Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster has announced the winners of its 2018 business awards.

Thirty firms were shortlisted for its 10 categories and the awards ceremony was held last night at Energus, Lillyhall.

Main event sponsor was Sellafield Ltd, Cairnhill Structures was the dinner sponsor and Cavendish Nuclear was the dinner reception sponsor.

Ivan Baldwin, cluster chairman, said: “Our awards night keeps growing.

“There were four new award categories this year – Collaboration, Rising Star, Start-Up Business and Developing the Next Generation – as well as the return of the Innovation and Creativity category, this time with an emphasis on SMEs.

"The dinner had a real feel of friends together celebrating each other’s successes and congratulations go to all the winners as well as thanks to the judges, sponsors, guests and everyone who took part and made it a great evening.”

The awards 2018 were hosted by Kim Inglis and representatives of the sponsoring companies announced and presented the awards.

In his speech at the opening of the evening, Martin Chown, of Sellafield Ltd spoke about being part of the Business Cluster and proud of its achievements.

He said: “It’s not that you should be proud but that we should – we’re very much part of the cluster,” he said.

“I am delighted to announce that Sellafield Ltd has just reached the 30 per cent milestone of spend with SMEs, up from 24 per cent last year, and that represents about £300 million now being spent each year with SMEs, a big chunk of it in Cumbria.”

Gill Marsden, of NIS, sponsor and presenter of the Inspiring People Award, said: “NIS has sponsored this category for three years now and it is in some ways very easy and in some ways very hard.

"It’s easy because we’re surrounded by inspiring people every day and spoilt for choice on entries – the hard part is judging a winner!”

West Cumbria Carers benefited from the generosity of guests on the night with donations from tables going towards this local charity and its work.

Michelle McGibbon spoke briefly to guests about the charities work supporting unpaid carers in the area and dinner guests donated just over £3,000 during the evening, to be doubled through match funding by main event sponsor, Sellafield Ltd.

Mr Baldwin added: “The Business Awards 2018 were a celebration of the diversity of the business cluster and of its members’ achievements.

"And we were celebrating with friends. I remember joining the business cluster myself and the welcome and support that’s made all the difference to my career. It’s great to hear stories of how our business awards are giving encouragement, recognition and profile to so many businesses."


SME Innovation and Creativity, sponsored by Cumbria Innovations Platform and Eco-Innovation Cumbria, University of Cumbria: Thomas Graham and Sons Ltd

Collaboration, sponsored by Orano: Centre for Leadership Performance

Socio Economic Commitment to West Cumbria, sponsored by Balfour Beatty: Franks Portlock Consulting Ltd

Inspiring People, sponsored by NIS Limited Winner: Hospice at Home West Cumbria

Growing Business, sponsored by Prima Uno: PaR Systems Ltd

Developing the Next Generation, sponsored by Atkins: Baines Wilson LLP

BECBC Rising Star, sponsored by Nuvia: Adam Pearson, of Adamedia Ltd

Start-Up Business Award, sponsored by Solomons Europe: Red Pike Education

Micro Business of the Year, sponsored by Wood: DMA Safety Management Ltd

Company of the Year, sponsored by Kaefer: TSP Engineering

Highly commended: Balfour Beatty