Glittering ceremony for Morley Business Awards
MORE than 100 people gathered at Morley Town Hall on Friday for a glittering awards evening which celebrated and recognised the best of business in the area.
The 2012 Morley Business Awards, run by Morley Chamber of Trade and Commerce in association with Land Securities, White Rose Shopping Centre and Morley Town Centre Management Board, featured the presentation of seven coveted prizes in categories ranging from small retailer of the year to local charity group or organisation.
Chamber president Lee Jagger said the awards, which were judged by an independent panel of business experts, attracted high quality entries.
“This underlines the strength of business activity that we have across the Morley area. In spite of the difficult economic climate we have many companies that are thriving and continuing to grow through their entrepreneurial approach,” he said, adding: “At the same time, occupancy of shops in the town centre is at its highest level for many years.”
The entrepreneurial spirit was emphasised in the keynote speech made by Sarah Dunwell, chief executive and co-founder of the Create Foundation, which has made a huge impact as a multi-award winning social enterprise providing innovative training and work opportunities for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable.
Create, which provides catering services, continues to expand and its restaurant in King Street, Leeds, has recently been listed in the Good Food Guide and awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin.
Attendees on Friday were able to enjoy food and service provided by the Create team.
Maintaining the theme of entrepreneurship, the first award of the evening, for Young Enterprise, was won for the second successive year by Emma Coleman.
Emma, who earned the 2011 title after setting up her business Cards for All Occasions in Morley Market, scooped the 2012 award for Fancy Dress and Gifts for All Occasions, also in the market.
Morley Town Events Manager Rachael Kennedy, who organised the awards event and was compere for the evening, said: “The award judges remarked on the growth achieved by Emma over the last year and were also impressed by the evident confidence and pride that she has in her business.”
Gildersome-based Elamis Bar and Grill, whose founders also operate the Balti House in Tingley, won the award for Food and Drink Outlet of the Year.
The Morley Business Awards panel of judges, chaired by Mark Goldstone of Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, was impressed by the fact that the owners travel to India to bring back new dishes to the area and also contribute to their community through charity work.
Local Charity or Community Organisation of the Year, a new category introduced this year and sponsored by Unity Trust Bank, was won by Churwell CIC.
This community interest company was established 10 years ago and offers safe and affordable childcare, while catering for the needs of local people.
The Morley Service Provider of the Year for Office and Other services was won by Abbey House Veterinary Hospital, which has bases in Morley, Rothwell, Cleckheaton and Kippax.
Established in 1977, the family-run business offers a 24-hour service with more than 80 staff including 11 vets and Rachael Kennedy pointed out: “The judges were impressed with their strong culture of training and development.”
Activzone Ltd, which operates from a converted mill in Texas Street, Morley, won the Service Provider of the Year award for Fitness, Health and Beauty.
Established only in January, the company offers health and fitness activities in which both children and their parents can participate, including Rugrats Rugby, Cheer Dance and physiotherapy.
Online retailer Ties Planet Ltd, of Peel Street, Morley, whose stylish ties and accessories, are worn by attendees at events such as Royal Ascot, was the winner of the Small Retailer of the Year award.
The Medium Sized Retailer of the Year title was won by Robrook Press Ltd of Queen’s Road – a family-run business which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and whose customers include HM Government, supermarkets, schools and nightclubs.
Gerald Jennings, portfolio director of Land Securities, which owns and manages White Rose Shopping Centre, made the closing address. He said: “We are proud to be part of the community in Morley and delighted to once again work alongside the chamber to recognise the many successful businesses and personalities whose hard work is ensuring that the Morley borough has a bright future.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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