Mechanical seals company AESSEAL won the top prize at last night's Made in Sheffield Awards, beating fierce competition from other local companies including Gripple, Thomas Flinn & Co, Firth Rixson, Mechan.
The company was presented with the Made in Sheffield Award in front of more than 300 of the city region’s manufacturers. The event was held at the Cutlers Hall, the original home of The Cutlers’ Company which played an integral role both in the expansion of the major local industries of cutlery and metalworking.
Hosted by BBC Radio 4’s Justin Webb, attendees were also addressed by Dr Karl Kohler, chief executive and managing director of Tata Steel Europe, and Richard Caborn, the former Labour MP for Sheffield.
The event also raised money for the Work Wise programme which has been developed in partnership with a number of manufacturing and engineering companies in response to concerns that not enough young people are attracted to the sector as well as not having the basic work ready skills to take up apprenticeships and jobs.
A total of six awards were presented on the night – full list of winners are listed below:
Made in Sheffield Award
The judges were full of praise for AESSEAL. They noted its phenomenal and consistent growth, along with its firm commitment to the Sheffield city region. They also highlighted its customer service and innovation and how it encourages people development at all levels of the organisation. In summary, they said it was “everything that makes a good company a great company”.
Sponsored by: DLA Piper
Shortlisted: Gripple, Thomas Flinn & Co, Firth Rixson, Mechan
Apprentice of the Year Award
Winner: Luke Thickett, Newburgh Engineering
Thickett was described by the judges as someone who had “over-achieved at a young age”. They were particularly impressed that he had been trusted with the high profile Bloodhound project, and has accepted responsibility for it and delivered consistently.
Sponsored by: The P&A Group of Companies
Shortlisted: Dan Poultney, Kostal; Rosie Wainwright, Firth Rixson
Winner: Sheffield Precision Medical
Highly Commended: Bag It Don’t Bin It
The judges said this company typified everything that Made in Sheffield is about. Importantly, they noted that its work was helping the Sheffield city region towards its stated ambition of being a national hub for the healthcare industry.
Sponsored by: Barber Harrison and Platt
Investment in People Award
Winner: Newburgh Engineering
The judges said that Newburgh Engineering has invested in people over a period of time with a consistent and dedicated approach. They noted that it wasn’t just about apprentices – the culture goes right through to the management with a “total commitment to personnel development” that is “part of their DNA”.
Sponsored by: Brewster McBride
Shortlisted: Bag It Don’t Bin It, Tata Steel, Durham Duplex, Firth Rixson
Exporter of the Year Award
Our judges said this “driven” business was a good example of how a small business can develop by exporting and not relying on domestic trade. They said a proactive and personal approach from management made it a standard bearer for small businesses.
Sponsored by: Barclays
Shortlisted: AESSEAL, Sizer, ELG Carrs, William Beckett Plastics
The judges said that Kostal had “deep seated innovation” and a “total commitment to innovation throughout the company”. They noted that their entry demonstrated that they had not only innovated but commercially exploited their innovation.
Sponsored by: Sheffield Hallam University
Shortlisted: Gripple, EMSc UK, LabLogic