Sheffield firms see big success after business award wins

Paul Devlin, finance director of Fletchers Group of Bakeries, Sheffield.
Paul Devlin, finance director of Fletchers Group of Bakeries, Sheffield.
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A look back at last year’s Sheffield Business Award winners reveals it to be a very successful club indeed.

Just a month after liquid cooling tech company Iceotope won the design and innovation award, it bagged £6.1m of funding to take it to the next level.

Stephen Williams, of sponsor Sheffield Chamber, with Danni Ward of Icetope, design winner at the Sheffield Business Awards.

Stephen Williams, of sponsor Sheffield Chamber, with Danni Ward of Icetope, design winner at the Sheffield Business Awards.

At the time founder Peter Hopton said it should double the company in size from 16 to more than 30 employees.

Iceotope’s patented liquid cooling system can halve datacentre energy usage. The firm, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, is targeting the $250bn global datacentre industry.

Later in the year, manufacturing award winner Fletchers Bakeries was sold in a £56 million deal.

The firm, based at Wadsley Bridge, was bought by Cardiff company Finsbury Food. Fletchers employs just over 600 staff and also has plants in Manchester and London.

Lee Bhandal, left, (Managing Partner of Parkinson Lee Executive Search) and Greg Parkinson (Group Managing Director of Elevation Recruitment Group).

Lee Bhandal, left, (Managing Partner of Parkinson Lee Executive Search) and Greg Parkinson (Group Managing Director of Elevation Recruitment Group).

It was founded in the city in 1895 by George Henry Fletcher and generations of Sheffielders knew its advertising slogan, ‘Better Fetch a Fletcher’s Loaf’.

The company was devastated by a disastrous fire at its Claywheels Lane site in 2006 which destroyed 40 per cent of production capacity.

But it bounced back with a new £7 million plant last year with two state-of-the-art production lines.

The new enlarged company will employ 3,000 people and will be one of the biggest of its kind in the country with sales worth £300 million a year.

Fletchers managing director Stephen Holding said: “Fletchers has undergone a significant transformation since 2007, and I am very proud of the hard work and dedication of our colleagues which has made the company what it is today. This is an exciting next step and I’m looking forward to the future.”

It wasn’t just the award winners who thrived in the last 11 months.

Headline sponsor last year - and this - Elevation Recruitment was bought out by directors Greg Parkinson and Lee Bhandal in a six-figure deal.

Formerly part of the Horbury Group, it has an annual turnover of £4m, and employs more than 45 people in eight divisions. The firm is based in Rotherham and Leeds.

Greg Parkinson, managing director of Elevation Consultancy Group, said they had plans to expand and launch a new business called Parkinson Lee Executive Search.

He added: “Lee and I are proud to say that the business has grown rapidly since it was established in 2010, and it is right that we 
now look to further expand the services we offer.”

Business awards 2014 are nearly here

The business event of the year is almost here - and it promises to be a very rewarding evening for some.

The Sheffield Business Awards will honour the best in 14 categories, plus one overall winner, at a glittering gala ceremony hosted by television star Charlie Webster.

It promises a mix of delicious food, 800 people offering great networking opportunities, entertainment and, above all, a celebration of success.

Held on Thursday, December 4, the doors open at 7pm for a sparkling drinks reception until 7.45pm, when guests are called through for a five-course meal, entertainment and of course, the award ceremony itself.

Winners are automatically entered into the Sheffield City Region Awards in summer 2015, at which the competition heats up as winners from each category of the Sheffield, Barnsley & Rotherham, Derbyshire and Doncaster awards go head-to-head to be crowned first among winners.

To buy tickets go to sheffieldbusinessawards.org.uk