top of page

See the finalists in 2023's Bradford Means Business Awards

Annette McIntyre

12 July 2023·20-min read


These are the shortlisted businesses who made it to the final stages of the Bradford Means Business Awards 2023.

The awards aim to recognise the very best businesses in Bradford district and give those on the shortlist an opportunity to celebrate their success with colleagues and clients.

It comes ahead of a glamourous awards night at Walton View Hotel, Drighlington, on Thursday, July 20.

The judging panel have been busy choosing the finalists for the prestigious annual awards ceremony.

Here's a look at this year's finalists in the Telegraph & Argus' Bradford Means Business Awards, broken down by category.

The winners will be announced in a special supplement in the Telegraph & Argus' July 27 newspaper edition.

SME Business of the Year

Sponsored by BHP

MyLahore 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

MyLahore is a family-owned business rooted in Bradford since 2002. What began as a relaxed eatery on Great Horton Road has now become a popular chain found in five cities and counting across the UK.

It brings together a fusion of British and Asian cuisine with its famously diverse menu.

The restaurant welcomed The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their royal visit to Bradford and it has won several prestigious awards.

A spokesperson said: “The team are inspired to build on the pioneering migrant spirit of generations that came before them, so community and togetherness have always been at the heart of MyLahore.”

Pennine Cycles Pennine Cycles

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Paul Corcoran, of Pennine Cycles, with the Retailer of the Year award at the 2022 Telegraph & Argus Retail, Leisure and Hospitality awards

Paul Corcoran, of Pennine Cycles, with the Retailer of the Year award at the 2022 Telegraph & Argus Retail, Leisure and Hospitality awards (Image: Newsquest, Andy Garbutt)

Pennine Cycles Pennine Cycles is a long-established and recognised independent bicycle retailer in Bradford.

The bike shop is not just part of the local community but has a UK and global customer base.

Whether customers are looking to buy a child’s first balance bike, a commuter bicycle, a mountain bike or a road bike, owners Paul and Sandra Corcoran are there to help.

Pennine Cycles continues to handbuild their Pennine bicycle frameset in Bradford and is the sponsor of V.C. Bradford cycling club.

IK Collections

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Imran Khan, owner of IK Collections, with one of the sleeves from a suit his firm has made for King Charles III

Imran Khan, owner of IK Collections, with one of the sleeves from a suit his firm has made for King Charles III (Image: Newsquest)

Bradford-based tailoring firm IK Collections has shops across the UK and in several other countries.

The business has made suits for a host of highprofile names including Keighley-born fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Dancing On Ice judge Christopher Dean.

This year IK Collections made a jacket for King Charles after the monarch met Mr Khan during his visit to Bradford and was struck by his elaborate jacket. Mr Khan promised to make him a replica.

The Westgate site describes itself as the Savile Row of the North.

Innovation Award

Sponsored by Christeyns

Acorn Stairlifts

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Nick Wilson of Acorn Stairlifts, pictured

Nick Wilson of Acorn Stairlifts, pictured (Image: Bob Smith)

Founded in 1992 in Bradford, Acorn Stairlifts has grown to become the world’s biggest company concerned solely with the manufacture, sale and installation of home stairlifts.

All of its stairlifts are manufactured at its factories in Shipley, Steeton, and Haddington, near Edinburgh, with two-thirds going for export to more than 80 countries worldwide.

Operations Director Nick Wilson started with Acorn as a stairlift installer and has seen the company grow from a small business to a global name.

He said: “We’re firmly rooted in Bradford District, which has nurtured and sustained our growth and continues to do so.”

SportsShoes

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Brett Bannister, SportsShoes.com managing director

Brett Bannister, SportsShoes.com managing director

SportsShoes was established by former Bradford City striker Bruce Bannister in 1982.

Shipley-based SportsShoes.com offers customers more than 17,000 products from 150 global running and outdoor brands.

Managing director, Brett Bannister, who is Bruce’s son, said: “We are a proud Bradford business that understands innovation is key to SportsShoes.

“It’s great to be recognised as a finalist in the Bradford Means Business Awards innovation category as it’s testimony to our belief that there’s no fun to be had by standing still.”

Regal Foods

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Regal Foods supporting charity Bradford Community Kitchen

Regal Foods supporting charity Bradford Community Kitchen (Image: UGC)

Regal Foods supplies a range of popular foods, bakery products, sweets and cakes and has more than 30 years of experience in the bakery sector.

A spokesperson said: “Regal Foods are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Innovation Award category in the Telegraph & Argus Bradford Means Business Awards.

"Our innovative range of world food and drink products are recognised not only nationally, but throughout the 50 countries in which we export, and with our roots set firmly in Bradford we have the local community to thank for that.

"Innovation is the key to delivering a quality product range, and using the latest technologies and techniques we are able to bring new products to the market for all to enjoy. We are a family business to be proud of."

New Business of the Year

Sponsored by Joseph Parr

Best in Class

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Scott Holt and Sophie Woodcock of Best in Class

Scott Holt and Sophie Woodcock of Best in Class (Image: Best in Class)

This Bradford-based education recruitment specialist was set up by Scott Holt and Sophie Woodcock.

Scott said: “Having worked in the Education sector for a combination of 15 years, we’ve had first-hand experience with recruitment challenges.

"This motivated us to start our own business to improve the process and create a better experience for both schools and candidates.”

He added: “We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.

"All other Education recruitment companies in West Yorkshire, have their HQs in surrounding areas, but none are Bradford based. So this is what we knew was important. We want to provide the best local specialists to local schools.”

Prospect Change

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ruth Geddes and Jennifer Anderton of Prospect Change

Ruth Geddes and Jennifer Anderton of Prospect Change (Image: UGC)

The consultancy specialises in the design, enhancement and establishment of bespoke Change Management and PMO functions.

Founder and CEO Ruth Geddes said: “We design and deliver high quality, change management methodology and governance, underpinned with an unfaltering commitment for change and innovation, therefore bringing clarity and reassurance.

“We have the agility, capability and dedication required to drive this through in everything we design and deliver” She added: “We are proud of our partnership with Bradford College as we provide students with the opportunity to understand the world of Change and PMO along with the potential of formally joining the Prospect Change team as Consultant Interns.”

Sowing Seeds Tuition

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rachel Girling of Sowing Seeds Tuition

Rachel Girling of Sowing Seeds Tuition (Image: UGC)

In July 2022, after 17 years in education, director Rachel Girling left her role as Assistant Principal at a large secondary school in West Yorkshire.

She set up a different type of tuition and wellbeing service for 6-16 year olds in her home village, Idle.

The business is not ‘just’ a tuition service - it helps reach the children who slip under the radar due to their absence at school and helps reintegrate them back into education.

In February this year, they also set up Sowing Seeds Wellbeing community interest company as a non-profit organisation to deliver training and support the mental health and wellbeing of families.

Family Business of the Year

Sponsored by The Nirmal Sekhon Group

Britannia Care Home

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Dr Manoj Joshi, Mr Choudhry Inayat Khan, Lord Mayor of Bradford, Martin Love and Mazhar Mahmood

Dr Manoj Joshi, Mr Choudhry Inayat Khan, Lord Mayor of Bradford, Martin Love and Mazhar Mahmood (Image: Britannia Care)

Britannia Care Home has dedicated more than 30 years to care.

Founded by Mr Choudhry Khan and Dr Manoj Joshi in 1990, Britannia puts the emphasis on the word “home”.

Trust is paramount, the company said. Britannia Care Home believes in providing compassionate care without compromise to meet the needs of its residents.

The cornerstone of its success has been that it understands the cultural diversity of the region’s population.

It is proud of the pioneering work it has done in providing care to people from very diverse backgrounds.

360 Secure Systems

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Aftab Hussain and Nadeem Ahmad of 360 Security Systems, won Small Business of the Year at 2022 British Muslim Awards

Aftab Hussain and Nadeem Ahmad of 360 Security Systems, won Small Business of the Year at 2022 British Muslim Awards (Image: UGC)

The company was set up by cousins Aftab Hussain and Nadeem Ahmad, both originally from Pakistan.

Mr Hussain said: “Graduating from Bradford College and with First Class Degrees, it was always a dream to own a business.

"As we are both currently full time college engineering lecturers, we decided to start a small business. Our son and nephew respectively, help us on the weekends and holidays as they’ll be taking over this successful business in the future.

“We love making our customers happy with our excellent quality cameras together with reasonable and affordable prices. Despite the cost of living crisis and inflation, we are continuing to keep our prices low and help protect peoples’ homes and businesses.”

Thorite

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford firm Thorite

Thorite is the UK’s leading independent supplier of pneumatic components, air compressors, fluid power and process products.

Founded in Bradford in 1850, Thorite says it has a tradition of adapting and diversifying and, above all, investing in employees and assets to enhance customer service.

Following a recent £3.5m campaign of investment - including a purpose-built headquarters in Bradford, a brand-new online webstore, and refurbishment of every regional branch - Thorite is now targeting ambitious growth.

It aims to achieve £30m turnover by 2030.

A spokesman said: “Nothing means more to us then being shortlisted for an award in our hometown of Bradford. This is a great recognition of what we have achieved over many years and more recently to cement our position as a leading national company."

Sustainability Award

Sponsored by Solenis

Avenue Boutique Hair & Beauty

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Owner Caroline Broadbent is keen to make Avenue Boutique the most energy-efficient Hair & Beauty salon in the region

Owner Caroline Broadbent is keen to make Avenue Boutique the most energy-efficient Hair & Beauty salon in the region

Eldwick business Avenue Boutique Hair & Beauty is aiming to become the most energy-efficient hair and beauty salon in the region.

The salon, opened last year by Caroline Broadbent, has become part of the Green Salon Collective.

Caroline and her staff recycle, compost and recover whatever they can - including used foils, empty colour tubes, chemicals, PPE, plastic, paper and salon towels.

Tong Garden Centre

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Independently owned, Tong Garden Centre, was established in 1984 and acquired in 2015 by Tom Megginson and Mark Farnsworth who invested in the centre to create a destination for all the family.

In 2022, they opened new-build Tingley Garden Centre and acquired Stephen H Smith’s with garden centres in Otley and Bingley.

Managing Director Mark Farnsworth said: “We’re thrilled to be a finalist! As an independent Yorkshire business, we felt it essential to build climate and community into our long term strategy for sustainability.

"Our recent Carbon Literacy Project bronze accreditation is testament to our commitment to embed sustainability, raise awareness of the climate emergency and unite a team to take action with pledges that positively impact carbon reduction.”

ACS Group

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: ACS Group intends to double its turnover to £50m by 2026

ACS Group intends to double its turnover to £50m by 2026 (Image: ACS Group)

ACS Group established five main sustainability goals in 2021 - and it has announced it is investing £250,000 in sustainable initiatives with the aim of becoming net zero by 2030.

Sustainability manager Tom Taylor said: "As a business, we have consistently strived to minimise our environmental impact and be at the forefront within our industry. We have recently increased our focus on doing as much as we can to reduce and offset our carbon emissions.

"It is great to be put forward for an award that truly aligns with our core values.’’

ACS Group has recently appointed adventurer Nick Hollis as its Brand Ambassador.

Nick has set himself the ambitious world record of the 721 Challenge, which entails completing the seven summits, skiing the North and South poles, and rowing the Atlantic Ocean in record-breaking speed.

Apprentice of the Year

Sponsored by Bradford College

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Left to right, Bradley Jones, Elise Sherry, and Kieran McCrickard

Left to right, Bradley Jones, Elise Sherry, and Kieran McCrickard (Image: UGC)

Bradley Jones

After starting off with Christeyns as a chemical operative in powder production, Bradley progressed onto doing a Business Administration apprenticeship.

He is now doing an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) apprenticeship. Bradley is a Christeyns Ambassador - going into local schools, as well as representing the company at apprenticeship talk panels and fairs.

He said: “I am really happy to get recognition for my hard work over the past 12 months, and to be nominated for the apprentice of the year. I am lucky Christeyns has an amazing apprenticeship programme with lots of opportunities and freedom, that has helped me choose a suitable career path for myself.”

Kieran McCrickard

Kieran joined Solenis at 16 as a Science Manufacturing Technician apprentice.

After being on furlough for six months, having to do most of his Diploma study online and adapt quickly to shift work, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kieran completed his apprenticeship in December 2022 and is now operating the company’s Intermediates production plant as an Operator 2.

A spokesperson for Solenis said: “Kieran actively takes part in our Young Person’s Network being a role model and ambassador to other young people across plant. Kieran has also played a vital part in alarm management within his department, a critical task within our COMAH site.”

Elise Sherry

Elise was nominated by Bradford College in partnership with her employer in recognition of the fact that she has overcome significant adversity and shown great strength and determination. She has undertaken her Level 3 Teaching Apprenticeship across two different organisations. The citation says: “Unfortunately due to health issues she had to have a planned break in learning which again can be a setback for some apprentices, but not Elise. She has strived to ensure she reached the finish line, jumping over every obstacle in her way, whilst putting the children she works with at the forefront of everything she does.”

Manufacturer of the Year

Sponsored by Thorite

Acorn Stairlifts

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Acorn Stairlifts' base in Steeton

Acorn Stairlifts' base in Steeton

Founded in 1992 in Bradford, Acorn Stairlifts has grown to become the world’s biggest company concerned solely with the manufacture, sale and installation of home stairlifts.

All of its stairlifts are manufactured at its factories in Shipley, Steeton, and Haddington, near Edinburgh, with two-thirds going for export to more than 80 countries worldwide.

Operations Director Nick Wilson started with Acorn as a stairlift installer and has seen the company grow from a small business to a global name.

He said: “We’re firmly rooted in Bradford District, which has nurtured and sustained our growth and continues to do so.”

Global Precision

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Team members at Global Precision

Team members at Global Precision (Image: Global Precision)

Andrew Sale established Global Precision, an injection moulding, tooling and contract manufacturing company, in China in 2009.

He went on to open an office in Haworth three years later. Since then the company has put millions of pounds into the Yorkshire economy through its clients and workforce. In 2020 a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility was opened in Haworth. The firm’s clients include Jaguar Land Rover and the NHS.

The Friendly Chemical Co.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Scott Rudd and Emma Tapper

Scott Rudd and Emma Tapper

This company is a leading manufacturer and supplier of branded and private label products for the domestic household and personal care products.

The Keighley company operates a closed loop system - meaning it reuses and refills every bottle sold to create a zerowaste supply chain.

The Friendly Chemical Co was set up by a young entrepreneurial team led by Scott Rudd and Emma Tapper, who came up with the idea after meeting at the University of Liverpool.

Employer of the Year

Sponsored by Bradford BID

Platinum Partnership Solicitors

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The legal practice was launched by Nasreen Karim in 2004.

It offers fast, friendly and efficient legal services for businesses and individuals throughout the UK. Platinum Partnership Solicitors specialises in civil litigation, property, personal injury bankruptcy/ insolvency, debt recovery, family, wills/probate and company/commercial.

Its mission statement says it is “totally dedicated to earn the trust of our clients.

The statement adds: “We will endeavour to engage with our clients through an effective communications process delivering the highest level of care and expertise in a manner that delights our clients beyond their expectations.”

Christeyns

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Christeyns, which has its UK headquarters in Bradford

Christeyns, which has its UK headquarters in Bradford

Christeyns is a successful hygiene chemicals firm with a portfolio including hygiene solutions for professional textile care, food processing and retail, the professional cleaning industry and the medical and life sciences sectors.

The family business has grown to become a significant international player.

Christeyns is renowned for its water and energy savings systems, installing equipment in commercial laundries that can also make use of its detergents that are designed to work at low temperatures.

Schofield Sweeney

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Chris Schofield and Martin Sweeney, founders of Schofield Sweeney

Chris Schofield and Martin Sweeney, founders of Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney is a law firm head-quartered in Bradford. They have become one of the leading legal firms in the region, employing over 150 people and with clients throughout the UK.

The firm continues to lead the way in offering one of the best work/life balances in the legal profession.

With an emphasis on their values of collaboration and empathy, colleagues have a rich environment to fulfil their career ambitions.

They enjoy a busy calendar of social, charitable and inclusivity events ranging from volunteer days and fundraising challenges to receiving free massages and being part of their book club.

A spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have been recognised as a finalist for the Employer of the Year award.

"As a firm, it is important to us that we provide a welcoming, inclusive and caring environment where our colleagues can develop, fulfil their career ambitions and be themselves.”

Social Mobility Award

Sponsored by The University of Bradford

Melrose Interiors

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Melrose Interiors

Melrose Interiors (Image: Other)

Melrose Interiors was formed in 1970 and has recently relocated its office and production facility at Allerton and distribution centre at Hillam Road onto a single site at Park View Mills in Wibsey.

The company’s owner Andy Murphy has been in the carpet industry since taking a Saturday job sweeping floors when he was 13 or 14. He was later given the chance to work at Melrose after failing his O Levels.

He said his own early challenges had inspired him to give other people the opportunity to succeed.

The company has just employed its first neurodiverse student from Shipley College, and it has just hosted students from a number of schools on a design project.

Morrisons

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Morrisons has a strong and long-standing record of improving social mobility, the firm said.

In 2012 it signed up to the Social Mobility Business Compact, the then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s flagship scheme, which aimed to ensure that the best jobs are available to all.

It was congratulated by Mr Clegg, as one of the leading companies opening their doors to young people from all walks of life.

In 2017 the supermarket chain was recognised by the Social Mobility Employer Index as one of the 10 best UK employers for improving social mobility among staff.

In 2019 it was the highest ranking retailer for promoting social mobility, according to the Social Mobility Foundation.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: 'This is a group of individuals who have worked together to design and deliver an apprenticeship model which widens participation of apprenticeships'

'This is a group of individuals who have worked together to design and deliver an apprenticeship model which widens participation of apprenticeships' (Image: BTHFT)

A spokesperson for the hospital trust said: “This is a group of individuals who have worked together to design and deliver an apprenticeship model which widens participation of apprenticeships within Bradford leading on to sustained employment with clear progression routes.

“Bradford College and Bradford Teaching Hospitals has a clear mission of opening up careers within Health Care for those with the characteristics and attributes required by the trust, but potentially not the qualifications to open the doors to employment.

"Both organisations are fully committed to equality and diversity and champion inclusion both as an employer, training provider and a service provider.”

Health and Wellbeing Award

Sponsored by Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership

Bradford Cedar Court Hotel

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

In late 2019, Cedar Court Hotels restructured its HR team, focusing on talent culture and wellbeing.

This included team based events, an Employee Assistance Program, and employee benefits - including an Employee recognition system and a birthday holiday.

Cedar Court Hotels also promotes a Random Act of Kindness culture and partnerships with local charities.

Efforts include team development and mental health training, responding to post-COVID challenges, free financial planning, interest-free loans, cost of living adjustments, and cooking seminars. These initiatives have been particularly successful at Cedar Court Hotels Bradford.

ACS Group

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

ACS Group describes itself as a “people business” and says it stops at nothing to recognise, nurture and reward its staff.

This year it was shortlisted for a UK Company Culture Award. The business says it genuinely believes in looking after its staff and their wellbeing.

It aims to create a “positive impact from the inside out”.

Commercial manager Harry Stevenson said: "Our commitment to prioritising our staff members’ wellbeing has always been important to us, so it is great to be recognised in this category - and even better that it is a local award."

Christeyns

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Hygiene chemicals firm Christeyns is renowned for its water and energy savings systems, installing equipment in commercial laundries that can also make use of its detergents that are designed to work at low temperatures.

A spokesperson for Christeyns said: “We are delighted to be recognised as a finalist. We are a family business where employees are cared for, valued, and supported, and we work hard to assure this. This recognition demonstrates our commitment to ensure our workplace is a great place to work."

Creative Business of the Year

Sponsored by Exceed Events & Concepts

Looney Golf

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Loony Golf prepares to open in Bradford a low light UV lit crazy golf experience built inside the former Boyes Store.

This popular leisure business in Bradford City Centre celebrated its first anniversary last year. The unique indoor mini-golf experience was opened by Norris Royal and Raja Yasin. In the summer of 2022 it temporarily closed its doors for a refresh, and welcomed customers back with added features, such as Crazy Targets. Looney Golf and Crazy Targets are based on North Parade in the former Boyes department store.




Northern Fortress Films

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ruth & Safiya

Ruth & Safiya (Image: Louisa Rose Mackleston)

Northern Fortress Films is an inclusive, independent production company focused on telling stories with a socially relevant narrative in both a drama and documentary format. Alongside creating award-winning films for organisations such as UNESCO and the NHS, they also have an impressive social-change background, winning awards for their work on promoting diversity and representation in the film industry.

Most recently, they launched We’re Rolling - Bradford Young Filmmakers Challenge in partnership with SkillsHouse, a scheme designed to help young people in Bradford take their first steps towards a career in the screen industries.

A spokesperson for Northern Fortress Films said: “We are absolutely delighted to be nominated for this award, the T&A have supported us right from the start when our film Ruth & Safiya was released.”

Bloomin Buds

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company with their Outstanding Arts and Cultural award

The Bloomin’ Buds Theatre Company with their Outstanding Arts and Cultural award

Katie Mahon launched Bloomin Buds in 2014 and made it her mission to increase access to opportunity and the arts for working class communities.

The theatre company engages with professionals, who are highly experienced within their fields and offers volunteering, intern and academic placements within the professional theatre environment.

It also collects content for its plays by engaging with working class communities.

Its website says: “We are very passionate about the work that we do as we bring voice and empowerment to working class communities while raising awareness for the barriers in place to access to further opportunities.”

Business of the Year

Sponsored by Blacks Solicitors

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Outstanding companies and individuals will become winners in the eleven categories of the Bradford Means Business Awards. And one of those will be given the ultimate accolade of Bradford’s Business of the Year.

The judges all reviewed the winner from the other 11 categories and debated the one business that stood out as the best business of the year. This business will be announced by the category sponsor, Blacks Solicitors on the night.

The ultimate winner will be the company or individual that has made the best overall contribution to business in Bradford. The awards ceremony will be attended by hundreds of the district’s business elite, and it will honour the passion, determination, energy and skill that is needed to succeed.

Comentários


bottom of page