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Mid & East Lothian Chamber Announces 2018 Business Award Winners
29th October 2018
The 2018 Mid & East Lothian Business Awards took place on Thursday 25th October at The Brunton, Musselburgh. Continuing the success of previous years, the event was, once more, a wonderful evening, which brought together around 300 guests representing businesses from East Lothian, Midlothian and beyond. Guests enjoyed a fantastic evening that included networking opportunities round the business exhibition, a fine dinner and, of course, the award ceremony and announcement of the winners.
The evening kicked off with a reception and business exhibition. Attendees then transitioned into the Brunton’s Conference Hall to enjoy dinner, and the awards programme. During dinner, guests had the opportunity to hear guest speaker, Brigadier David Allfrey, Chief executive and Producer of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
On the night, companies and individuals were recognized in 9 award categories, which highlighted the range of businesses that make up East Lothian’s & Midlothian’s thriving, vibrant economy, and which honored contributions to the local community.
2018 Award Winners:
The Business High Growth Award, sponsored by Midlothian Business Gateway, honors a business that have experienced exceptional growth in sales, profit, market share, jobs or international trade. This year’s winner is The HR Dept Edinburgh & the Lothians. The company provides SME businesses and organisations with locally-based, personal and practical HR and Health & Safety advice and support. Founded in 2014, the business has since grown organically with no investments or loans, and with turnover growth of 573% within 4 years. In November 2017, an outsourced H&S service was introduced and this now represents more than 10% of their turnover. HR Dept now also provide Recruitment and Training services and have invested in a significant expansion of their team, from 3 to 11 in the last year.
The Business Innovation Award sponsored by CATAX, is awarded to a business that can successfully demonstrate innovations by doing something new to their business process or new to their industry. Beyond Homecare Ltd took home this year’s award. In June 2016, Beyond Homecare owners, Gavin and Louis Stedman-Bryce, took a struggling care business in Tranent, and put into action a turn around project to save the business and the jobs of its 35 employees at the time. Over the past two years the business has undergone a complete transformation, utilising cutting edge innovations in technology and a more modern approach to working practices and homecare culture. The company has doubled in size over the last 12 months and currently provides in the region of 8,000 care visits per month to customers across East Lothian.
The Environmental Impact Award is presented to a company that has made changes to improve their environmental impact. This is an ideal platform for businesses to promote their efforts towards anything from, waste management, sustainable transport, energy consumption through to behavioural change. This year’s recipient is Safe Building Scheme. Safe Building Scheme offers electrical testing services, electrical remedial works, minor/major LED lighting upgrades and Electric Vehicle Charging Point installations. Since Euan and Elaine Hall took over the business in February 2016, they have made a significant investment in making the company more environmentally friendly. They have estimated to have reduced their paper usage by around 85%. They have also carried out several Lighting Surveys on their customers’ premises, looking at current light fittings, usage and running costs, and offering alternatives that are cheaper to run.
The Commitment to Youth Development sponsored by DYW Edinburgh, Midlothian & East Lothian. This award recognises a business that has been successful in engaging with, supporting, mentoring and motivating young people whilst at the same time providing them with skills to develop their own characteristics, values and habits. Heavy Sound CIC received this year’s award. Their social mission is to transform the lives of young people and communities through creative engagement in alternative forms of music, such as rap and hip hop, DJ’ing, electronic music production, graphic design and film making. They work with young people considered furthest from the employment market, disengaged and socially excluded, and help them develop new skills, build self-esteem, and realise their potential to find positive destinations in further education and career options.
The Community Impact Award, sponsored by EDF/Torness, is given to a business that has made a significant positive impact within the community and to the lives of individuals within them. This year’s winner is Venturing Out CIC. It is an East Lothian based Social Enterprise that offers a wide range of affordable adventurous activities to all. Their aim is to grow the provision of adventurous activities for young people who may struggle to access them because of disability, poverty or other social disadvantage. They offer regular paddlesport sessions for children and their families with additional support needs. They also work with 2 schools in East Lothian to deliver outdoor learning sessions for children who have been identified as being affected by poverty related attainment gap issues.
The Family Business Award, sponsored by Cameron & Co Chartered Accountants, is presented to a family run business, operating in any sector of the economy, which has enjoyed outstanding success. William Robertson & Sons Ltd took home this year’s award. For the past 120 years, William Robertson & Sons Ltd has been manufacturing and distributing puddings, pies, and raw meat products such as burgers and sausages. From the days of using a horse and carriage to deliver potted meats to feed troops in World War 1 and making haggis for The Prince of Wales, Robertson’s has now evolved to being able to create and develop new products and has state of the art premises and machinery in Dalkeith. Now working as a team, the Robertson’s 4th and 5th generations are carrying on the tradition of keeping their family business alive.
Sponsored by East Lothian Council, New Business of the Year Award recognizes a start-up business that has translated an idea into a successful business venture.
This year’s winner is Pie Dolly who specialize in handmade gourmet meat pies. They have taken a very traditional product and put a modern twist on it. They focus on bold, exciting flavours made using locally sourced Ingredients. Pie Dolly owner, Kelsey Garthwaite, sells pies direct to customers at the Edinburgh farmers markets most weekends. She also supplies 12 other businesses in Edinburgh and Midlothian. Pie Dolly’s goal for the immediate future is to start supplying more businesses with pies wholesale. The revenue generated from this will be enough to support hiring staff as well as new equipment required to expand the business.
Business Ambassador 2018, sponsored by Network ROI, is awarded to an individual who has been actively engaged with the business community through the Mid & East Lothian Chamber network and who supports the work of the Chamber.
The 2018 recipient is Malcolm Currie, Strathesk Resolutions Ltd. Malcolm Currie founded Strathesk Resolutions which specialises in helping develop constructive, profitable relationships between businesses and their people by anticipating, resolving and preventing individual and collective problems through targeted analysis, mediation and training. He sits as board trustee of the Citizens Advice Bureau in Musselburgh and director of East Lothian Advice Consortium Limited. Malcolm is also co-founder of, and was very involved in the concept and launch of the Musselburgh Business Partnership in May this year. The Partnership is open to any businesses trading in Musselburgh and has been formed to be a voice for business “in fora” like the Council’s Area Partnership and to create a more conducive environment for businesses to grow and thrive.
SME of the Year, sponsored by Midlothian Council, is awarded to a company that has achieved consistent growth backed by a strong financial performance, while demonstrating a clear understanding of the markets in which it operates. This year’s winner is LEMAC. With the development of a third mainstream product and the emergence of the recycling centre, stairlift manufacturer LEMAC, have seen an unexpected growth rate this year of 13% compared to their budgeted growth of 7%. This has allowed them to increase their manning levels to prepare for the increases to their outputs over the next 3 years as they take more market share from their competition. This, along with the additional revenue generated by the recycling centre and cost-down exercises carried out internally and externally, LEMAC have seen their margins maintained in a tough trading environment.
This high profile event was concluded with congratulatory remarks from the audience to all winners and finalists, and a prize draw to raise fund for Age Scotland.