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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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D-day for business awards looms

A BUS company, a law firm and a world-famous tourist attraction are vying to be named Cumbria’s best medium-sized business.

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decision making: CN Business Awards judges, left to right: Matt Legg, John Grainger, Tony Goddard and Gerry Woodcock

Reays, of Wigton, Burnetts, of Carlisle and the World of Beatrix Potter, at Bowness-on-Windermere, have been shortlisted in the Business of the Year (Medium) category of the CN Group Business Awards.

The award is sponsored by Invest in Cumbria.

Family-run Reays has grown at an unprecedented rate in the last 12 months, taking on 60 new staff and investing more than £2m in new vehicles.

The firm’s City Hopper bus service in Carlisle, launched in October 2010, is now used by close to 20,000 people a week.

The company has also opened a depot in Egremont to service a contract with Sellafield and was chosen as the official transport provider for Carlisle’s One Big Weekend music festival.

Burnetts, Cumbria’s largest solicitors practice, has just been listed in a record 12 areas of business in the latest Legal 500, the industry guide. The firm has seen profits rise by a healthy 37 per cent in the last three years, with turnover jumping by nearly nine per cent.

2010 has been a pivotal year for the 100-year-old business with a radical rebranding and shake-ups in its management structure, financial ma-nagement, succession planning and long-term strategy.

The World of Beatrix Potter opened in 1991, on the anniversary of the world famous author’s birthday.

It is the only attraction of its kind in the world and provides a magical environment for fans of the Peter Rabbit writer, young and old.

Meanwhile four small but perfectly formed businesses will compete to be named the best in Cumbria.

Country Puddings, of Penrith, Keswick’s Strollers (Cumbria), TIS Cumbria, of Workington, and Alston-based Totalpost have been nominated in the Business of the Year (Small) category in the CN Group Business Awards, in association with Invest in Cumbria.

This award is sponsored by The Federation of Small Businesses and Furness Enterprise.

Country Puddings, based in Dacre, produces quality traditional puddings sold by independent retailers across the UK. The company recently celebrated three Great Taste awards and won praise from Masterchef judge Gregg Wallace.

Strollers (Cumbria), launched its Strolling 4 Shoes shoe shop in Keswick six years ago.

Andrew and Sue Marshall run the business, which sells men’s and ladies’ “casual, comfortable and colourful” shoes. The firm has grown into a network of five stores and an internet business and employs 26 people.

Workington’s TIS Cumbria has built a unique business model around promoting the skills of young people.

It delivers design, fabrication, welding and inspection services to some of the word’s most demanding companies in the nuclear, petrochemical, oil and gas industries.

But rather than seeing young apprentices as cheap labour, TIS Cumbria brings its young staff into the centre of the operation from almost day one.

Totalpost offers mailroom services, franking machines and postal scales to more than 18 countries around the world, including Malaysia, Australia and the US.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at Rheged, Penrith, on October 20.

CN Group owns and publishes The Whitehaven News.

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