Champions of industry - meet the Hartlepool business awards winners

A night of champions saw Hartlepool’s best businesses pick up awards.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 06:00 am
Best Small Business Award winner Cipher Medical receive the trophy from Hartlepool Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and Chris Soley, director and general manager at Camerons Brewery (right).

And here, in the second of a two-part feature, the Mail continues its look at the winners who took the honours at the Hartlepool Business Awards.

Best Small Business Category, sponsored by Camerons Brewery.

The Amacus team won the Service Sector trophy and received their trophy from Hartlepool Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher (right) and Carolyn Tilly of Tilly Bailey and Irvine (second right).

Winner - CIPHER Medical.

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This four-year-old company based at Enterprise Court provides full medical cover at events such as Tough Mudder UK. Facilities provided by CIPHER can include a full hospital service to road race support.

CIPHER’s Andrew Thomas said: “This is a growing business and a developing workforce with national and international expertise.

“We are really pleased to win.”

Manufacturer of the Year Award winner was Merlin Flex Limited. Hartlepool Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher (right) and Heather O'Driscoll , managing director of Waltons Clark Whitehill (fourth from right), presented the award.

Also shortlisted:

Chilli Cake Kitchen and Bar.

Orangebox Training Solutions.

Advanced Retail Solutions.

Most Promising New Business Award winner was Advance House Media. The team were presented with their trophy by Hartlepool Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher (left) and Brian Beaumont of Beaumont Consulting (right).

Service Sector Business of the Year, sponsored by Tilly, Bailey & Irvine.

Winner - Amacus.

Amacus works with employers to offer training workshops, qualifications and services in leadership and management and pathways to employment.

It has delivered training to more than 5,000 people from businesses such as Nexus, Port of Tyne, Sage Gateshead, local authorities, NHS and Job Centre Plus. It now employs 23 highly skilled people.

BloomInArt North East was delighted to receive the trophy as Creative Industries Business of the Year from Hartlepool Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher (right) and Patrick Chapman, vice principal of the Northern School of Art.

Managing director Christine Hall said: “We are very happy and very surprised to win. It is down to investment in staff and making sure that we deliver the quality that the customer needs.”

Also shortlisted:

Orangebox Training Solutions.

CIPHER Medical.

102.4 Radio Hartlepool.

Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by Waltons Clark Whitehill.

Winner - Merlin Flex Ltd.

‘This is down to the whole team,” said managing director Mark Merifield, who admitted he was ‘absolutely overwhelmed’ at the win.

“Everyone deserves it and we were up against strong competition,” said Mark, who praised the drive of the workforce.

Hi-tech printed circuit boards are the name of the game for Merlin Flex and it manufactures them for markets such as the defence industry.

It also makes them for the aerospace market, the high-end automotive market, robotics, medical and space industries.

A big development for Merlin Flex this year was securing an accreditation which meant it could bid on large defence, aerospace and space programmes, and that means company expansion.

Also shortlisted:

Hart Biologicals.

JDR Cable Systems.

Best New Business, sponsored by Beaumont Consulting/Hartlepool Enterprise Centre.

Winner - Advanced House Media.

What a year it has been for this firm, where achievements included the development of product ranges such as Advanced Pro Salon. This includes powder bleaches, peroxide developers, shampoos, conditioners, treatments, styling, and all supporting a professional hair colour range featuring 117 shades.

Owner Rob Collier said: “The whole team has worked really hard and I could not be more proud of them.”

Also shortlisted:

Port Homes Ltd.

LilyAnne’s Coffee Bar.

Pools Surplus Stores.

Creative Industries Business of the Year, sponsored by the Northern School of Art.

Winner - BloomInArt Northeast CIC.

A duo of determined business bosses looked back on an amazing year of achievement.

Rachel Laycock is an established artist working primarily in glass, and Emma Wheetman has a background in education, events and community engagement and works primarily with textiles.

They founded BloomInArt in 2014. It has a vision to become a corner stone for creativity and has helped 27,396 people so far.

Emma said: “We are in our fifth year and we are engaging with more and more people. We have worked so hard.”

Also shortlisted:

Advanced House Media.

102.4 Radio Hartlepool.

GingeEco.