Head office outside Greater Manchester
Porcelanosa is a manufacturing company that has demonstrated perseverance ever since it was founded. Originally started by a family of orange growers, the company began as a tile manufacturer - and has since expanded to provide a range of products - including varied tiles, grouts, flooring and full kitchens among others. Despite the obstacles of the pandemic, Porcelanosa was able to grow during 2021, diversifying its range and achieving success against the odds.
The Senator Group
Founded in 1976, The Senator Group is the UK’s largest manufacturer of office furniture. The business has a range of more than 200 products, and produces over 20,000 items a week - with operations in Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and the Americas among other locations. With a head office in Lancashire, Senator also produces a large amount of its products in the north west of England - and runs a recycling plant that has helped it become zero-to-landfill.
Shoosmiths is a legal practice that offers services in the corporate, business advisory, real estate and personal advisory sectors. Shoosmith’s commitment to hard work and innovation has helped establish it as a reliable law firm in the north - and helped it continue to grow even during the pandemic. The business took on 60 new employees between October 2020 and 2021, and reported a 9% increase in revenue and 31% increase in net profit for the 2020/21 period.
Network Plus provides essential utilities and infrastructure services to a range of industries across the UK. Working in the water, power, gas and local infrastructure industries, the business carries out maintenance, repairs, civil engineering and other services that ensure these industries are kept running. During the pandemic, Network was able to adapt to a difficult situation and succeed - raising its number of employees to 3,200 and increasing turnover by 30% between 2020/2021
Founded in 1997, Ultimate Products designs and creates high quality products for the home, before selling them to retailers. With customers including Argos, TkMaxx, Tesco and Wilko, Ultimate Products works with more than 300 retailers in 37 countries, supplying to businesses of all types. Despite its global reach, Ultimate Products has maintained a local presence - with a head office and two warehouses in Oldham.
The Vita Group
With more than 70 years experience, The Vita Group is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of flexible polyurethane foam solutions. Employing more than 2,700 people in 15 countries, Vita Group provides products for comfort, flooring and technical industries. During the pandemic, the resilience and innovation of Vita Group’s employees meant that it was able to beat its earnings for 2019 in 2020.
Turnover £40m - £100m
Aptus Utilities Ltd
Aptus Utilities is a business that provides utilities solutions to residential, commercial and industrial developments. Handling every part of the process, Aptus designs, creates and installs gas, water, electricity and fibre utilities among others - as single utilities or multi-utility packages. Aptus has gone from strength to strength even during the pandemic - winning 328 contracts in 2021, up from 297 in 2020 - and making it onto the London Stock Exchange Group’s '1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain' list for the fourth time in 2020.
Oliver Valves Ltd
Founded in 1979 by Michael Oliver, Oliver Valves Ltd provides high-quality valves made from a range of materials, to suit a range of different purposes. For 40 years the company has dedicated itself to quality and innovation - and now provides around 8,000-9,000 different types of valve to some of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies.
Founded in 2002, Sellick Partnership is a recruitment specialist that works with organisations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. With seven offices nationwide, the business provides recruitment in legal, finance, housing and IT industries just to name a few. Sellick’s commitment to clients and employees has seen it named one of the UK’s Best Workplaces™ by Great Place to Work®, and awarded an Investors in People gold standard accreditation.
Turnover £25m - £40m
Flair rugs was founded in 1984, and since then has gone from a small business to a thriving organisation. Today, the business has a turnover of more than £30m, and has been given the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade - as well as making it onto the Sunday Times 'Best Places to Work' list. Part of Flair Rugs’ success is down to its devotion to helping employees grow - with 66% of manager vacancies in the last year filled internally, and development plans created for every member of the team.
PAM Group Ltd
Set up in 2004, PAM Group Ltd is one of the UK’s largest workplace healthcare and wellbeing providers. Offering services in physiotherapy, mental health support, corporate health assessments and wellbeing training among others, PAM currently works with more than one million employees and 1,000 clients. In the face of the pandemic, PAM has continued to succeed - investing £3.2m in a new warehouse, and diversifying its operations through three new acquisitions.
MODA Furnishings is a business dedicated to producing high-quality outdoor furniture that is practical and visually appealing. Though the business had to close its showrooms during the pandemic, and refit offices to be covid safe - it was able to achieve significant successes as well. MODA’s revenue jumped from £15m in 2019 to more than £24m from October 2019/2020, and it also added 50 new jobs alongside a £500,000 expansion of its delivery fleet. This success also saw it ranked 64th on the Sunday Times 2021 list of private companies with the fastest-growing profits over three years.
Turnover £10m - £25m
With 103 employees across two sites near Wigan, Bitrez Ltd is a multi-award-winning manufacturer of synthetic resins and polymers. Providing products to the aerospace, construction and transportation industries among others, Bitrez works with companies in more than 25 countries. The businesses’ awards include the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation, the IChemE Global Food & Drink Award and the Chemicals Northwest Award for Manufacturer of the Year.
Interact Software is a supplier of intranet software, dedicated to helping businesses improve productivity and connect people across the workplace. Based in Manchester, Interact has a global team of 143, with more than 1.8m users of its software around the world. Since starting as a small digital agency in 1997, Interact has continued to grow - and despite the challenges of the pandemic, has achieved a 30% growth in annual recurring revenue for the last five years running.
Rowlinson Knitwear is a business committed to providing personalised schoolwear of the highest quality. Working with independent retailers across the UK, Rowlinson delivered more than 1,000,000 embroidered garments in 2019 alone. Rowlinson is also dedicated to providing a great working environment - being 100% employee-owned, it has also been named the 5th best workplace for women by Great Place to Work® and Employer of the Year three times at the Stockport Business Awards.
Turnover £1m - £10m
Didsbury Gin was founded in 2018, with the aim of creating a range of high-quality gins that reflect the cultural heritage of Didsbury. Since then, Didsbury Gin has gone from a small business to a brand with listings in Selfridges, Aldi and Wetherspoons among other brands. During the pandemic, the business was able to thrive in the face of adversity - increasing sales from £1.339m in 2019 to £3.375m in 2020.
Civic Engineers is a business dedicated to people-centred construction projects that improve an area, and the quality of life for people living there. With four types of services - structural engineering, civil engineering, transport and highways, and built environments - the business has a versatile range of construction projects to offer. Civic engineering has its eyes on the future, with a 22% annual revenue growth for 2021, alongside a nearly 10% growth in employee headcount, and low carbon agenda to ensure its place as a business of the future.
Pioneer Group collaborate with companies to help them work smarter and get the most out of tech. Founded in 2011, the company works with a range of clients - from retailers to sports clubs and even the MoD - providing a wide range of digital and A/V solutions including lighting installation, digital displays and wi-fi installation. Since starting with five employees, Pioneer has since grown to a team of 55 - and despite the pandemic, was able to double its annual turnover in the last year.
Peak AI is a company committed to helping businesses put AI at the centre of their commercial decision making - providing a platform that can be tailored to their specific needs, to get the most out of AI data analysis and decision making. Founded in 2014, the company has gone from a three-man team to a thriving business with more than 180 employees - with offices in Manchester and Jaipur, India. Peak’s dedication to bringing companies into the future has helped it become one of only three UK businesses to gain AWS Machine Learning Competency status.
Turnover under £1m
GreatDrams Ventures Ltd
GreatDrams Ventures Limited started as a whisky blog eight years ago - before moving into the sale of high-quality, limited-edition whisky. The company continues to run a blog for reviews, while selling whisky and providing brand consultancy. During the pandemic, GreatDrams found innovative ways to keep the business going - creating virtual tasting sessions for people around the world, and increasing revenue in the process.
Roland Dransfield is a public relations company that works to help clients form meaningful relationships that allow businesses to flourish. With services in PR and media, digital and social media, public affairs and stakeholder engagement and training, Roland Dransfield has worked with a variety of companies including TalkTalk, Opus North, Deloitte and Oxford Road Corridor.
Unique design by Liam Ltd
Unique Design by Liam Ltd began as an Etsy shop, started in May of 2020. Originally with just one employee - the eponymous Liam - the business now has five, and has moved from Liam’s home workshop to a 2,000 sq ft industrial unit. The business creates bespoke furniture pieces - including radiator covers, outdoor bars, and storage ottomans - and plans to widen its offerings and shipping reach in the near future.
Upturn Enterprise Ltd
Founded in 2004, Upturn Enterprise is a social enterprise that dedicates itself to helping disadvantaged people attain and retain employment. The business has a multi-disciplinary team that has helped more than 8,000 people since the organisation’s founding - including assisting more than 500 people in setting up their own micro-business. Working with businesses and individuals, Upturn strives to improve lives, reduce homelessness, and provide opportunities to those that need them most.
Young Business Person of the Year
Katie McIntosh (The Remedy Kitchen)
Katie McIntosh set up The Remedy Kitchen in 2018 at 24 years old, after spending several years working with women to help improve their health and confidence. Hoping to reach an even wider audience, Katie created The Remedy Kitchen as a restaurant dedicated to making meals with a real nutritional benefit. Gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free, The Remedy Kitchen has racked up 500 five-star reviews since its launch, and has won a Travellers Choice Award for Healthy Dining Venue.
Oliver Plastow (Consensus Workspace)
Oliver Plastow started Consensus Workspace at the age of 21, alongside co-directors Andy Plastow and Paul Thompson. Oliver set up the business because he was passionate about health and wellbeing at work - and wanted to provide workspaces that supported this. Consensus uses ergonomic equipment and sustainable materials to ensure that workspaces are beneficial for both employers and the environment - and since starting Consensus, Oliver has personally delivered more than 500 small work projects alone.
Ayodimeji Sadiq (Vegan Shack)
Ayodimeji Sadiq set up Vegan Shack in 2019, working out of a one-bedroom apartment. Since then, he has taken the business to a location in Piccadilly Gardens, where people are served vegan meals to eat in or take away. Vegan Shack’s aim is to provide people with plant-based fast food that tastes great while preserving the environment.
Thomas Young (TapTrip)
Thomas Young started TapTrip with the aim of making it easier for corporations to book and control their travel. With experience in the travel industry, Thomas has grown the company, from a small team of seven to a team of 24 today. During the pandemic, with business travel severely restricted, Thomas made the bold decision to launch another platform - Vessul. Designed to make travel for marine and energy workers much more efficient, the platform was a huge success, generating almost £1m in revenue for March 2021 alone.
The Mitchell Henry Prize sponsored by LDC and the award for International Trade & Export will be announced at the event.