One judge commented “every village needs a Pat”

Winner of Star of the Community award (sponsored by the Pride in Penrith Lottery)

Langwathby May Day. Applications for this category were selected from all the groups who had received a grant from the Pride in Penrith Lottery in 2014.  The public could vote for their favourite community group or event in this category.  The judges struggled choosing a winner in this category as all the projects were so different.  Whilst all the projects were worthy winners and the people who run them should all deserve an award; the judges chose a project which they felt made a significant impact to their local community and was run entirely by volunteers.  The team behind Langwathby May Day has ensured that a 100 year long event continues to flourish and they do it with dedication, passion and keep local traditions alive; many of which are lost in today’s modern society.

Finalists and winners of the Stars of Business Awards were all nominated for their contribution to business in the local area and were judged by an independent panel of business experts from out of the Penrith area.  Businesses were judged independently from the Chamber Committee and therefore decisions were made on an impartial basis and only on the nominations received online and supporting documentation submitted by each business.

‘Here We Grow’ at Hunter Hall School

Monday, June 8th, 2015

On Wednesday 20th May, children in the foundation unit at Hunter Hall School in Penrith welcomed a visit from the Community Champion of Dobbies Garden Centre in Carlisle, as part of the ‘Here We Grow’ scheme.

The School was selected to take part in the national programme, which was launched by Dobbies Garden Centres in 2010 to encourage local communities to get growing.

An outdoor area, which is part of the Foundation Unit at Hunter Hall School, is currently being developed into a sensory garden.  Hayley Berry, Community Champion from Dobbies Carlisle brought with her a wonderful selection of plants and herbs with different colours, textures sizes and scents for the new garden that were all donated to the school through the scheme.

Mrs Cross, Foundation Stage Manager at Hunter Hall School commented,

“The children in the foundation unit want to say a huge thank you to Hayley and Dobbies at Carlisle for supporting the development of our sensory garden area.

Creating a safe, diverse and developmentally appropriate outdoor sensory garden will offer benefits across the curriculum and developmental learning for the children.  It is evident that children learn best about the world through their senses, so the introduction of herbs and edible flowers will provide an early introduction to fresh healthy foods and can have an important impact as children begin making their own food choices.”

The Dobbies ‘Here We Grow’ scheme has been running for five years and aims to help local communities develop green spaces in their areas, giving everyone the chance to appreciate the wonders of local gardens and outdoor space.  In the past, they’ve organised sensory gardens and veggie patches, as well as garden makeovers at homes of families in need and planted trees at elderly homes and disability centres.