North Norfolk celebrates districts inaugural business awards
PUBLISHED: 12:57 16 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:49 16 February 2018
A mushroom grower, a cabinet maker and a specialist product manufacturer were among the winners of the first North Norfolk Business Awards.
About 80 people were at the district’s inaugural business awards ceremony at Gresham’s Big School, organised by North Norfolk District Council.
Chris Sargisson, chief executive of Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, hosted the February 15 event, saying it was vital to celebrate business success.
He said: “We’ve very good at doing some incredibly successful things in Norfolk but we don’t necessarily stand on a platform and tell anyone about it.
“We’re used to hearing about when things don’t go well, so we need to balance that out and celebrate success.”
Guest cheered as winners of seven categories were read out, andthey were each presented with a trophy by the event’s sponsors, which included Archant’s North Norfolk News and Fakenham and Wells Times.
Paul Reeve, managing director of Cromer-based Structure-flex, which won a Business Development and Innovation category, said: “The competition was very strong and we were pleased to have been chosen.”
The firm makes products made from flexible thermoplastic-coated materials, and has recently produced goose guards to help regenerate a wildlife haven in the Norfolk Broads.
Anton Den Englese of Corpusty shitake mushroom growers, Woodfruits, was presented with an Environment category award.
He said: “We could see a very niche market, so we produced a product that the chefs like. Using a greenfield site we could create a completely sustainable, low-impact business. We’re chuffed to bits to have won an award for it.”
Another winner was Tattersett-based cabinet makers Bill Cleyndert and Company, which topped a Young People and Skills category for its apprenticeship programme. Mandi Cleyndert, director, said: “We feel honoured to have won and it just reflects the hard work that our team have done in training young people.”
The council’s chairman, Richard Shepherd, said: “We know north Norfolk has numerous success stories - some well-known and others, perhaps less so - but the quality of entries for these awards surpassed our best expectations.”
It is hoped the awards will become an annual event.
‘Quality and diversity’
After the event, NNDC leader, councillor Tom FitzPatrick said: “One of the main purposes of the awards was to promote the quality and diversity of the district’s business scene
“If you look at the list of winners it has done just that – businesses large and small; businesses which provide entertainment, specialist services, small scale environmental operations and manufacturing were all included.
“Many thanks to all those involved with supporting the event, entering the awards and, overall, showing that we have a great deal to celebrate here in North Norfolk in terms of business success and ambition.”
Other category winners from the North Norfolk Business Awards included Sands Agricultural Machinery, which is based at Brunstead, near Stalham.
Sands, which makes self-propelled crop sprayers, topped an Agriculture category.
North Walsham-based steering and hydraulics producer PSS won a Business Growth category.
PSS supplies more than 85,000 products to vehicle manufacturers, exporting 60pc to the USA and Europe.
Amber’s Rose, a floral design firm based in Potter Heigham, won a best New Business award. The business was founded in 2015 by mother and daughter duo Debbie and Amber Rose.
And Thursford Christmas Spectacular topped a Tourism and Hospitality category.
Mr Shepherd said: “I’d like to thank the sponsors - Anglian Water, Archant, Eastlaw, New Anglia LEP, Norfolk Hideaways, Spire Solicitors and Start&Grow - for supporting this event.”