Rochdale Business Awards 2018

Date published: 10 November 2018

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The very best of Rochdale businesses were honoured with a special ceremony at the Town Hall on Friday (9 November).

Guests enjoyed a champagne reception before moving into the Great Hall for a meal and the ceremony, hosted and presented by Granada’s Paul Crone.

Nine prestigious awards were presented, including a new accolade for 2018, recognising Inward Investment into Rochdale. 

The awards were established in 2011 to celebrate the achievements of businesses and business people within Rochdale Borough. This year's event had a record number of nominees put forward for the various awards.

Paul Crone, who worked at Granada TV for over 30 years, opened the event. He said: “I have never seen so many bottles of wine, pints of beer and jugs of prosecco. It is an absolute pleasure to be here this evening.

“Tonight we are celebrating businesses in the borough of Rochdale who shape innovation across the town and all the individuals who work hard and push their businesses to be successful.”

Rochdale Business Awards,
Compère Martyn Torr, Mayoress and Mayor of Rochdale, Carol Hopkins from RDA and host Paul Crone

Mayor of Rochdale, Cllr Mohammed Zaman who was attending the awards said: “It’s good to see so many local businesses here to celebrate their achievements.

“The Business Awards are a good platform to encourage networking. Thank you to RDA for organising such a great opportunity for the businesses to meet. I wish them all the best and believe that they will all do well.”

Council leader Allen Brett said: “Many of the people here are helped and supported by us at Rochdale Borough Council and RDA. The main message we are sending out with this event tonight is that Rochdale is officially open for business.

“If you are a small business and need help then get in touch with us, if you want to open a new shop get in touch with us, if you want to move premises get in touch with us.

“There was a lack of small units for small businesses in the borough and these small units are what we are now building. I hope Rochdale businesses continue to thrive and grow.”

John Searle, Chief Executive of RDA, added: “Tonight was brilliant. Thank you to all the businesses and Carol, who helped set the awards up.

“It’s a business-led event, and hugely supportive of the businesses we have here.

“All the people are known nationally and internationally; all these things are happening in our backyard that people don’t know about.

“The Council and RDA are investing in new buildings: we can’t build them fast enough, which is brilliant news really.”

David Brierley, Director of RDA, commented: “Just like last year, it was a very lively occasion. It’s really good to see the smiles on not just the winners’ faces, but also those nominated.

“We have so much to be proud of here in Rochdale.”



Business of the Year more than £5m turnover - sponsored by Jackson, Jackson and Sons Ltd (presented by Kieren McDonnell)

Finalists: 1st Contracts Ltd., Marsh Finance and Whitham Mills

Winner: 1st Contracts Ltd.

1st Contracts won the Business of the Year, more than £5m turnover
1st Contracts won the Business of the Year, more than £5m turnover

Director Leon Ashworth said: “This is massive for us. We were two lads who set off six years ago, hoping to make a living for ourselves. Six years later, we have over 40 employees, national coverage and really, we’re just starting.”


Business of Year £1m-£5m turnover – sponsored by GC Business Growth Hub (presented by Hilary Centeleghe)

Finalists: Gumboo Hotels, Lone Worker Solutions and Target Fire Protection Ltd.

Winner: Gumboo Hotels

Sarah, Ben Boothman & Patricia Boothman from Gumboo Hotels
Sarah, Ben Boothman & Patricia Boothman from Gumboo Hotels

Ben Boothman, who runs Gumboo alongside business partner Craig Richardson, said: “We’re very happy to win. A big thank you to all our staff and customers.”

Business of Year, turnover under £1m – sponsored by Recruitment Solutions (NW) Ltd (presented by Gavin Reynolds and Louise O’Brien)

Finalists: Forever Strong Fitness and Performance Ltd., Icon Sports UK Ltd. and Team Karting.

Winner: Icon Sports UK Ltd.

Icon Sports UK Ltd

Will Purser from Icon Sports said: "We're thrilled to win this award, from two lads in a garage to this award in three years is a fantastic achievement for our whole team. We're really proud to do business in Rochdale and we are very excited to see what the future holds."


Inward Investment - sponsored by This is Rochdale (presented by Paul Dixon)

Finalists: Dachser, CRL, BES, Whitham Mills Engineering, WCCTV, Tetrosyl, Nobilia, Crystal Doors and Saint Gobin.

Winner: Tetrosyl

Tracey Bolger & David Rogers from Tetrosyl
Tracey Bolger & David Rogers from Tetrosyl

Tracey Bolger, Marketing Director of Tetrosyl said: "Rochdale is up and coming, we’re right at the beginning of the regeneration of the town and we’re proud to be a part of it.

“We’ve invested £20m into Rochdale over the last three years. We’re growing and here to stay; we’re investing and creating even more local jobs.”


New Business of the Year – sponsored by Boulting Environmental Services Ltd (presented by Vanessa Weaver)

Finalists: CloudPass, Lo-Dough and onePT Ltd

Winner: Lo-Dough

Winners of the New Business of the Year - Lo-Dough

Rob Wales, who co-founded Lo-Dough said: “Lo-Dough is a true team effort. We came here to Rochdale from a kitchen, and have over 100,000 customers now.

“We have a very dedicated team, and it means absolutely everything to win this award. Lo-Dough is a wonderful family.”


Compassion in the Community – sponsored by Document XL Ltd. (presented by Steven Dobson)

Finalists: Anthony K Associates, EdStart and Hopwood Hall College

Winner: EdStart

Jennifer Baxter & Martyn Bennett from EdStart
Jennifer Baxter & Martyn Bennett from EdStart

Martyn Bennett, Assistant Manager of EdStart, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to the committee for choosing us. We are completely overwhelmed. This is the first time we have attended the awards and are just thankful to be here, never mind win.

“This is only our fourth year as a business and we really didn’t expect it.”


Employee of the Year – sponsored by Willmott Dixon (presented by Tim O’Brien)

Finalists: John Carroll from onePT Ltd., Sandra Stepniak, from Boulting Environmental Services Ltd. and Siobhan Gorrie from L K Translations.

Winner: John Carroll from onePT Ltd.

John Carroll from onePT won Employee of the Year
John Carroll from onePT

John said: “It is great to win. We opened two years ago and we help people change their lives and work better. It’s a job where we help people every day to improve their lives, and that’s fantastic.”


Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Hopwood Hall College (presented by Clive Reid, Vice-Chair of Governors)

Finalists: Charlie Robinson from AST Hampsons, Harrison Cooper-Olroyd from The Casey Group and Jade Peatman from Rochdale Boroughwide Housing.

Winner: Charlie Robinson from AST Hampsons

Charlie Robinson was the recipient of the Apprentice of the Year
Charlie Robinson

Charlie, a 20-year-old paralegal, said: “I didn’t think I would win, so it is amazing that I have.”


Business Person of the Year – sponsored by Molesworths Solicitors (presented by Molesworths partner Kitsa Efthymiadis)

Finalists: Andrew Marsh, from Marsh Finance, Andonette Wilkinson from Made by Factory and Dan Coyne, from Milk Barn and Lean and Green.

Winner: Dan Coyne, from Milk Barn and Lean and Green

Dan Coyle from Milk Barn and Lean and Green won Business Person of the Year
Dan Coyne from Milk Barn and Lean and Green

Dan Coyne said: “I genuinely didn’t think I would win. Middleton isn’t often shouted about, and you don’t set out to win a business award. It’s very nice to be recognised.

Tim O’Brien, Regional Director at Willmott Dixon , who presented the Employee of the Year award said: “We are incredibly proud to support the awards as we celebrate the success of local businesses in Rochdale. It is an exciting opportunity for all of them to be here especially with the regeneration of the town. This event has a great atmosphere.”

Paul Dixon, partner at Molesworths Bright Clegg and Chairman of ThisisRochdale who presented the Inward Investment award said: “This is an event that demonstrates Rochdale as a great destination for business, well and truly open for business. We are proud to support the awards.”

Clive Reid , Vice Chairman of Hopwood Hall College presented the Apprentice of the Year award. He said: “It is important that we sponsor and represent the apprentice category every year as Hopwood Hall College’s mission is to train young people and make them successful in the borough of Rochdale and the wider community.”


Staff and guests of Marsh Finance
Staff and guests of Marsh Finance


Phill Stotan, Tracey Wood and Alanya Prince from Hopwood Hall College
Phill Stotan, Tracey Wood and Alanya Prince from Hopwood Hall College


Directors and staff of Team Karting
Directors and staff of Team Karting


Staff and guests from Willmott Dixon
Staff and guests from Willmott Dixon



Cllr Brett & Cllr Blundell, David Brierley and Paul Ormerod
L-R: Paul Ormerod, Councillor Allen Brett, Councillor John Blundell and David Brierley


John Searle from Rochdale Development Agency
John Searle, Chief Executive of Rochdale Development Agency


Businesses from around the Rochdale borough celebrated at the Rochdale Business Awards 2018 on Friday 9 November
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