Altrincham business leaders toasted at Chamber of Commerce awards

Business success was celebrated in style last night as Altrincham and Sale Chamber of Commerce held its Annual Business Awards.

The black tie event, held at The Cresta Court Hotel in Altrincham, was attended by the area’s top businesses and employees as well as MP for Sale and Altrincham West, Graham Brady.

Greeted with a champagne reception upon arrival there was a friendly atmosphere with both employers and employees excited about the awards ranging from Business of the Year to Young Apprentice of the Year.

Sue Aldridge, Chamber President, said: “After the success of the awards last year, it was vital to continue to recognise the outstanding businesses and the people behind them within our community.

“Tonight is a celebration of our local businesses that have been nominated and voted for an award to recognise that they have achieved excellence in their category.”

AND THE WINNER IS…: Sue Aldridge, Chamber President

Guests enjoyed a three-course meal and could take part in a heads and tails contest and raffle before the awards got underway, hosted by Key 103 presenter Darren Proctor.

Proctor was a great host for the evening and was a natural choice to replace Gordon Burns, retired BBC Northwest Tonight anchor, who had previously hosted the event.

Photographer Martin Hambleton won Small Business of the Year as he has developed a successful business whilst supporting the Chamber for a number of years and works with Start Up Business Services to support other new firms.

Out of all the awards presented on the night though, one in particular struck a chord.

Charity of the Year went to the Alex Hulme Foundation, who are dedicated to helping fund pioneering research in the causes and treatment of Lymphoma.

Set up by parents Dave and Nicola Hulme after the loss of their 12-year-old son Alex to the disease, they have raised more than £165,000 with every penny going towards the research.

The Young Apprentice of the Year recognises young apprentices and is an initiative set up and encouraged by the government to give young people opportunities in the workplace and James Bagnall, 20, was a surprised and worthy winner.

YOU’RE HIRED: James Bagnall won Young Apprentice of the Year

Employee of the Year, Dean Smith, from The Window Company, Business of the Year, told MM: “I am really pleased to win the award.”

“The time and effort that the whole company has put into the work that we do and to the people that we serve…it’s been a privilege…pushing the boundaries and testing myself.”

The Cresta Court, winner of the Leisure and Tourism Award, sponsored by Virgin Atlantic was a fantastic venue for the evening, providing great service and an elegant setting.

It was a great opportunity to promote what the community has to offer, especially after being hit hard by the recession in 2008.

Altrincham in particular has fought hard to remove the stigma of being called a ghost town and it is events like this that help to show solidarity.

GOT YOUR NUMBER: MP for Sale and Altrincham West, Graham Brady

Graham Brady MP said: “I hope that by promoting economic growth and the sensible steps taken by Trafford Council will mean that the prospects for Altrincham are positive.”

List of winners

Small Business of the Year – Martin Hambleton Photography

Start Up Business of the Year – Trafford Business Connect Magazine

Retailer of the Year – The Zip Yard

Property Team of the Year – Bridging Finance

Young Apprentice of the Year – James Bagnall

Provider of Professional Services – Slater Heelis

Leisure and Tourism – The Cresta Court Hotel

Charity of the Year – Alex Hulme Foundation

Employee of the Year – Dean Smith, The Window Company

Business of the Year – The Window Company

Images courtesy of Altrincham & Sale Chamber of Commerce, with thanks

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