Fenland Enterprise Business of the Year Awards 2018 – all the winners and finalists at tenth annual ceremony

08th October 2018

Hundreds came together to celebrate the best businesses in the region as the Fenland Enterprise Business Awards returned for its tenth year.

Agrimech Services were the big winners on the night of Friday October 5 as March Braza Club transformed to host a glitzy ceremony – the Oscars of the Fens business world.

Taking home not one, not two, but three awards, the Upwell-based machinery manufacturing company was named business of the year (sponsored by Whiting & Partners) after winning the medium business of the year (Local Generation) and customer service awards.

Belinda Smith, finance director, said: “I’m shocked – to be a finalist was overwhelming and to win is fantastic. It means everything – we couldn’t grow the business without everyone else that’s around us. We’ve got 17 members of staff, and growing year on year.”

Two of their team also won two of the top raffle prizes and, as Cambs Times Editor John Elworthy commented: “When you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll!”

Earlier in the evening, MortgageAbility took home the new business of the year award, which was sponsored by Nestlé Purina.

Amanda Marshall and Rhian Mills, mortgage brokers at the Wisbech company, said: “We didn’t expect it. We were nominated and it’s fantastic – but to be crowned the winners is amazing.”

As for the company’s future aspirations, they said: “We want to win again. We haven’t even been trading for a whole year yet – it’s fantastic.”

Swann Edwards Architecture Ltd took home the small business of the year title, which was sponsored by College of West Anglia.

Russell Swann, owner, said: “We’re feeling really good. We were in for it last year and lost out so it’s really nice to be recognised for the hard work.

“And all the 14 members of staff we have – they’re a huge part of the team.”

Worzals Bar & Grill was crowned Retailer of the Year and Sasha Knight, manager of the restaurant in Walton Highway, said: “We’re really happy; it means so much to us.

“We would not be where we are if it was not for our staff. It’s our first time entering, we are growing and we see lots of new things for the future. We have 100 members of staff.”

Chatteris-based Stainless Metalcraft won the commercial business in the community/ corporate social responsibility award, which was sponsored by Fenland District Council.

Austen Adams, managing director, said: “We’ve won various events over the years.

“It’s nice for these guys to be recognised for the hard work and support they put into the local community.

“It’s nice to see so many new businesses taking part, too.”

The business person of the year award went to Shaun Hindle, director of employer engagement at College of West Anglia Wisbech.

He said: “I’m very excited and really appreciate the award. It has been a marvellous success.

“I have worked at CWA for two years and we now want to keep on growing in the business community and gain recognition for the future of the college.”

The Judges Award, sponsored by Fenland Chamber of Commerce, went to Cambridgeshire Canine Crèche.

Nikki Hopkin, owner, said: “I’m amazed. I did not expect this at all. I’m very happy.

“It’s been really nice, that everyone has come to us personally and said well done.

“It will help us moving forward and customers will come and have faith in us – because this award proves it.

“We were here last year as finalists, but since then we’ve made a lot of changes.”

Before the awards were handed out, the audience caught up with Chatteris fundraisers Dan Handley and Dave Brooks live from Japan. The pair had arrived just hours before – having travelled thousands of miles from the Fens to Japan in a 16-year-old Toyota Yaris to raise money for Children In Need.

Inspired by the duo’s plight, £742 was raised for the charity on behalf of Dan & Dave: Chatteris to Tokyo and the special guests on the night were Dave’s mum Janet File and stepdad Steve File, and Dan’s mum Kathy Whittaker and stepdad Lee Whittaker.

Entertainment came from ‘old fashioned crooner with a twist’ Mickey Fordola, who has performed for HRM The Queen, Hong Kong Football Club and Cath Kidston.

The event was hosted by BBC Look East journalist Jozef Hall.