A historic Hartlepool tourist site has received more fantastic news - just days after it was saved from closure.
It was a night to remember for Heugh Battery officials at the Hartlepool Business Awards.
The Battery won the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality category of the awards after judges heard recent fundraising drive, and publicity through the Hartlepool Mail, has helped to raise the profile of the battery which is the site of the only First World War battlefield in Britain.
Earlier this week, the Hartlepool Mail revealed the news that the £5,000 needed to save the site had been raised - and topped by an extra £1,000-plus.
Now comes news that the battery is a Business Awards winner.
Battery Museum manager Diane Stephens said: “This is down to Hartlepool and Hartlepool people. This does not belong to us. It belongs to the businesses in the room, to the people who supported us. It belongs to everyone and it belongs to the volunteers.”
This award does not belong to us. It belongs to the businesses in the room, to the people who supported us. It belongs to everyone and it belongs to the volunteersDiane Stephens
The Battery was one of a string of winners in an awards night to remember at the Borough Hall. Here’s the first part of our rundown on this year’s champions.
Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality, sponsored by Passport Group.
Winner - Heugh Battery.
Battery manager Diane Stephens described the win as ‘completely unexpected’ and added: “It has been such a roller coaster ride.”
The Battery was on a fundraising drive to raise £5,000 which was reached just days before the awards night.
Agora Turkish Cuisine.
Community Award, sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail.
Winner - Hartlepool Utd Community Sports Foundation.
HUCSF manager Keith Nobbs hailed the awards win as ‘a great honour’ after so much work has gone in to helping everyone from toddlers to the over 50s.
The 10-year-old organisation with eight staff reaches people from all walks of life, targeting areas such as anti-social behaviour and enriching people’s later lives.
Keith added: “I must say a big thank you to all our staff and the hard work that all of them have put into this.”
BloomInArt Northeast CIC.
Investment in Training, sponsored by Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Winner - North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Collaborationhas been the key for the Trust which has worked with Hartlepool Borough Council and Hartlepool College of Further Education to develop training programmes.
One is an apprenticeship programme to support better outcomes for residents.
In another programme, with Hartlepool College of Further Education, the Trust has developed leadership programmes for ‘first line’ managers.
Deputy director of workforce Gary Wright said: “The key bit is the collaboratve working.
“It is fantastic that we have won. It demonstrates all the hard work we have done.”
Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by the Gus Robinson Foundation.
Winner - Jack Hanlon.
Former English Martyrs student Jack has revitalised a name that is well known in Hartlepool. His Park Road business Pools Surplus Stores stocks army surplus from countries all over the world.
Jack was ‘overwhelmed’ to win and said: “It makes me feel that I am doing something right in business.”
Jordan Lee White.
Business Leader of the Year, sponsored by Hartlepool Business Forum.
Winner - Raj Singh.
Judges praised the Pools chairman for ‘taking a business from the brink of extinction’ but Raj was keen to stress the future when he spoke to the Mail.
“We want to bring success. We have not achieved anything yet,” he said. “I think it is feasible to get back in the league. It depends on a lot of things but it won’t be through lack of trying,”
Samantha Lee- Publicity Seekers.
Darren Sutherland – Utility Alliance.
Stephen Bell- Gus Robinson.
Overall Business of the Year, sponsored by EDF Energy.
Winner - Gus Robinson Developments.
Managing director Stephen Bell was ‘ecstatic’ to be at the helm of Hartlepool’s Business of the Year. He said: “This is a massive testament to the people who are in the business.
“It is a huge pat on the back.”
GRD’s exceptional growth culminated in its sale in 2018 to Thirteen Homes. It is a wholly owned trading subsidiary and continues to carry out services upon which the business has rebuilt since 2014 and enjoyed growth. It delivers opportunities for people of Hartlepool and funds and supports young people in their aspirations.
Mark Lloyd FIPG Master Goldsmith.
Watch out for interviews and photographs with more of the winners in Monday’s Hartlepool Mail.