Businesses in line for the top honour

Outstanding: Chamber executive director Richard Wright, second right, presents the Outstanding Business of the Year Award to ESCO Hydra (UK).
Outstanding: Chamber executive director Richard Wright, second right, presents the Outstanding Business of the Year Award to ESCO Hydra (UK).
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AWARDS season is here, and The Star is celebrating with a new honour that hails the best of the best in the city region.

Every year the region’s four chambers of commerce announce their ‘business of the year’.

This year The Star is introducing the Sheffield City Region Business of the Year award drawn from that illustrious shortlist.

They are:

Inspirepac: Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce.

George Cowcher, chief executive of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber, said: “Inspirepac was the worthy winner of the Business of the Year award, for the second year running, in 2011.

“Once again, the company demonstrated a significant increase in turnover and profit, a firm commitment to staff development, a sound knowledge of the marketplace in which it operates and a creative and innovative approach to providing solutions for its client base.

“Inspirepac also has an ambitious but coherent strategy for future growth and this continuous drive and determination to succeed is embedded within the company’s culture, which has enabled it to become the UK’s major independent packaging force. It is a great example of a company which has local roots but a significant national presence.”

Esco Hydra: Sheffield Chamber of Commerce

Over the last 10 years the company has become a world leading supplier of mining cutting systems after expanding into new international markets.

Now overseas sales represent 74 per cent of total sales, in 2011 alone they jumped 50 per cent on the previous year to £13m, and the firm posted record sales and profits from 2008 to 2011.

The firm now has an established presence in China, Australia and America and tries to set standards in technology, product quality and customer service. The company also won Sheffield Chamber’s International Trade and Outstanding awards last year.

Road to Recovery: Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce

Road to Recovery offers a range of products that save money for consumers, including PAYG and low-cost subscription vehicle breakdown cover and excess insurance products.

RTR continues to add products to its portfolio, including what is claimed to be the cheapest subscription-based breakdown cover in the UK.

They are targeted at everyday consumers looking to cut costs in areas they most begrudge spending money and were developed by entrepreneur MD Paul Hoyle.

In doing so he takes on some of the largest multi-national corporations – and thrives.

Doncaster Racecourse: over £3m turnover category - Doncaster Chamber of Commerce

Doncaster Racecourse and Exhibition Centre is known primarily as one the UK’s most prestigious horse racing venues but it also hosts high-profile music concerts.

It is an economic driver in its own right for the town. Research from 2010 showed it contributed more than £40m to its economy in one year alone.

The venue has maintained a strong position in the racing and impressive growth in the ‘non-racing’ side. Some 70 per cent of the team are Doncaster residents.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park: under £3m turnover - Doncaster Chamber of Commerce

The park opened in 2009 as a unique concept – a walkthrough safari park.

It has enjoyed outstanding growth but publicity around its rescue of lions from an east European zoo created national awareness for the park the town.

It has brought pleasure and education to more than 500,000 visitors, engaged and inspired the local community and is fulfilling an important conservation role.