Meet the elite - here are the winners of Hartlepool Business Awards 2019
A construction firm which has been part of the Hartlepool scene for more than 40 years has been chosen as the town’s champion.
Workers from Gus Robinson Developments were delighted to collect the Overall Business of the Year title at last night’s Hartlepool Business Awards.
They did it in front of a Borough Hall audience of more than 300 guests which had seen a night filled with champions.
It is only a matter of months since Gus Robinson Developments Limited, which employs about 50 people, was taken over by Thirteen Homes, part of Thirteen Group.
But judges heard that the construction company (founded in 1976 and owned by Dan Robinson and his mother Judith since the death of his father, Gus, in 2011) had shown exceptional growth which culminated in its sale in 2018 to Thirteen Homes.
But GRD was only one winner on a night when Hartlepool’s impressive business scene shone.
Hartlepool United chairman Raj Singh won the Business Leader of the Year crown for the way he has spearheaded the revival of Pools.
United have continued to progress since the takeover with more work ahead – and with Raj wanting to deliver success for the fans.
Before the awards night, he said: “With a bit of luck we can bring more success to the club during 2019/20 because the fans are crying out for something to really get behind.”
It was a night when the Heugh Battery Museum took the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality trophy in a year when it was revealed that it desperately needs money to survive.
The Battery defended the town during the bombardment in 1914.
When Hartlepool came under attack from German warships, killing 130 people and injuring 500 more, the battery returned fire making it the only battle to be fought on British soil during the war.
But despite its unique history, museum bosses say they are struggling to raise the £3,500 they need every month to preserve its collection and pay staff and bills.
The Small Business of the Year was CIPHER Medical which provides full medical cover at events such as Tough Mudder UK.
And Amacus, which has delivered training to more than 5,000 people, won the Service Sector.
Manufacturer of the Year was Merlin Flex, which makes hi-tech printed circuit boards for markets such as the defence industry.
And Advanced House Media, which develops product ranges such as Advanced Pro Salon, and has had a huge year of success, was the Most Promising New Business.
BloomInArt Northeast CIC was chosen as the Creative Sector winner. It inspires people to find their inner artist and learn new skills.
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The Hartlepool Utd Community Sports Foundation took the Hartlepool Mail-sponsored Community category for its work into helping everyone from toddlers to the over-50s.
And the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust won the Investment in Training trophy for work which has included launching apprenticeship programmes to support better outcomes for residents, and leadership programmes for ‘first line’ managers.
Another success story was Jack Hanlon, who won the Young Entrepreneur Award for revitalising a name that is well known in Hartlepool.
His Park Road busines, Pools Surplus Stores, stocks army surplus from countries all over the world.
Watch out for a further feature, with more photographs and interviews with all the winners.
Roll of honour
n Best Small Business, sponsored by Camerons Brewery - Cipher Medical.
n Service Sector, sponsored by Tilly, Bailey & Irvine - Amacus.
n Manufacturer of the Year, sponsored by Waltons Clark Whitehill - Merlin Flex.
n Most Promising New Business, sponsored by Beaumont Consulting/Hartlepool Enterprise Centre - Advanced House Media.
n Creative Industires Business of the Year, sponsored by the Northern School of Art - BloomInArt Northeast CIC.
n Community Award, sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail – Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation.
n Investment in Training, sponsored by Hartlepool College of Further Education - North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
n Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by the Gus Robinson Foundation - Jack Hanlon.
n Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality, sponsored by Passport Group - Heugh Battery.
n Business Leader of the Year, sponsored by Hartlepool Business Forum - Raj Singh.
n Business of the Year, sponsored by EDF Energy - Gus Robinson Developments.