Rochdale Business Awards 2011
Date published: 04 November 2011
Richard Whittaker Ltd - Business of the Year turnover above £5m (sponsored by NatWest)
Almost 300 people attended the inaugral Rochdale Business Awards at Rochdale Town Hall on Friday night.
Guests from businesses across the borough enjoyed a champagne reception and casino before moving into the Great Hall for a meal and a glamorous awards ceremony.
The event – dubbed the Oscars of the Rochdale business world – was organised to recognise and celebrate the achievements of businesses in the borough. It is expected to have raised in the region of £2,000 for Springhill Hospice.
Awards were presented to the following winners:
- Richard Whittaker Ltd - Business of the Year turnover above £5m (sponsored by NatWest)
- Carter International - Business of the Year turnover £1m - £5m (sponsored by Jackson, Jackson)
- 25 Ten Boutique - Business of the Year turnover below £1m (sponsored by RMBC)
- Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale - Environmental Award (sponsored by Sir Robert McAlpine
- Restore - Business Co-operation of the Year (sponsored by Inspired Spaces)
- Helen Senior from Jackson, Jackson & Sons and Michelle Matthews from Ladies Only – Businesswoman of the year (sponsored by Molesworths Bright Clegg)
- Mike Goldrick from Mike Goldrick Window Blinds – Businessman of the Year (sponsored by Hopwood Hall)
- Tracing Steps Theatre & Dance Company - Start up Business of the Year (sponsored by Target Fire)
Speaking to the guests, the Leader of Rochdale Council, Councillor Colin Lambert, said: "We face a challenging economic environment and it is important we all pull together and make most of local companies where possible. As a council we try to support local businesses.
"Let's make tonight a new vision for the town and borough and work together for short term survival and the long term future."
Organiser of the event, Martyn Torr, described the atmosphere as “magical.”
He said: “The business community of Rochdale is doing okay in a very difficult economic climate – there is a lot out there to celebrate and a lot of people are working very hard.”
“For me personally, as event organiser, I think the sponsors who have got involved deserve a round of applause, because they took a leap of faith,” he added.
Steve Lowe, Chairman of the Rochdale Business Awards steering group, said: “I’m really pleased, everyone I’m talking to is talking about the event and how good it is.”
He added: “Next year is such an important year for Rochdale and the Co-operative movement and it is vitally important we are here next year to celebrate everything that is going on in Rochdale.”
Alan Rigby of Richard Whittaker Ltd, the winner of Business of the Year (turnover above £5m) said it felt “absolutely fabulous” to win.
He added: “I was nominated for Businessman of the Year but winning Business of the Year recognises the team effort. I've got a cracking team.”
Mr Rigby has now pledged to be a sponsor for next year’s event.
Paul Turner-Mitchell, Director of 25 Ten Boutique, said he was “elated” that his business won the Business of the Year (below £1m) Award.
He added: “It's hard work in Rochdale town centre, there’s a lot of independents who do sterling work - so this award is not just for us but for all the independents that make Rochdale what it is.
“It is a difficult time for everyone and it's nice to be recognised.”
Mr Turner-Mitchell praised his wife Kelly, who couldn’t attend, and said he is proud of her and the 25 Ten team.
Businessman of the Year, Mike Goldrick, said he was “elated” to have won.
“I am so pleased; I really am,” he said, “This is about everyone who works for me, not just me.”
Michelle Matthews, from Ladies Only, joint winner of Businesswoman of the Year said it felt “fantastic to win.”
Helen Senior from Jackson, Jackson & Sons who also won Businesswoman of the Year, said: “I am very pleased and a bit overwhelmed.”
She added: “The organisers have held a brilliant event. For a first one they have created a great model and hopefully it will move forward.”
Carol Hopkins, Business Liaison Officer at Rochdale Council, described the evening as “great.”
Adding: “I am really pleased with the response, the private sector has really got behind this event and it is really good to celebrate Rochdale. Hopefully, after tonight this will become an annual event.”