The finalists for the 2016 CN Group Business Awards have been chosen.

The annual awards, run by CN Group, publisher of the News & Star, celebrate the achievements of Cumbrian businesses.

They will be presented at a gala dinner at the Low Wood Bay Resort, near Ambleside, on October 20, when the newly-appointed Small Business Minister, Margot James, will be headline speaker.

The judges have picked 45 finalists and 15 winners, whose identity will be kept under wraps until the night.

Clark Door and Country House Outdoor, both in Carlisle, are each shortlisted for two categories, the former for 'exporter of the year' and 'manufacturing business of the year', the latter for 'training and development' and 'best use of media'.

Carlisle United is a finalist in the 'community involvement' section while the football club's community sports trust is in the running in the 'social enterprise' category.

Jonathan Lee, development director of CN Group, who chaired the judging panel, said: "All the judges were particularly impressed with the standard of this year's entries.

"It is testimony to the energy and commitment of individual business people and the dynamic and diverse businesses across the whole of Cumbria that the judges had such a difficult task.

"Cumbria has such a lot to shout about and be proud of when it comes to its business community. We look forward to the CN Business Awards showcasing that excellence at the awards ceremony in October."

The other judges were John Grainger, stakeholder director at Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster, Paul Murphy, a former CN Group Business Awards winner who won 'businessperson of the year' in 2014 and CN Group business editor Julian Whittle.

Mr Grainger declared an interest in categories where Britain's Energy Coast Business Cluster members were under consideration.

All shortlisted businesses receive two complimentary tickets for the awards dinner.


Training and Development Award: Country House Outdoor, Carlisle; TSP Engineering, Workington; Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster.

Exporter of the Year: Wax Lyrical, Lindal-in-Furness; Oxley Group, Ulverston; Clark Door, Carlisle.

Community Involvement: Net Development, Kendal; Carlisle United Football Club; Baines Wilson LLP, Carlisle.

Innovation: QG Business Solutions, Scotby; Innovia Group, Wigton; Kendal Nutricare.

Environmental and Energy Awareness: Ecological Building Systems, Carlisle; FSC Blencathra Centre, Threlkeld; Wax Lyrical, Lindal-in-Furness.

Agribusiness of the Year: Cows & Co, Warwick Bridge; Quattro Products, Penrith; Lakes Free Range Egg Co, Stainton.

Tourism and Hospitality Award: Zeffirellis, Ambleside; Treetop Trek, Windermere; The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite.

New Business of the Year: Cumbria Teaching Agency, Ulverston; Cumbria Travel, Whitehaven; Kendal Nutricare.

Service Business of the Year: Westlakes Engineering, Whitehaven; Prima Uno, Cleator Moor; InvestAcc Group, Carlisle.

Manufacturing Business of the Year: Forth Engineering, Maryport; TSP Engineering, Workington; Clark Door, Carlisle.

Best Use of Media: Daffodil Hotel and Spa, Grasmere; Bruce and Luke’s, Carlisle; Country House Outdoor, Carlisle.

Customer Service Excellence Award: Sally’s Cottages, Keswick; Armstrong Watson, Carlisle; Brampton Skip Hire, Carlisle.

Rising Star Award: Will Gardner-Brennand, Miller Waite, Ulverston; Kyle Jenkinson, Forth Engineering, Maryport; James Brockbank, Digitaloft, Kendal.

Businessperson of the Year: Craig Hatch, WYG, Cockermouth; Emma Hill, RadioWorks, Carlisle; Sarah Purdham, Prima Uno, Cleator Moor.

Social Enterprise of the Year: Amy’s Care CIC, Ireby; Carlisle United Community Sports Trust; Enterprise Answers, Penrith.