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.