Rochdale Business Awards 2019

Date published: 11 November 2019

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The ninth annual Rochdale Business Awards were hosted at Rochdale Town Hall on Friday night (8 November 2019).

Established in 2011, Rochdale Business Awards celebrate the achievements of businesses and business people within the Rochdale Borough, recognising the huge contribution businesses make to the local community, economy and their individual successes.

With a number of nominees for the various awards, a judging panel made up of Rochdale’s most passionate business leaders then decide the winners of the categories.

A total of nine prestigious awards were presented this year.

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception to start the night, before a meal and the ceremony commenced in the Great Hall.


Rochdale Business Awards 2019


MC for the night was Martyn Torr who welcomed guests before the host, Granada’s Paul Crone, took over.

Mr Crone, who worked at Granada TV for over 30 years, said: “This is the second Rochdale Business Awards I’ve hosted, and it is an honour. This is probably the best-looking town hall in the north west, so you already feel special when you’re in it.

“What I like about the awards is that they’re really relaxed, everyone lets their hair down after working all week and just has fun whilst supporting one another.

“I’m glad I’m not a judge as I’d give awards to all the finalists.”

Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale council, opened the ceremony with a speech, updating attendees on the town centre’s Riverside retail development and the major redevelopment of Rochdale railway station. He also announced that there would be a new ‘Welcome to Rochdale – home of co-operation’ sign installed at the station.

Mayor of Rochdale, councillor Billy Sheerin, said: “These awards are a great way of promoting Rochdale. All the people here are contributors to making our place somewhat special. I applaud all businesses in Rochdale for their endeavours and for bringing employment to the borough and wish them prosperity and all the best for the future.”


Ben Boothman



Business Person of the Year - Ben Boothman

Sponsored by Molesworth Bright Clegg Solicitors.

Finalists: Ben Boothman, Patricia Collinge, Samira Ansari

Kitsa Efthymiadis, Partner at Molesworths, announced the winner by stating: “The Rochdale Business Awards 2019 business person of the year is a true high ‘flyer’ – Ben Boothman.”

Ben said: “Thank you to all the team and the staff across our businesses and of course, my family.

“I’m looking forward to opening our new venture, Bombay Brew, in Rochdale town centre very soon.”


Wireless CCTV Ltd


Skills, Education and Training Employer of the Year – Wireless CCTV Ltd

Sponsored by Rochdale Training.

Finalists: Wireless CCTV Ltd, Renold Gears, The Casey Group Ltd

Dianne Atkins, training provider at Wireless CCTV, said: “We are very proud to be working here in the borough of Rochdale. We take people on a journey with us from apprentices to university students and are able to see them really develop.

“Investing in local young people has really benefited our business and it gives people from Rochdale the opportunity to see how they can develop locally too.”


Kandy Kitchen Creations Ltd


New Business of the Year – Kandy Kitchen Creations Ltd

Sponsored by Click 24.

Finalists: Kandy Kitchen Creations Ltd, Optima Recruitment Solutions, The Medicine Tap

Karen and Andy Turner, owners of Kandy Kitchen Creations, said: “We’re speechless. We’ve been running for two years but only became a limited company in March. We’ll be going to our first trade shows next year along with our usual local markets.

“We were one of the Rochdale 30 last year which really helped us to grow. This year, we have developed to have compostable and eco-friendly packaging and are doing gluten free and vegan ranges too.”


Sharon Molly


Employee of the Year – Sharon Molly (WHAG)

Sponsored by Wilmott Dixon.

Finalists: Sharon Molly, Deborah Hill, Jack Wardle

Sharon from WHAG, who provides support for the homeless and men, women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, said: “I didn’t expect to win this award! I was only informed about being nominated when I’d actually made it to the finalists and I thought, why me? Everyone at WHAG does the same and deserves recognition.

“I’ve been working at WHAG for 8 and a half years now and have sixteen regular residents who I see on a daily basis in Rochdale.”


Liam Marshall


Apprentice of the Year – Liam Marshall from Jackson Jackson & Sons

Sponsored by Hopwood Hall College.

Finalists: Liam Marshall, Alisha Yates, Sarah Wilkinson

Liam said: “I’ve been an apprentice joiner at Jackson Jackson for four years and I’m looking forward to completing my training in four months.

“I think I won the award because I care a lot about my work, and I put a lot of thought into it. I’m shocked to have won, though. Thank you to Keiran, Scott, Helen and Dan.”


Paul Dixon, Chair of Rochdale Ambassadors and Karen Finnegan from Zen Internet


Inward Investment Award – Zen Internet

Sponsored by This is Rochdale and presented by the Chair of Rochdale Ambassadors and Senior Partner at Molesworths Bright Clegg, Paul Dixon.

Karen Finnegan, head of finance at Zen Internet, accepted the award: “This award is amazing. Next year, Zen celebrates its 25th birthday and we currently employ 560 people at Sandbrook Park, with a big percentage living locally.

“We try to give back as much as we possibly can to the Rochdale community and are planning on keeping Zen in Rochdale forever. Zen is all about Rochdale: it was built here, and Rochdale is its roots. We have no aspiration to move outside of the borough.

“As Chair of Zen’s Charity Social Committee, I recently presented a cheque of £16,000 to Rochdale Children’s Moorland Home and this year Zen’s chosen charity is Rochdale & District Mind.

“Every year we try to do bigger and better.”

Paul Dixon said: “This award is about who makes Rochdale such a great place to do business. This is the second one we have presented to recognise those that invest in Rochdale, whether they are a new business or a long-established business like Zen.”


Rochdale Connections Trust


Business of the Year (turnover less than £1million) – Rochdale Connections Trust

Sponsored by Recruitment Solutions North West.

Finalists: Rochdale Connections Trust, CloudPass, onePT Ltd

Bev Place, business development manager at RCT, an independent provider of Domestic Abuse Services, said: “It is fantastic that for the first time a charity serving Rochdale has been recognised at these awards.

“We were established over 20 years ago, working with young people who find life difficult. Now we work with adults too who have experienced / are experiencing domestic violence or poverty.

“We want to help people, who would otherwise fall through the net, get into employment.”


Riley & Sons Ltd


Business of the Year (turnover between £1million - £5million) – Riley & Sons Ltd

Sponsored by Business Growth Hub.

Finalists: Riley & Sons, Cowell-Norford, Metro Moneywise Credit Union

Engineering company who employ specialist train engineers to build steam locomotives.

Colin Green, director of Riley and Son, said: “We are ecstatic that we have won this award. It has taken years to get here. The first time we entered was four years ago.

“We would like to dedicate this award on behalf of our colleague Sam Clutterbuck who sadly died very young aged 26 and would have been attending this with us today if he was here.

“We want to bring engineering back and keep traditional skills alive.”


Wireless CCTV Ltd


Business of the Year (turnover over £5million) – Wireless CCTV Ltd

Sponsored by Jackson Jackson & Sons.

Finalists: Wireless CCTV Ltd, MID Communications, The Casey Group Ltd

Simon Potkins, CTO at Wireless CCTV, said: “We are very, very proud to win two awards tonight. It just shows that investment in Rochdale pays off. We are very focussed on customers first, innovation and quality.”

Dianne Atkins added: “What an amazing night. We’re over the moon to have won two awards. All credit goes to our incredible team who have made this all possible.”


















Rochdale Business Awards 2019
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