OLDHAM’s businesses were once again celebrated at another glittering awards ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Winners of 11 categories were announced on the night, including a new category for this year – Workforce Health and Wellbeing. Oldham College took the award for developing a holistic strategy towards employee health and wellbeing, shaped by feedback from employees.
Andy Hirst won Business Person of the Year for his instrumental role in transforming Sudlows from a £2 million data cabling company to a multi award-winning £65 million data centre infrastructure design and build company. They now have offices in the UK, Europe, Middle East, Singapore and India.
These are the other individuals and firms who were triumphant on the night…
- Business of the Year (£5m-plus): Rowan Ashworth Ltd.
- Business of the Year (£1-5m): Technology Powered Services Ltd.
- Business of the Year (up to £1m): Dream Big Sports Ltd.
- Micro Business of The Year: The Dawn Torrington Award: M Group Manchester Ltd.
- Young Business: Conexus Tuition.
- Start-up: Chances Mentoring.
- Young Entrepreneur: Bobbie-Leigh Tindall, B&L Aesthetics.
- Community Engagement: Ultimate Products.
- Supporting Young People: Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisors.
But the unexpected climax to the Oldham Business Awards was the handing over of a Special Recognition Award to Krzysztof Zemlik, who was one of three finalists in the Business Person of the Year category.
The prestigious award is specially selected by members of the awards steering group and is given to someone considered to have gone above and beyond for the borough.
Mr Zemlik was recognised for his acclaimed restoration of a historic town centre ballroom called Billington’s Dance Studio.
Also known as the ‘Ascroft Street Academy’, it was once visited by thousands of dancers over eight decades and nurtured by Mrs Billington, from whom the building takes its name.
Mr Zemlik, a healthcare management professional, has not only brought dancing back to Billington’s but also created a coffee/cocktail lounge and meeting space that hosts a variety of events.
Steve Kilroy, who leads the steering group which organises the awards and chooses the finalists and winners, said: “Congratulations and well done to Krzysztof for restoring Billington’s to its rightful place as a jewel in the crown of Oldham town centre.
“Congratulations to each and every winner. It’s an incredibly tough task to choose the finalists, never mind the winners, and our thanks go to everyone who has nominated an individual or a business this year.”
This year’s event was hosted by actor and comedian Jon Culshaw and Granada Reports’ entertainment correspondent Caroline Whitmore.