Family businesses from across the county have been celebrated at a prestigious awards ceremony. The Cumbria Family Business Awards were hosted by Hairy Bikers Dave Myers and Si King at the Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa at Windermere.

Family firms vied to take the top titles in 11 categories and Thomas Graham, headquartered in Carlisle, was named Outstanding Cumbria Family Business of the Year by the panel of seven judges headed up Graham Lamont, managing director of main sponsor Lamont Pridmore.

Mr Lamont said: “There were many worthy winners and the decision is never an easy one to come to. However, we collectively felt that Thomas Graham are an asset to the county, they do everything with manners, integrity and an inspirational approach. They are an ambitious family business aiming for long term sustainable, profitable growth for the sake of the family, staff and the local area."

Roger Smith, managing director of the 127-year-old Thomas Graham, said: "It is a great accolade for all the team and a lot was mentioned about the quality of our people by the judges. It is a proud moment for the business.”

Other winners were:

  • Agriculture, Forestry & Farming: Dodgson Wood, Ulverston
  • Creative Business: Sweethearts Cumbria, of Carlisle
  • Food & Drink Producers: Apple Pie Café & Bakery, Ambleside
  • Food & Drink Establishment: The Crafty Baa, Windermere
  • Retailers & Wholesalers: Thomas Graham, Carlisle
  • Manufacturing & Construction: Decking Design, Egremont
  • Haulage, Transport & Logistics: Reays, Carlisle.
  • Small Hotels, Leisure & Tourism: Yew Tree Barn, Low Newton
  • Professional & Business Services: Simpson & Parsons, Windermere
  • Large Hotels, Leisure & Tourism: Eden Golf Club & The Garden at Eden, Crosby-On-Eden
  • People & Community Services: Amy’s Care, Ireby

Judges also awarded two special prizes, a commendation for Lovingly Artisan, Kendal and Going Places awards for Shed 1 Gin, Ulverston, Luxury Living, near Carlisle and Cut The Wrap, Ulverston. The Employee of the Year award, open to a public vote, was won by Maud Wilson, of P&C Residential.

Winners will go forward to Family Business United’s national Family Business of the Year Awards in June in London.

The Cumbria Family Business Awards are organised by Flock Events & PR and The Family Business Network Ltd.