”An interesting year.”
That was how Barnsley and Rotherham chamber chief Andrew Denniff wryly referred to the sex abuse scandal which recently rocked Rotherham in his speech at the annual business awards.
He told an aduience of 570 at Barnsley Metrodome: “It would be remiss to not pause and reflect on some of the challenges that Barnsley and Rotherham have had to face up to during the past few months.
“In Rotherham, as we all know, there have been very different issues to confront and I know we have to recognise the challenge that still lies ahead for Rotherham to restore pride and change perceptions. All of us within the business community must work together to achieve this.”
He told the largest ever audience at a Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber dinner, that “an economic and regeneration challenge in Barnsley has been met head on with a reinvigorated approach to the town centre, with new buildings and major investment in place to drive forward a comprehensive package of improvements.”
“We cannot dwell too long on the past though. Tonight will be a reflection of the vibrancy, optimism and confidence that we can sense from business looking forward to the future.”
Rotherham manufacturer and recycling company, Roy Hatfield Limited took the top prize.
The family firm which specialises in the removal and recyling of waste from heavy industry walked away with the RBS Business of the Year trophy.
The achievement followed the company’s earlier success in the Wosskow Brown Solicitors Business Growth Award.
Company directors, Grant and Mark Hatfield said: “It really is an honour to be recognised by our local chamber during these awards. We are extremely proud.”
The Solar Europa Most Promising New Business Award was won by Remember the Date - an online personalised greeting card company.
Self-described chief envelope licker Lauren Nicholson said: “Winning has been fantastic for Remember the Date and potentially a life changing experience.
“The award has meant that the company will be able to move forward with plans for expansion and enter new markets such a B2B sales as well as PR opportunities that wouldn’t have been available without the Chamber.”
This year’s ceremony was hosted by former international referee Howard Webb. Held at the Metrodome for the first time, it was sold out three weeks prior to the event.