WATCH: Video show reels of the winners of the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards 2018

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 22 May 2018

The winners of the Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards 2018 have been crowned, with the best of South Bank entrepreneurial spirit rewarded.

A total of 14 gongs were handed out on a night of celebration at Grimsby Auditorium, with a crowd of 500 there to witness a spectacular event from Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce.

Here is the roll of honour, complete with the professional videos screened as the winners were revealed:

Grimsby Carpet Warehouse Small Business Award winner: XOS (UK) Ltd

Judges heard how: “XOS UK Ltd was founded by Adam Victory in 2007. Based on Grimsby’s Europarc, it is a customer-centric leading supplier of fully managed print solutions across the UK.

“The company offers a fully comprehensive solution by first conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the print environment, document infrastructure and workflows. Xos’ turnover has more than doubled in the past four years with profit margins being maintained. Client base has also grown at an incredible rate and the company now supplies sole traders to worldwide plc’s across a whole range of sectors. Embracing latest technologies and with aggressive growth plans, this company looks set to continue its success.”

Runners-up:Urban Feather Ltd; Ragged Edge Recruitment & Consulting Ltd


ABP Business Growth Award winner: Tilletts Clothing

Judges heard how: “Run by a mother and daughters team, Mel, Grace and Nancy, Tilletts Clothing offers ‘real clothes for real women’. With mid-priced clothes and accessories for ladies focusing on a ‘one size fits all’ strategy. This company operates within the ‘fast fashion’ market updating ranges every week. Using social media platforms, including Facebook with 46,000 followers, the ‘live’ videos are now getting more than 100,000 views, and increasingly converting to sales. Net profit trebled in 2016 and doubled again in 2017, with 16 extra jobs created in that time.”

Runners-up:BJB Lift Trucks Ltd; Taylors Family Butchers


The Wilkin Chapman Business Person of the Year Award winner: Karl Thew, CAT Tech International

Judges heard how: “Karl Thew is the chief executive of Cat Tech International, an industrial services provider for the petrochemical and refining industries. Formerly part of Shell and then owned by multi-national corporations throughout the world, Karl led a management buy-out in 2012. This move to took time to stabilise but is now showing double digit profit returns on sales with further growth plans. He has been involved in the industry for over 30 years. A New Zealander by birth, he travels more than 100,000 miles a year from the Scunthorpe base which he now calls home. The results and continued satellite office expansions overseas are down to Karl’s drive and determination. Plans for the future include developing the business in the USA.”

Runners-up:David Fenwick, 4Matic Design & Manufacture Ltd; Jonathan Birtwhistle, Birtwhistle Landscaping Ltd


Hays Recruitment International Trade Award winner: Mariner Packaging Company Ltd

Judges heard how: “Mariner Packaging is a worldwide exporter of high quality food packaging, bespoke packaging, construction materials, odour neutralising and specialist foils. Fully accredited and approved by the British Retail Consortium, this company has found success in a variety of markets on a worldwide basis. With a target to increase turnover in international trade by 20 per cent every year, the Grimsby team has exceeded expectations. Last year alone international sales increased by a huge 128 per cent.  Staff recruitment has grown by 300 per cent over the past five years and new distribution agreements have been agreed in North and South America and in the Middle East. International sales now amount to a huge 45 per cent of total sales.”

Runners-up:Fast Form Systems Ltd; Ramsden International


The Bridge McFarland New Business Award winner: Walshe’s Property & Letting Agency

Judges heard how: “Walshe’s Property and Letting Agency is an independent estate agency based in Scunthorpe but with clients across the whole of Lincolnshire and beyond. Founded by Joshua Walshe, aged just 19, in January 2017, the business is thriving and has become only the second estate agency in Scunthorpe to become fully qualified and certified by the National Association of Estate Agents.  With many new contracts both on the sales and the lettings side, a solid reputation is being established with five star ratings across the board. Judges were impressed with this business’s use of new and innovative ways of marketing and its financial planning and organisation.”

Runners-up:  Dollie Jewellery; Optimal Digital


The Franklin College Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner: Ashley Taylor, Taylors Family Butchers

Judges heard how: “Ashley Taylor, at the age of just 12, started helping out on a local Scunthorpe butcher’s stall. After leaving school at 16 and becoming an apprentice butcher, he quickly learned his trade and moved through the ranks. At 20 he was made manager and put in charge of 12 staff.  But Ashley’s dream was to own his own premises and in 2016 he took the opportunity to rent and refurbish his own shop. With hard work, long hours and clever use of social media, he turned over £1.3 million in his first year and doubled his number of employees. Judges were impressed with this hard-working young entrepreneur and his business skills.”

Runners-up: Kate Webb Jones, Dollie Jewellery; Michael Coulson, My Procurement Partner


The North East Lincolnshire Business Development Award winner: Scratch Meals Ltd

Judges heard how: “Scratch Meals Ltd is an innovative manufacturer of branded healthy convenience meals. Principally targeting the £5.1 billion UK prepared meal market this company has chosen Grimsby to develop its brand. The company has seen good growth of more than 67 per cent over the last year and has grown from 18 members of staff to 53 with all bar three living in North East Lincolnshire. A substantial contract with Sainsbury’s has been won and Scratch has exploited a market niche for healthy eating by launching a new brand – Fit Kitchen – aimed at gym goers as well as developing a healthy pizza with half the calories normally found.”

Runners-up:JemBuild Ltd; XOS (UK) Ltd


The North Lincolnshire Business Investment Award winner: Foster Environmental Ltd

Judges heard how: “Foster Environmental Ltd is one of the largest critical engineering and construction companies in the region. With more than 25 years of operation the company has seen extraordinary growth over the past five years - 300 per cent increase in turnover, 284 per cent in employees and more than 400 per cent in profit. 2017 saw 25 new members of staff, increasing headcount to 73. Training is regarded as key to company success and many members of staff are currently taking vocational qualifications assisting in company success. Engagement with the wider local community is also valued and an annual fund has been allocated by the board of directors to sponsor local charities and good causes.”

Runners-up:Arbor Forest Products; Rocal Insulating Panels


The Grimsby Institute Training Excellence Award winner: Care Plus Group

Judges heard how: “Care Plus Group provides community health and care services for adults of all ages and exists to support people to achieve their best quality of life. Established as a community benefit society in 2011 this public service mutual provides services across the whole of North East Lincolnshire. Approximately 80 per cent of this organisation’s income is spent on the workforce and a recent ‘Aspire’ programme brought in to address succession planning, nurtures those staff with an appetite to progress within CPG.  Feedback from participants on the programme has been excellent. Judges were impressed with CPG’s record to date and plans to develop future growth in a systematic and calculated way.”

Runners-up: Foster Environmental Ltd; JemBuild Ltd


The DFDS Excellence in the Community Award winner: St Andrew’s Hospice

Judges heard how: “St Andrew’s Hospice is a local charity delivering free palliative and end of life care to both adults and children. The hospice recognises that ‘community’ is not simply a geographic term but encompasses a range of socio-economic factors including income, education, age and ethnicity. As such it has a range of explicit activities and planned work strands designed to create engagement and broader activity throughout the region. Hospice staff proactively seek opportunities to work with outside organisations such as Rotary, Lions, WI and Chamber. Since the ‘new build’ was completed in 2015 the hospice has actively encouraged an open door invitation to the local community in order to raise awareness of its services. “

Runners-up:Driver Hire Grimsby & Scunthorpe; Systematic


The HBP Systems Innovation Award winner: Road Traffic Solutions

Judges heard how: “Road Traffic Solutions has always been a pioneer in innovation within the industry. It has trialled and implemented a paperless head office and issued operatives with handheld PDA devices to record all job information once on site. The 24/7 staffed head office is solar powered, bur the innovation the team is most proud of is REPS – Road Traffic Solutions Effective Professional Service. This purpose-built bespoke system helps streamline processes and keeps the company ahead of the competition. The company invested two years and significant costs to develop and test the new software needed. Still in its infancy judges were impressed that the company fully owns this software which has potential to develop further.”

Runners-up:Ultimate Packaging Ltd; Quickbox.co


Forrester Boyd Business of Excellence Award winner: Grimsby Carpet Warehouse

Judges heard how: “Grimsby Carpet Warehouse is a local family run commercial and domestic flooring store established in 1945. Based since day one in Freeman Street, Grimsby, the company is now in its third generation of leadership, passed from grandfather, to father Ivor in 1975 and in 2014 to Myles, Ivor’s 4th son. Innovators in the field, GCW delivers high quality local customer service with competitive pricing. The company has seen excellent year on year growth over the past three years in a highly competitive market place. Taking on national competition is no mean feat but the four Shaw brothers have taken to social media to self market and seen excellent results. A sister company Carpet Runners UK has also seen good international success. Kevin Hopper, partner at Forrester Boyd, sponsors of the award, commented “I was impressed with the enthusiasm, speed of growth and the relevant growth in the local market in terms of brand name. I also liked the fact they found a niche in a global market and succeeded. They continue to adapt in the market, as opportunities appear, which has meant continued growth and reduced business risk.”  Worthy winners indeed of this year’s Business of Excellence Award.


Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce Great Grimsby Lifetime Ambassador Award winner: John Bowers

After attending Clee Grammar School, John gained a scholarship to Lincoln College, Oxford.

He then did a Bachelor of Civil Law and was a weekend law lecturer at Lincoln and St Hugh's Colleges and Christ Church for four years thereafter.

John was called to the Bar in 1979 and took silk in 1998. He has practised primarily in employment law and human rights. He has also been described in a review as "an employment law rock star". John is listed as the fourth most reported advocate in the Industrial Relations Law Reports and was Chambers & Partners Employment Silk of the Year 2010.

He has acted in most of the major industrial disputes over the past decades including the 1984 Miners Strike, the1989 Docks Dispute/ the News International Wapping dispute and numerous rail disputes. His landmark cases include a European Court of Human Rights application on the employment of gay servicemen. House of Lords rulings on injury to feelings awards and the dates of outsourcing for TUPE purposes, the Supreme Court decision on whether legal representation is required in internal disciplinary proceedings and the largest ever Employment Tribunal application by 12,000 retained firefighters, which eventually went to the House of Lords.

A frequent lecturer on employment law, John has written 15 books including Bowers on Employment Law (now in its Eighth Edition), The Law of Industrial Action and Trade Union Recognition and Whistleblowing. He co-wrote Blackstones Employment Law Practice each year from 2006 until the present and is a frequent contributor to legal journals. He is also a former editor of Atkins Court Forms on Employment.


Grimsby and Scunthorpe Telegraph Lifetime Achievement Award winner: Capt Sam Judah MBE

He used to sail vessels laden with cars into Grimsby, and the past 12 months have seen the business he joined to move them throughout the supply chain – from factory to showroom – clock up 30 years.

Captain Sam Judah has been at the helm of GBA Group of Companies for the vast majority of that time, and has worked across the shipping, ports and logistics industry for his entire career.

It has been a journey split across sea and land, spanning the decks of ocean-crossing ships, the bridge of car carriers, terminal management and culminating in leading one of the most successful stories to emerge from the port community in recent times. Such is his knowledge and commitment, he was awarded an MBE in 2009, and has received several industry awards for service, innovation and excellence.

Born and educated in Bombay, India, he first came to the UK to launch his maritime career, and while at sea completed a degree in business studies.

He first took command of a vessel at the age of 31, bringing Volkswagens across the North Sea, and worked from third officer to master.

Coming ashore as port captain for OT Africa Line, he worked as operations manager in Immingham, then as a port manager in Teesport, returning to the Humber as Hull Container Terminal manager, before joining GBA in the early Nineties. 

It was a move made as Toyota looked to the Humber to export their Derby-built cars. As a result, in 1997 the company opened its head office in Grimsby, while going on to operate in all major car-handling locations around the UK. It expanded further in 2003 to include vehicle technical services, with workshop and body shop elements, while in 2005 opportunities were explored with Tata in India, and in 2007 in Turkey, with Honda.

More recently GBA played an integral role in future-proofing Grimsby’s specialist car handling capabilities, as one of three parties with Associated British Ports and Volkswagen, to enable the £25-million riverside terminal to be built.

GBA now handles more than two million cars a year, with a quarter of those through Grimsby, employing more than 900 people. BMW is now coming on line just down the road at North Killingholme too.

A devoted family man, two of his four boys, Cale and Yaniv, work with him, and in accepting this award tonight he has underlined how it is on behalf of all the directors and staff who have delivered successes over the past three decades.

The 17th Northern Lincolnshire Business Awards was given a Beauty and the Beast theme, with West End professionals joining forces with Grimsby Institute performing arts students for a spellbinding show prior to the 'business end' of the evening. Earlier a four course meal from The Lincolnshire Chef had been enjoyed after a champagne reception.

Videos courtesy of Juice Media

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