Cumbria’s social and business calendar highlight, The Cumbria Family Business Awards took place at the Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa on the shores of Windermere on Friday night.
Hosted by The Hairy Bikers, Dave Myers and Si King, nearly three hundred guests enjoyed a night of family business celebrations as sixteen family businesses received prestigious awards. 127-year-old Thomas Graham were crowned the overall Outstanding Cumbria Family Business of the Year 2019 by the panel of seven judges headed up Graham Lamont the Managing Director of main sponsor Lamont Pridmore; Mr Lamont explained the judges’ reasons for selecting Thomas Graham.
“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. As a panel we were excited about what we will see from Thomas Graham next. We wish them a hearty congratulations and the very best of luck for the future!”
It was Grahame Latus of Enterprise Answers who presented a stunned Roger Smith, his sister Amanda Ward and their father Ian Smith with their award on the night.
Roger Smith Managing Director of Thomas Graham said: “It was a great honour when Thomas Graham won the Cumbria Family Business Award as the overall winner for 2019, especially as all the finalists were such brilliant examples of great, hard-working Cumbrian family businesses. It is a great accolade for all the team and a lot was mentioned about the quality of our people by the judges. We’d like to give a massive thank you to all our team for helping us win this award, it is a proud moment for the business.”
There were eleven main categories alongside the overall winner and special awards. Winners hailed from across the county, and represented family businesses young and old.
- Outstanding Cumbria Family Business – Thomas Graham – Carlisle
- Creative Business – Sweethearts Cumbria – Carlisle
- Food & Drink Producers – Apple Pie Café & Bakery – Ambleside
- Food & Drink Establishments – 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
- Agriculture, Forestry & Farming – Dodgson Wood – Ulverston
- People & Community Services – Amy’s Care – Ireby
In addition to the main categories the judges also awarded two special prizes;
- Judges Commendation Award – Lovingly Artisan
- Going Places Awards – Shed 1 Gin, Luxury Living, Cut The Wrap
The other ‘star prize’ the Employee of the Year award, which was sponsored and judged by NXT Recruitment before being opened to the public vote attracted over 3,500 votes. Maud Wilson of P & C Residential was crowned winner of the much-coveted title.
This was the third Cumbria Family Business Awards, and once again the event trended in the UK on twitter. The success of the social media on the night topped off a successful campaign which had already reached over a quarter of a million people between the end of January and the event itself. All winners will now go forward to Family Business United’s national Family Business of the Year Awards which take place in June at The Mayfair in London.
The Cumbria Family Business Awards are co-founded and organised by Janett Walker & Sophia Newton of Flock Events & PR and Sue Howorth of The Family Business Network Ltd.
Teenage Cancer Trust was the event’s chosen charity and £7000 was raised for them on the night.