Meet the winners at the Hartlepool Business Awards
A company which is in the middle of a massive recruitment drive has become Hartlepool's Business of the Year.
Utility Alliance has had a meteoric rise since starting life in February 2015 with a team of just six staff.
Now, the Hartlepool Marina-based firm operates with a team of 144 – with plans in place to increase that to 250 by the end of the year.
And to add to its success, it scooped three titles at last night’s glittering Hartlepool Business Awards held in front of more than 300 guests at the Borough Hall.
The firm, which works in the business to business sector, saving firms money on their annual energy bills, also won the Most Promising New Business and Service Sector categories of the awards.
A packed audience saw BloomInArt North East CIC – which helps find the inner artist in people – chosen as the winners in both the Community and Creative Industries categories.
Top Brass, which makes, designs and fits interiors for hotels, won the Manufacturing category while engineering and fabrication specialists Heerema took the Investment in Training trophy.
Ace Golf, which encourages people to get into the sport, won the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality category.
There were titles as well for Kevin Byrne, from Seymour Civil Engineering, in the Business Leader section; and Jacob Clyburn ,from Otium, was the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
Victoria House Funeral Service was chosen as the Best Small Business in town.
On a night packed with highlights, guests got to enjoy entertainment from comedian Danny Posthill and a speech from guest of honour and Hartlepool United legend Ritchie Humphreys.
Awards co-ordinator Andrew Steel said: “Tonight has been another great night of celebration and a great reflection of all that is good about businesses in Hartlepool.
“I would like to congratulate Utility Alliance, who were worthy overall winners in what was a very competitive field of entrants.
“It was really pleasing to see lots of new entries for the awards this year and I hope this trend will continue next year when we start all over again late summer.
“The evening would not have been possible without the donations from our sponsors and I would like to say a big thank you for their continuous support.
“I would also like to thank Danny Posthill for the entertainment and Ritchie Humphries for being our guest of honour, both of whom helped make the evening a great success, and I look forward to another great evening in 12 months time.”
The scroll of honour
Service Sector sponsored by Tilly, Bailey & Irvine - Utility Alliance.
Manufacturer of the Year sponsored by Waltons Clark Whitehill - Top Brass.
The Community category sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail - BloomInArt North East CIC.
Business Leader of the Year sponsored by the Hartlepool Business Forum - Kevin Byrne, Seymour Civil Engineering.
Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality sponsored by the Passport Group - Ace Golf.
Creative Industries sponsored by Cleveland College of Art and Design - BloomInArt North East CIC.
Young Entrepreneur sponsored by The Gus Robinson Foundation - Jacob Clyburn, Otium.
Most Promising New Business sponsored by Beaumont Consulting/Hartlepool Enterprise Centre - Utility Alliance.
Investment in Training sponsored by Hartlepool College of Further Education - Heerema.
Best Small Business sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses - Victoria House Funeral Service.
he Overall Business of the Year - which is sponsored by the Gus Robinson Foundation - Utility Alliance.