EBL News

High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise winner announced

Businesses from Mid and North Cheshire are celebrating after winning the top three prizes in the prestigious High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise.

The winners were announced at a special ceremony at the University of Chester’s Warrington campus last night (Monday, March 10).

His Grace, The Duke of Westminster KG, OBE, TD, DL, Foundation Chancellor of the University, was the keynote speaker at the event, and discussed his experiences, both as one of the most successful businesspeople in the country and a staunch supporter of the economic prosperity of the area.

The High Sheriff of Cheshire, Nicholas Bromley–Davenport, said: “Following on from the success of last year’s Award, I was happy to approve and endorse the event for my year in office. I am delighted by the support shown from all of our prestigious sponsors, who exemplify the quality of enterprise and entrepreneurship in our area.”

First place was awarded to BiG Storage, which currently operates from sites in Chester, Warrington, Handforth Dean, Macclesfield, Morecambe and Lancaster. The company offers a combination of domestic self-storage facilities, together with flexible business space.

Second place and a £5,000 cash prize was awarded to EBL Group, of Sutton Weaver, which specialises in construction, roofing, cladding and handling insurance claims. Established 25 years ago as a ‘one man operation’, carrying out roofing repairs and annual maintenance programmes, the company has continually grown and now has over 90 employees and a turnover of more than £9million.

Founder of EBL Group, Edward Basnett, commented: “It is an honour to be acknowledged for the company’s achievements. EBL Group prides itself on its culture of teamwork, sharing good ideas through regular staff meetings and learning through experience. This recognition is testament to the hard work demonstrated by all our staff.”

Third place and a £3,000 cash prize went to Northwich-based company, PMI Health Group, which provides healthcare, insurance and risk management services. Founded in 1986, the company helps clients to cut the cost of employee illness, minimise the levels of sickness absence and retain good staff. The company offers a range of pioneering, added-value client services, earning it a leading reputation for innovation amongst its peers.

Managing Director, Richard Munro, added: “We are very pleased to be recognised for our achievements. We are extremely proud of our team of professional and dedicated staff who have helped the company become the UK’s largest independent provider of healthcare, insurance and risk management services.”

Runners-up were registered charity, Age Concern Cheshire, of Northwich, which is the county’s largest provider of care services within the voluntary sector, supporting thousands of older people to live independently, giving them greater choice and control over their lives.

Funding Officer, Barbara Lawton, said: “Since 1983, we have been building on successful business models to provide innovative projects and services to meet the reforms to social care and independent living introduced by central and local government. We are delighted to have been acknowledged as one of the finalists.”

Now in its second year, The High Sheriff’s Award for Enterprise recognises outstanding achievement by local private sector companies in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, with a turnover of at least £1million and between 20 and 250 employees.

Judged on ambition, innovation, growth, enterprise and employee and management development, the entrants were also required to explain the way in which they will ensure their company continues to expand in the future.

Professor Des Hickie, Dean of Business and Management at the University of Chester, said: “BiG Storage is a very well deserved winner. We look forward to welcoming its nominated manager onto our MBA course, where we will help them take the latest management ideas and new thinking back into the business.”

The Award’s outstanding prize fund was made possible thanks to significant contributions from regional and international sponsors: Barclays Bank; Bentley Motors; Baker Tilly; Cheshire County Council; Warrington Borough Council; Halton Borough Council; Northwest Development Agency; University of Chester; Cheshire and Warrington Economic Alliance; Business Link North West; and Dowhigh Limited.