Derby-based engineering firm Garrandale Ltd has scooped the prestigious Business of the Year crown at this year’s Derbyshire’s Best Business Awards.
The company, which was formed in 1976 and supplies specialist engineering solutions to a host of sectors including rail and chemical technology, also won the Environment Award for 2013.
The awards have been organised by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Derby Telegraph and a host of sponsors and event partners.
They were presented at a gala black tie dinner at the Roundhouse in Derby on Friday.
There were nine categories this year, with the overall Business of the Year – which was sponsored by Insider Media Ltd – being chosen from the winners of each individual award.
Andy Coles, Garrandale’s Sales and Marketing Director, said: “One of Garrandale’s key objectives is to develop stronger partnerships and joint ventures with other similar thinking companies and suppliers to deliver more effect and innovative products and services to our new and developing markets.
“This coveted award will certainly give us the recognition we need to be able to introduce Garrandale to many companies that we could work closely with”.
DNCC Chief Executive George Cowcher said: “Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s awards. It was an extremely strong field this year with some excellent entrants, so judging was really tough and this year’s winners can truly claim to be the best of the best.
“The economic recovery is now starting to take root here in Derbyshire and that’s, in part, down to the efforts of all of tonight’s winners – and finalists – which have got on with doing what they do best – innovating, exploiting new opportunities, developing their businesses and – most importantly – succeeding and prospering.
“It’s clear that the business sector in Derbyshire is thriving and we have many reasons to be proud of everything that is created, designed and manufactured here.”
The full list of winners is as follows:
Commitment to People Development, sponsored by Derby College
IMS Lettings Ltd is Derby’s leading lettings and property services agency.
Managing Director Vic Griffin said: “It is fabulous to win a local award, especially for ‘Commitment to People Development’. It is confirmation we are going in the right direction.
“We are proud to be in Derby and our strategy is to be in a position to be the best in the UK. Enthusiasm, energy and a genuine passion for property has been the key to the company’s success.”
The other finalists were AIM Awards and the Arvato Partnership.
Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc
Derby-based Deaf Alerter provides fire alarm warning and messaging for deaf and hard of hearing people.
Sales and Marketing Director Chris Haseldine said: “As the national market leader in our field, it is very rewarding to be recognised in our home city. The directors and the majority of our employees live in Derby, so this award for excellence in innovation will enable them to hold their head up high amongst friends and family within the city.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Deaf Alerter. With such impressive other companies in the final with us, it shows that the hard work, dedication and quality of our staff is second to none.”
The other finalists were Garrandale Ltd and JD7 Technology.
Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Enterprise Europe Network
Mono Design Ltd is a full service communications agency based in Derby, providing design and marketing services to a host of sectors.
Managing Director Lynne Bramwell said: “We are delighted to receive this award. We are a small company with a great team of very talented designers.
“The company has developed through winning several public sector tenders and being placed on preferred supplier lists. We also work with several companies in the agricultural marketing sector and this has led to us producing marketing campaigns for companies throughout the world, including Europe, Asia Pacific and South America.
“Derby has a strong creative industry and this award goes to show that you don’t need to look far to find great design work that can compete with the best in the world.”
The other finalists were CS Regulatory Ltd and Labosport Ltd.
Marketing Campaign of the Year, sponsored by East Midlands Trains
Glossop Cartons makes and supplies bespoke litho-printed packaging products.
Director Jacky Sidebottom said: “We were absolutely delighted to be in attendance at Derbyshire’s BEST Awards to celebrate being shortlisted, however it’s safe to say that the entire team at Glossop Cartons is blown away by actually winning such a prestigious award in such a competitive category.
“Our team has worked incredibly hard, not just in 2013 but for the past 30 years we’ve enjoyed in the industry. Winning Derbyshire’s BEST award for our marketing campaign goes to highlight what can be achieved when you have creativity, passion and the right marketing team behind you.”
The other finalists were Birchover Hotel Apartments and Marketing Derby.
Most Promising New Business, sponsored by Kingswood Taxation and Wealth Management Ltd
FC Laser Ltd, based in Ilkeston, provides sheet metal fabrication and laser cutting services to the manufacturing and engineering sectors.
Managing Director Danny Fantom said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this prestigious award on behalf of FC Laser. The last 15 months have been a tremendous start to the business and is testament to the hard work and commitment shown by all at FC Laser sharing the same ‘can do’ philosophy providing a service second to none.
“We place our customers at the heart of everything we do, and work hard to stay ahead of the competition with continued investment and attention to detail.
To be shortlisted in this category demonstrates great achievement and clearly shows that our business continues to improve, develop and makes an impact in our chosen markets. This alone is testament to our business strategy and our employees.”
The other finalists were Chameleon School of Construction and Gift Wellness Ltd.
Online Business of the Year, sponsored by the eBusiness Club
University of Derby Online Learning is the University’s distance learning division, offering online degree and other courses to students requiring more flexible study options.
Director Julie Stone said: “We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award which recognises the hard work and passion that our team has put in over the last few years.
“Education changes lives, and winning this award will help to raise awareness of our pioneering online offer, which allows us to reach out and engage with students around the world.
“It makes higher education far more accessible – particularly for mature learners who are seeking to develop their careers, enrich their lives and achieve their aspirations.”
The other finalists were Allways Forktruck Services Ltd and FA-ST Filtration Analysis Services Technology Ltd.
Outstanding Personal Achievement, sponsored by Shredall and SDS
Tony Price is the Managing Director of Matlock-based Mobile Visual Information Systems, the only company in the UK to offer solar-powered mobile colour variable message signs to the road traffic, events and advertising sectors.
He said: “It is tremendously gratifying to have my hard work recognised and celebrated by the Chamber, but I couldn’t have done any of it without my excellent team, so this award is very much for them too.
“MVIS is now well on its way to establishing itself as the supplier of choice for temporary ITS, delivering and supporting the Government’s agenda for more innovative, cost effective transport solutions and to keep Britain moving. I am extremely proud of what MVIS has achieved, and the company is now in excellent shape for the next stage in its development.”
The other finalists were Andy Caughey of Armadillo Merino and Lisa Bridge of Birchover Hotel Apartments.
School of the Year, sponsored by Cullum Detuners
Landau Forte College is a city academy in Derby, offering dual specialisms in technology and business enterprise.
Principal Elizabeth Coffey said: “The College has been established to bring together the worlds of business, industry and education an a uniquely productive partnership to secure the highest quality of education for young people. To have won this award, therefore, is a testimony that we are going some way to achieving this ambition.
“Our congratulations go to the other finalists and heartfelt thanks to our business partners who support the College with their time and expertise.
“Well done also to DNCC for creating an award which is only possible to achieve through effective collaboration between business and education sectors.”
The other finalists were da Vinci Community College and Long Eaton School.
The Environment Award, sponsored by Toyota Manufacturing (UK) Ltd
Garrandale has pioneered a brand new solution to train wash equipment which uses 70 per cent less steel and, as a result, generates considerably less waste and is cheaper than its predecessor.
Sales and Marketing Director Andy Coles said: “It was great to work with a company that prioritises environmental management.
“It is Garrandale’s aim to ‘build a better tomorrow’ by making eco-friendly products where possible which offer better energy-efficiency, create the least environmental impact, avoid hazardous substances, increase the product’s life expectancy and, in this case, use recycled content.
“Winning this award acknowledges Garrandale’s commitment to the environment, which is one area where the company is showing continuous improvement, but it is our additional commitment to the industries in which we work which we believe is exemplary”
The other finalist was Derby Homes.