The Yorkshire Fastest 50 2019: Here are the rising stars of the corporate world

TODAY we reveal the businesses which have earned a place in the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 for 2019, the comprehensive list of the region’s fastest-growing companies.

The Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2018 held at Aspire in Leeds.  Jonathan Simpson celebrates with colleagues Suzanne Latimer, Rachel Pease and Andrew Thirkill at  Pure Retirement winners of the Fastest Growing Large Business and Overall winners.  Picture Tony Johnson.
The Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2018 held at Aspire in Leeds. Jonathan Simpson celebrates with colleagues Suzanne Latimer, Rachel Pease and Andrew Thirkill at Pure Retirement winners of the Fastest Growing Large Business and Overall winners. Picture Tony Johnson.

Organised by leading commercial law firm Ward Hadaway and backed by The Yorkshire Post, the list highlights and celebrates the achievements of the profitable, privately-owned companies in the region which have grown their turnover by the largest amount in recent years.

This year’s Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 includes firms from a wide range of sectors. The list includes recruitment companies, food and drink retailers, manufacturers and leaders in the tech sector.

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John Murray, executive partner for Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, said: “We are delighted to present the ninth Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 which once again has produced a diverse mix, but with one common thread, in that they all have a passion to see Yorkshire succeed.

The Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2018. Production Park winners of the Fastest Growing Medium Business L-R Sarah Womack, Toni Tune and Ria Forsyth. Picture Tony Johnson.

“The list demonstrates the sheer variety of companies who are succeeding in growing their businesses, creating jobs and prosperity and attracting investment into the region.

“It is these companies which are the growth drivers of the Yorkshire economy and they deserve the accolades and the attention which being in the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 brings them.

“This year’s list is impressive. All of those listed have consistently grown their businesses over a number of years whilst remaining profitable – something which we can all celebrate.”

The 2019 Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 is compiled using publicly available financial data from Companies House.

The Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2018. Craig Such, Azzure IT, winner of the Fastest Growing Small Business. Picture Tony Johnson.

Following today’s publication of the full A to Z list, the Fastest 50 Awards will take place at Aspire in Leeds on Friday March 22 when the winners will be revealed. Awards will be given to the fastest growing small, medium and large business.

One of these three winners will be named as the overall fastest growing Yorkshire business for 2019.

This year, Richard Hughes, the founder of Manchester investment bank Zeus Capital, will speak at the event.

As a prolific investor, Mr Hughes founded Zeus Capital, a boutique investment bank with offices in London and Manchester.

The Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2018 Picture Tony Johnson.

Zeus provides a full range of corporate finance advice, from fundraising to mergers and acquisitions, and is best known for floating around 30 per cent of all businesses on AIM each year - raising a total of £3.6 billion for clients over the last four years.

Mr Hughes has several significant business interests. He was the majority shareholder of Crawford Healthcare which he acquired for £700,000 nine years ago and which was reported in a national newspaper as being sold for more than £100m in 2018.

He was also a non-executive director and a founder of through the first eight years of its phenomenal growth, leading up to the company’s IPO in 2014, which Zeus handled. Boohoo now has a market capitalisation of around £2.3 billion.

Speaking about his forthcoming appearance, Mr Hughes said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to give the keynote speech at the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards for 2019, which celebrate the success of businesses across the region.

“Yorkshire is a vibrant region and its businesses have seen some considerable achievements over the years to help them become even stronger as a place to live and work.

“The Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 is an excellent way to highlight and celebrate the businesses which are flying the flag for Yorkshire by creating jobs, boosting prosperity and attracting investment into the region. I am really looking forward to attending the awards and finding out which companies are leading lights when it comes to their expansion plans.”

Greg Wright, The Yorkshire Post’s deputy business editor, will also speak at the awards.

He said: “The Yorkshire Fastest 50 celebrates the dynamic entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to Yorkshire.

“We are delighted to have joined forces with Ward Hadaway once again to produce a list of the rising stars of the corporate world.

“Their energy and vision will help to shape the post-Brexit world.”

Here is the Fastest 50 for 2019 in alphabetical order:

Age Partnership, Leeds: Established in 2004, Age Partnership provides a range of financial services for the over 50s. Sister company Pure Retirement also appears in the list.

Alexanders Prestige, Boroughbridge: This car dealership was founded in 2005 by Andrew North and Alexander Brimelow, and is a luxury, sports and 4x4 specialist.

Audio-Technica, Leeds: This Leeds-based company supplies headphones, microphones and turntables.

Awesome Merchandise, Leeds: This will be the second year in a row that Awesome Merchandise appears in the list. The company has been making custom merchandise, all in-house, since 2005 after its founder began making badges to pay his way through university.

Azzure IT, Sheffield: Rated as the UK’s leading SMB Microsoft Dynamics 365 Support Partner, Sheffield-based Azzure IT has won the fastest growing small company award for the last two years. Can they make it third time lucky?

Bee Health, Bridlington: Established in 1992, Bee Health is one of the UK’s leading vitamin, mineral and supplement manufacturers.

Beechwood Leisure, Thirsk: Returning to the Fastest 50 list for the second year in a row is this family-owned and run used caravan dealership which was established in 1992.

Bennett Potatoes, Brigg: A potato supplier to the catering, wholesale and export markets.

Berkeley DeVeer, Wetherby: This family-owned business prides itself on being able to operate like a large housebuilder, whilst offering customers the service usually associated with much smaller developers.

BJSS Limited, Leeds: Established in 1993, BJSS Limited is an IT and business consultancy based in Leeds with offices in Manchester, Bristol, Nottingham and now New York. They last appeared in the Fastest 50 list in 2014.

Boston Energy, Beverley: Boston Energy supply manpower, equipment, engineering support, inspections, training and partnerships to the energy sector.

Broadland Properties Limited, Scarborough: Chaired by chartered Surveyor John Guthrie, Broadland Properties has a range of interests around the country including agricultural and sporting estates, and commercial premises and developments.

BTL Group Limited, Shipley: BTL Group’s assessment platform Surpass is used internationally to create, deliver and mark over three million computer-based tests every year.

Carver Engineering Services, Doncaster: Established over 20 years ago, Carver Engineering Services specialises in the manufacture of bespoke steelwork for the mining, rail, oil and gas industries.

Castle Employment, Scarborough: This will be the third year in a row Scarborough-based recruitment company Castle Employment has made the Fastest 50 list. The company opened its York office at the end of 2018.

CK Foods (Processing) Ltd, Hull: Founded by Omar and Abbas Bhamji in 2000, family-owned CK Foods produces pizza cheese, dairy products and Halal chicken finger foods.

Community Partners, Halifax: This Halifax-based company manages sponsorship opportunities for councils, local businesses and the local community via roundabouts, lamp-posts and banners.

Consult Search & Selection, Sheffield: Recruiters of commercial and clinical roles within the dental, audiology, medical devices, animal health and scientific markets. The company has made the Fastest 50 list for the second year in a row.

Galaxy Insulation and Dry Lining (Holdings) Limited, Sheffield: A recent management buy-out has seen the four separate Galaxy businesses combine into a single entity distributing insulation and dry lining products. It also has offices in Leeds, Haydock and Birmingham.

HECK!, Kirklington: From a farm in Kirklington, HECK! co-founders Debbie and Andrew Keeble and the team produce a range of sausages and burgers sold in supermarkets and via their own online shop.

Hisense UK Limited, Leeds: Hisense UK were named Yorkshire’s fastest growing company overall in 2017 and finished in second place last year. The company is an electronics and consumer goods manufacturer with products including TVs, refrigerators, freezers, tablet computers and mobile phones.

J Rotherham, York: J Rotherham is another company retaining its place in the Fastest 50 list for a second year. It is a specialist stone masons, offering stone fireplaces, kitchen worktops and architectural and designer stonework.

JBG Holdings Limited, Halifax: Holding company for a number of Cash Convertor franchises throughout the North of England.

Logical Personnel Solutions, Leeds: This Leeds-based recruitment company returns to the Fastest 50 list for a second time. Founded in 2006, the business has diversified over the years into the construction, facilities management, logistics, manufacturing, training, fleet solutions and energy and process markets.

Motordepot, Hessle: Headquartered in Hessle with showrooms across Yorkshire and beyond, this used car dealership was established in 2001.

Omega Security Systems, Bradford: Omega Security Systems has been operating for more than 25 years specialising in the design, supply, installation and maintenance of commercial security systems for organisations.

Pacy and Wheatley, Doncaster: Celebrating its 50th anniversary, construction company Pacey and Wheatley’s clients include KFC, Costa Coffee, Hilton Hotels, Carphone Warehouse and Domino’s Pizza.

Peter Ward Homes, Beverley: This Beverley-based housebuilder returns to the list for a second year in a row.

Portland Investment Group, Sheffield: This holding company operates Portland Training, Payco Services, My Job Hub and Dutton Recruitment.

Pricecheck, Sheffield: Established in 1978, Pricecheck is a second-generation, family-owned business. The wholesaler also appeared in the Fastest 50 list in 2012 and 2011.

Project:ff&e, Halifax: Founded in 2010, Project:ff&e is a leading supplier of furniture, fittings and equipment to the hotels, care homes, student accommodation, schools, and the private rental sector.

Pure Retirement, Leeds: Equity release advisers Pure Retirement were named last year’s fastest growing large and overall business. The company is joined on the 2019 Fastest 50 list by sister company Age Partnership.

r2c Online, Sheffield: This automotive fleet software company was founded in 2003 and offers a range of services to clients including Avon Fire & Rescue, B&M and Co-op.

Redline Specialist Cars, Knaresborough: Used car dealership Redline stocks a range of Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Land Rovers, Porsches, Bentleys, Mercedes, Audis and BMWs. The company was ranked 18th in last year’s list.

RF Landscape Products, Whitley: Importers and distributors of a range of stone products including natural stone paving slabs, external porcelain, railway sleepers and interior tiles.

RW Refrigeration Wholesale, Leeds: This independent wholesaler of air-conditioning and refrigeration products stocks 6,000 products in its 14 branches around the country.

Scan-Thors (UK) Limited, Keighley: Finishing 9th last year, this mail-order wholesale business is another Fastest 50 returnee.

SDH Project Services Ltd, Brighouse: Formed in 2001, this telecommunications business offers its clients a range of services including copper and fibre networks, oil and gas infrastructures, managed services, consultancy and design. It also offers installation and commissioning services to companies that don’t wish to work in hostile environments.

Sherwood Restaurants Ltd, Doncaster: This McDonald’s franchise operates a number of restaurants including one in The Dome Leisure Park in Doncaster.

Sigma, Castleford: Sigma makes it a hat-trick of appearances in the Fastest 50 list this year. The company has over 20 years’ experience of delivering store fit-outs to clients including ASDA, Footlocker and The Works.

Sigmat, Skipton: Formed in 2001, Sigmat design, manufacture and build load bearing light gauge steel framed structures. It has appeared in the Fastest 50 list twice before, in 2018 and 2014.

SmartSearch, Leeds: This company provides anti money laundering searches and verifications to law firms, accountancy practices, estate agents, financial advisors, banks, insurers and stockbrokers. It also appeared in last year’s Fastest 50 list.

Styrene Packaging & Insulation, Bradford: Formed in 1976, this Bradford-based company manufactures insulation products for building interiors, exteriors, floors, roofs and civil engineering applications. It last appeared in the Fastest 50 list in 2016.

The Ashcourt Group, Hull: From its inception in 1996 as a student accommodation provider, this Hull-based company now also has divisions in aggregates, civil engineering, plant hire, construction, concrete, highways, logistics, fuels, waste management, software and homes.

Torsion Group, Leeds: This independent development and construction company builds student accommodation, care homes and housing. With its HQ in Leeds, the company also has offices in Manchester and Coventry.

Trust Care Ltd, Doncaster: With headquarters in Doncaster, Trust Care operates seven care homes around Yorkshire.

Ultimate (Commercial Interiors) Ltd, Silsden: A design, fit-out and refurbishment company working with offices, the hotel and leisure sector, schools, colleges and universities and also public and private healthcare providers.

Verona, Leeds: Another company returning to the Fastest 50 list for the second year in a row, Verona was established in 1999 and distributes tiles and mosaics in natural stone, glass, porcelain and ceramic.

Wilsons Furnishers (Holdings) Limited, Wath-upon-Dearne: With its headquarters just outside Rotherham, this stockist of carpets, rugs and flooring has 16 shops across South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. It also appeared in last year’s list.

Woodhouse (Lund) Ltd, Lund: This family-run business is headed by Jonathan Walker and builds bespoke properties around East Yorkshire.

The companies in this list have been selected from the table of fastest growing profit-making, private, regional companies, based on turnover growth.

Information has been compiled using data which is publicly available at Companies House of UK-listed companies before being independently verified.

The average turnover growth has been assessed on a percentage increase based on the difference between turnover figures filed for the last three years.

To qualify, companies must be trading entities and have turnover in excess of £1m in the last three years of filed accounts, which are up to date as at 30 November 2018. Companies must also have made profits in each of the past three years’ accounts and must have filed new accounts since last year’s Fastest 50.

Private limited companies which are subsidiaries of listed companies do not qualify. Subsidiaries of foreign-controlled companies have been accepted if they have headquarters or a decision-making function in the region.

Ward Hadaway and The Yorkshire Post do not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.