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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Winners of CN Group Business Awards 2012 revealed

A trucking icon, museum, farm park and an energy company have had their business brilliance honoured.

A firm expanding its international foothold, accountants and a “green” builder all have plenty of reason to celebrate today, too.

They were all winners in the CN Group Business Awards, presented during a black-tie celebration at Rheged, near Penrith, tonight.

Major players in Cumbrian commerce were among those in the audience as the continued success of companies in the face of the double-dip recession was celebrated in style.

CN Group, publishers of The Cumberland News, organised the event, in association with Barclays and Invest in Cumbria, to recognise business excellence.

David Helliwell, editor of The Cumberland News, said: “The business community of Cumbria seems extremely buoyant and understanding of the fact that when the economy stubbornly refuses to pick up you’ve just got to work through it as best you can.

“Some of the examples we’ve seen of innovation and looking at markets in a new light is inspirational.

“There are lots of businesses adapting what they’re doing and making a success of it.

“Our judges had the hardest time deciding on winners in several of the categories and the range of entries from some of the county’s biggest names to complete newcomers shows a reassuring depth and breadth.”

With a strong field of entrants, judges had difficult decisions deciding winners in 15 categories.

Cumbrian transport giant The Stobart Group, the firm that started out life as family-run haulier Eddie Stobart at Hesket Newmarket and now employs more than 5,000 people at 40 locations, was named large business of the year.

Watch the awards video. Article continues below...

In the small business section, Carlisle-based EcoLogicLiving, a renewable energy company founded in 2008 and which has gone on to achieve impressive financial figures, now employing 18 staff, took the honours. Accountancy firm Lamont Pridmore lifted the training and development award in recognition of its commitment to its staff’s personal progress.

Alston-based postal services company Totalpost, which has a reach into 20 countries, was named exporter of the year after an impressive 12 months during which export sales rose.

Envirohomes, an Aspatria company that creates factory-built luxury low-energy homes, extensions and schools, won the innovation and technology prize for its work in high standards of homes that boast low carbon and low energy.

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, of Stainton, near Penrith, a business that supplies free range and organic eggs supporting local farmers and which boasts one of the lowest carbon footprints in the egg industry, won the environmental awareness award.

Carlisle’s Tullie House Museum took the tourism and hospitality honour following a year in which control of the venue was taken over by an independent charity trust from the city council and which a landmark £1.4m Roman Frontier Gallery was opened.

Best use of digital/social media saw The Cumberland Pencil Company come out top for its use of social media to communicate with customers in 73 countries.

The prize for customer service excellence went to Walby Farm Park, near Carlisle, for its high standards towards visitors to the attraction.

Cumbria Gateway, a Carlisle-based not-for-profit company that supports those recovering from alcohol abuse, won the social enterprise award. Claire Watson, of Pure Touch beauty salon, was named young entrepreneur, while there was double success for Whitehaven businessman Gerard Richardson.

Not only did his firm - Richardson’s Wine Merchants - take the community involvement prize, but he won the lifetime achievement accolade in recognition of his personal commercial success and his work spearheading the Whitehaven Festival.

There was also double success for Wax Lyrical, of Lindal-in-Furness. It was named medium-sized business of the year and its boss, Mike Armstead, businessman of the year.

Guest speaker at the awards was Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s former chief operating officer who has a home in north Cumbria.

The evening was hosted by Cumbrian broadcaster Kim Inglis.

Click here to read profiles of all shortlisted nominees in the CN Group Business Awards 2012


Training & Development, sponsored by Centre for Leadership Performance: Lamont Pridmore

Exporter of the Year, sponsored by Centrica: Totalpost Services plc, Alston

Community Involvement, sponsored by NMP: Richardson’s of Whitehaven

Innovation & Technology, sponsored by NDA: Envirohomes, Aspatria

Environmental Awareness, sponsored by Riverside: Lakes Free Range Egg Co, Penrith

Tourism & Hospitality, sponsored by Lamont Pridmore: Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

Business of the Year (Small), sponsored by Furness Enterprise/ Federation of Small Businesses: EcoLogicLiving Ltd, Carlisle

Business of the Year (Medium), sponsored by Dickinson Dees: Wax Lyrical, Lindal-in-Furness

Business of the Year (Large), sponsored by Barclays: Stobart Group, Carlisle

Best Use of Digital/Social Media, sponsored by HSBC: The Cumberland Pencil Co Ltd, Workington

Customer Service Excellence, sponsored by GEN II: Walby Farm Park, Carlisle

Young Entrepreneur, sponsored by David Allen: Claire Watson, Pure Touch, Cockermouth

Businessperson of the Year, sponsored by Armstrong Watson: Mike Armstead, Wax Lyrical, Lindal-in-Furness

Social Enterprise, sponsored by University of Cumbria: Cumbria Gateway, Carlisle

Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria, sponsored by Invest in Cumbria: Gerard Richardson, Richardson’s of Whitehaven


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