Revealed: The shortlist for the Excellence in Business Awards 2018

From established business giants to the most exciting and innovative new companies, the great and good of Yorkshire's business community is represented in the full shortlisting for this year's Excellence in Business Awards.

Date: 2nd November 2017. Picture James Hardisty. The Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards, held at Royal Armouries and The New Dock, Leeds. Pictured The award winners celebrating on stage after the ceremony.

Production Park, Skipton Building Society and Heald lead the way in this year’s list with three nominations apiece.

Elsewhere, Harrison Spinks, NG Bailey and Sewtec boast two nominations each.

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They join a plethora of companies large and small who made the shortlist following a five-hour judging session conducted at the offices of The Yorkshire Post.

The winners will be unveiled in a glittering ceremony on Thursday, November 1 at York’s National Railway Museum.

BBC Breakfast and Watchdog broadcaster Steph McGovern, inset, is set to return as this year’s presenter and the keynote speech will be delivered by Sir Keir Starmer, shadow Brexit secretary.

The judging panel was made up of Juliette Healey, Yorkshire agent for the Bank of England, DLA Piper managing partner of the Leeds office, Allison Page, senior business development manager with Grant Thornton, Andrew Devonald, Mark Thundercliffe, group chief risk officer, Yorkshire Bank, Richard Emmott, director of communications at Yorkshire Water and Sally Johnson, marketing and business development manager at DLA Piper.

It was chaired by Mark Casci, business editor of The Yorkshire Post.

The Judging of the Excellence in Business Awards at Yorkshire Post, Whitehall Road, Leeds..10th September 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Mark Casci, said: “In my three years of chairing this process I am continually astounded by the standard of entries we receive.

“This year was extremely popular, the second highest level of entries in its history.

“The judges and I had our work cut out for us but came away convinced that the Yorkshire economy is performing at a high level and entering an exciting new chapter.

“As ever I am tremendously grateful to our sponsors for their peerless support and knowledge. See you all on November 1.”

The Judging of the Excellence in Business Awards at Yorkshire Post, Whitehall Road, Leeds..10th September 2018 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Ms Page said: “We have had a huge volume of entrants this year, many of them first timer entrances to this category (turnover of more than £50m).

“The businesses that we have entered come from right across the region, covering many business sectors, some of which are old traditional businesses using innovative techniques to bring themselves to the market.

“The five shortlisted businesses are all very worthy of being in this category and I am sure you will all enjoy reading more about them.”

Mr Devonald said: “This is our second year sponsoring The Yorkshire Post’s Excellence in Business Award and it has not disappointed.

Steph McGovern

“We have had a really interesting mix of businesses across the sectors, all outstanding in their own right.

“I lost count of the amount of times that I came out to a business last year and left thinking ‘I have met the winner’.

“Then we really did meet the winner, and it really stood out from the crowd.

“You really only get to meet a business like this every couple of years, its growth potential is enormous.”

Mr Emmott said: “It has been fascinating judging the awards for this year’, not just overall but in all of the categories.

“Some were very traditional and some more contemporary in terms of data science and analytics.”

Juliette Healey, Yorkshire agent for the Bank of England, said: “These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate everything that is best about businesses in Yorkshire.

“This year saw an amazing array of businesses across different sectors.”

Mr Thundercliffe said: “We saw great examples of continued strengthening of businesses and innovation.

“There are also so many companies looking to give back to Yorkshire.”

The main sponsors for this year’s awards are DLA Piper, Grant Thornton, Yorkshire Bank and Yorkshire Water.

Associate sponsors are York Science Park, ENGIE, Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Office Monster, Leeds Beckett and Sky Betting and Gaming.

This year’s full shortlist is:

Turnover of more than £50m (sponsored by DLA Piper):

Skipton Building Society

Harrison Spinks

Willerby Homes


NG Bailey

Turnover of between £10m and £50m (Grant Thornton):

Production Park




Smith Brothers

Turnover of up to £10m (Yorkshire Bank):


Sent into Space

Malton Laser

Big Change

Azzure IT

Innovation (Yorkshire Water):



Production Park



Outstanding Employer:



NG Bailey


Skipton Building Society

Apprenticeships (Engie):

Hethertons Solicitors

Blue Logic


First Bus


Commercial Space (Doncaster Sheffield Airport):

Muse Developments

Yorkshire Events Centre

Production Park


Evoke Media Group

GPS Return

Skipton Building Society

Mansfield Pollard

Entrepreneur (Leeds Beckett University):

Michael Szlas – OTTY

Jo Fleming – Yorkshire Staffing Services

Martin Port – Big Change

Tom Marley – The Car Buying Group

Geoff Shepherd – iSource



M2r Education




Young Business of the Year (York Science Park):

Clearly Scrumptious


illk homes

Lovebomb Cushions

Carbuying Group


Shine (w)

Leadership Award (Office Monster):

Paul Parkinson – Synergy Automotive

Joanna Robinson – Mansfield Pollard

Peter Munk – Willerby Homes

Debbie Heald – Heald

Technology Award (Sky Bet):

ay - pe

Equiniti Credit Services

Harrison Spinks

The Technology Group