Businesses recognised for success

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Bridlington and East Yorkshire businesses celebrated another year of growth and success at a glamorous awards ceremony held at the Spa.

The Chamber Bridlington and Yorkshire Coast Business Awards saw 12 small, medium and large businesses from across the region recognised for their continued prosperity and contribution towards the local economy.

Scarborough based FIRMAC UK engineered a double success on the night, while business leader John Rix was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The family engineering business won the Medium/Large Business of 2015 Award, as well scooping the honours as the Overall Winner, with the judges applauding the company’s innovation to protect themselves against changing market conditions and demonstrating that British engineering can still be world class.

Their citation said: “Firmac UK is a superb example of how a family engineering business can diversify from a traditional metalworking firm into a specialist ducting machine manufacturer which now competes internationally”.

Since its launch in 1985, Firmac UK now has 71 staff and exports to more than 50 countries.

The Fisheries Business of 2015 Award was won by Bridlington-based SE Marine, which works across the whole of the UK making sure fishing boats are safe, proving that there is much more to the fishing industry than just catching fish.

The tourism and hospitality sector was right on track, but it was Scarborough based North Bay Railway and Attractions which steamed away with the award in its category, in recognition of the way the previously council-run attraction has continued to expand and has now become a tourist destination in its own right.

Hull based S&J Synergy repeated last year’s success by winning this year’s Business with a Green Ethos Award, having quadrupled its turnover in a year and increased its range of services while creating a solid base for future expansion.

This year’s Business Person of the Year was Violet Sutcliffe, of Sutcliffe Consulting Engineers Ltd, Hull, for her work in modernising the business, while The Yorkshire Wagyu Company, based in Driffield, was named Start-Up Business of 2015.

The evening’s biggest standing ovation was reserved for the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, John Rix, who now heads up a diverse business which dates back to 1873 when sea Captain and Merchant Adventurer Robert Rix traded out of the Port of Hull. The company still owns ships, but this is only a small part of what it does today. Its diverse portfolio now includes stevedoring, warehousing, and car retailing through to fuel distribution, manufacturing and property development

In a surprise presentation, David Dowson of Lloyd Dowson Chartered Accountants p,resented a bottle of champagne to Bob Hillery and his wife Carole, in recognition of more than 40 years’ service to Bridlington.

A charity raffle and auction held on the night (October 16) helped to raise £5,500 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

List of winners:

-Start-Up Business of 2015: The Yorkshire Wagyu Company.

-Small Business of 2015: AAC Power Systems.

-Medium/Large Business of 2015: Firmac UK.

-Social Enterprise of 2015: Yorkshire Coast Enterprise.

-Business of 2015 with a Green Ethos: S&J Synergy.

-Retailer of 2015: Flames of Hull.

-Fisheries Business of 2015: SE Marine.

-Tourism & Hospitality Business of 2015: North Bay Railway and Attractions.

-Business of 2015 with High Staff Training: HBP Systems.

-Business Person of 2015: Violet Sutcliffe.

-Judges Award for Business Innovation 2015: Detectamet.

-Overall Winner of 2015: Firmac UK