Calderdale Excellence in Business Awards was a roaring success

This year's winners. Photo by Jim Fitton.
This year's winners. Photo by Jim Fitton.

Last night we hosted our annual business awards.

Now in its eleventh year, the Calderdale Excellence in Business awards celebrates the diverse range of businesses in the area.

The night was attended by 250 guests and was hosted by BBC Look North's Harry Gration.

Calderdale Council, Yorkshire Payments, Aspire Development, HSBC, AND Digital and Calder IT sponsored the event.

"Yorkshire Payments is delighted to sponsor this year's awards. We are passionate about supporting small businesses in Calderdale and beyond, not just with payment solutions, but also to provide a platform to help them celebrate their achievements.

"We feel it's hugely important that the businesses at the heart of our local economy have their time to shine, and in supporting this year's awards we're delighted to play a part in making sure they get the recognition they deserve," James Howard, Managing Director of Yorkshire Payments.

Vickie Kielty, Senior Commercial Manager for West and North Yorkshire at HSBC UK, said: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring the international business award which recognises some of the best businesses in the Calderdale area who are taking their goods and services to the world.

“For more than 150 years we’ve been connecting exporters with trading partners overseas and this is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the success of those businesses who are finding growth in markets around the globe.”

Calderdale Council’s Director of Regeneration and Strategy, Mark Thompson commented: “Calderdale’s talented and enterprising nature and can-do attitude to business have created record levels of start-ups, which play a vital role in boosting our local economy and making the borough a great place to live, work and visit.

“Recent figures show there are over 8000 small and medium sized businesses in the area and at a time of unprecedented levels of investment in the borough, it’s easy to see why, more than ever before, businesses are choosing Calderdale as their home.

“We want new businesses to thrive and our sponsorship of this award complements the support we offer for start-ups to grow, and develop into successful businesses that bring so much to the area.”

Calder IT sponsored the Digital/Technology Development award. Managing Director, James Bulley said: “Calder IT are proud to be a sponsor for the 2019 Calderdale Business Awards. There are some fantastic businesses within the Calderdale area and it great to come out and celebrate their success. I hope the recognition that these businesses achieve helps to promote their future growth.”

All of the nominations were exemplary, however there can only be one winner.

Apprentice of the Year - Leland Heslop

After doing some work experience at Pennine Pneumatic Services base in Brighouse, Leland joined the team as an apprentice. He applied himself to his training and proved that he is a committed learner and hard worker. His commitment and ‘can do attitude’ has allowed him to excel and progress at work.

"I'm totally ecstatic, I wasn't expecting to win at all. I couldn't be happier, " said Mr Heslop.

Company CSR - Town Hall Dental

Town Hall Dental are one of the leading dentists in the region, priding themselves on quality customer care. As well as caring for patients, their care extends to the wider community and staff have dedicated over 3000 hours through their Town Hall Foundation, working with schools to promote the importance of dental hygiene and raising money for Overgate Hospice and Focus4Hope.

Digital/Technology development - Smart Storm

Smart Storm in Halifax is an innovative Water and Wastewater instrumentation and solutions company. They have created revolutionary products that has allowed the company to double in size in 2019 and expanding to countries as far as Vietnam, Thailand and Mexico. Their forward thinking approach is proving beneficial in the bid to make the water industry more eco friendly and is helping to reduce waste and drive efficiency.

Employer of the Year - Classroom Secrets

Classroom Secrets of Shay Lane Halifax, enables teachers to plan inspiring lessons for the next generation of go get-ers. Making it easier to plan engaging lessons and focus on pupils rather than paperwork.

As well as aiding educators to have a more fulfilling work/life balance, The company also ensures that all of their staff (and Albie the office dog) are given the support and flexibility in the workplace to do so too.

"We've just won Employer of the Year, which is really exciting," said managing director Ed Riley.

"We've worked hard to be a good employer, we've got a great team who we really try to invest in," said managing director Claire Riley.

Entrepreneur of the Year - Vicky and Brian Nolan

Husband and wife team, Brian and Vicky Nolan, are the perfect combination of true Yorkshire grit and visionary entrepreneurial spirit. Their hunger to search out new opportunities has led to the creation and launch of 5 thriving businesses in the Calderdale region. In 2015 they refurbished Croft Myl in Halifax into a vibrant work space for own HQ and many other enterprises.

International Business - Blue Fin Trading

From humble, yet fiercely driven beginnings e-commerce business, Blue Fin Trading , has had a wave of success. Their rapid rise, has allowed brands including fitness, kayaks and paddleboards, to generate impressive sales throughout the business year.

At the heart of the business is a family-driven ethos and a young team of digital experts, which further fuels their ambitions, creativity and ability to develop new skills. In the last two years they have grown from a staff of four in a home-office to over twenty employees, split between the continent and their office in the Pennines high above Hebden Bridge.

Large Business - Quickslide

Quickslide is a manufacturer of made to measure sliding sash windows, bi-folding doors, casement- windows and doors in PVCu and aluminium. Their state-of-the-art factory and offices are located in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The business, which was one of our finalists last year, has grown organically over the last ten years and today, they manufacture close to 1000 windows a week.

Leisure/ Retail Business - Victoria Theatre

The Victoria Theatre in the heart of Halifax town centre, stages around 200 performances and events each year ranging from ballet, rock and pop concerts to comedy and pantomime. From Jason Manford to The Script to the stars of Strictly Come Dancing. Consequently the theatre draws over 100,000 people to district every year and works with local schools and performing arts organisations.

"We're thrilled to have won this award. We've only got a small team at the theatre, but they're fantastic and they do a lot," said Chloe Oldman, business development manager for Victoria Theatre.

New Business of the Year - Candle Digital

Candle Digital in the Piece Mills University Business Centre, helps individuals transform their unique expertise into digital resources. This has allowed countless clients to manage themselves and their time more efficiently, allowing enterprises to grow, improve communication or simply have some well earned time off.

They’ve grown from a bedroom business to an e-learning company working with international clients as far away as China and the USA in less than three years.

"It's been so overwhelming, the competition was just superb. We're just really surprised to have won New Business of the Year," said Andy Jack, Co-Founder of Candle Digital.

SME Business of the Year - Yorkshire Payments

The Brighouse based finance company, established in 2013, processed over half a billion card transactions for Yorkshire businesses in the last twelve months. They have recently moved to a new head office in Brighouse town centre and plan to increase turnover from £2million to £4million by the end of 2020. They currently provide services for over 3,500 Yorkshire businesses, including the Piece Hall, John Smith’s Stadium and Cannon Hall Farm.

Sustainable Business - Eclipse Energy

In this category the judges considered environmental impact. Eclipse Energy has saved residents £3.7million on energy bills and reduced CO2 emissions by 13,000 tonnes - the equivalent of taking 2800 cars off the road.

"I'm feeling absolutely ecstatic - we've just won the sustainable award, which we've worked hard for and we definitely deserved to win," said Mark Bannister, Business Development Director for Eclipse Energy.

Overall business of the Year - Quickslide

Quickslide wowed our judges and bagged the top prize at the awards ceremony. The award was presented by Roger Marsh OBE, chair of the Leeds City Region, and chair of the Piece Hall Trust.

"We're very proud to have won this award, it means the world to us. It's great to be a business in an area as wonderful as Calderdale," said chairman Adrian Barraclough.

Tweet of the Night

Mytholmroyd performer Otti Gauvain won our Tweet of the night award.

She tweeted: "The venue is lit. The candidates are lit. The awards are soon to be LIT UP. Calderdale business: putting the fax in the Hali. All winners tonight".

To see all the coverage of the event search #CalderBiz2019 on Twitter.