Edge Hill University’s SME Productivity & Innovation Centre (SME PIC) celebrated the success of regional SMEs at its annual NW SME Growth & Innovation Awards 2022, with local winner Blackpool Grand Theatre Ltd winning the Leadership for Growth Award.
The SMEs were all invited to enter the prestigious awards which celebrate the growth and innovation success of businesses from across the North West at the black-tie event at the Waterfront Southport Hotel.
The shortlisted SMEs entered the awards hoping to win one of six categories that required the businesses to demonstrate impact and success in product and service innovation, leadership, job and skills creation and adoption of new technology.
Director of SME PIC Professor Simon Bolton said: “The awards are a great opportunity for the SMEs that we have worked with to demonstrate their business success and showcase the impact. The work we do with businesses is pivotal to the development of highly-skilled job opportunities for our students and supporting academic knowledge exchange. Well done to all the shortlisted SMEs and winners.”
Joining the celebrations were Janice Mears, Head of Business Growth at the Growth Platform- Liverpool City Region Growth Company, Gillian Hodgkinson and Lisa Ratican from West Lancashire Council and Dr Joanne Leek from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Head of Business Growth at Growth Platform Janice Mears said: “It is fantastic to see so many SMEs from across the North West being recognised for their growth and scale up potential. The Edge Hill University SME Productivity & Innovation Centre is a key component of our LCR High Growth Programme that has been designed to help innovative ambitious businesses sustain and grow. SME businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and, through partnerships such as this, we are ensuring that Liverpool City Region is a great place to grow your business.”
The full award winners were:
Leadership for Growth Award
Winner: Blackpool Grand Theatre Ltd.
Highly Commended: Bright Engineering Ltd., Grow Traffic Ltd.
Skills for Growth Award
Winner: Markland Hill Wealth
Highly Commended: Red Rose Recovery Lancashire, Think Tank Academy
Technology Innovation Award
Winner: J Wareing and Son (Wrea Green) Ltd.
Highly Commended: Home Instead Chorley & West Lancashire, Panaz Ltd.
Product Innovation Award
Winner: Inovus Medical Ltd
Highly Commended: SolidTek Ltd., Wolfenden Concrete Ltd.
Service Innovation Award
Winner: Quality Teaching Staff
Highly Commended: Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing, School of Sign Language
Growth Strategy Award
Winner: Bright Engineering Ltd.
Highly Commended: The Progress Group, Reachout ASC
The Outstanding Achievement award was chosen by the judges and awarded to The Progress Group from Liverpool. The ground-breaking business enrols and educates ‘non-attender’ learners, providing a life-changing alternative to traditional education for anyone who can’t attend a physical school site by using a state-of-the-art multi-disciplinary software ecosystem.
Progress Group CEO Jayne Worthington said: “We are elated with our success at the NW SME Growth & Innovation Awards. Receiving a Highly Commended Award in our category for Growth Strategy was amazing. To then be awarded the Outstanding Achievement was an absolute shock and we are very grateful to Edge Hill for the recognition. We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the Edge Hill team who worked with us. You have been fantastic, patient and generous with your time and guidance on this journey with us.”
More information about Edge Hill University’s sector-leading SME PIC can be found on its webpage.
(The SME Productivity & Innovation Centre is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund)