Who will be the creme de la creme of the region’s business?

Winners of the first Sheffield City Region business awards - July 2013
Winners of the first Sheffield City Region business awards - July 2013

They are already winners, each and every one.

But who are the creme de la creme? On Thursday July 3, we will find out.

Winners of the second annual Sheffield City Region Business Awards will be crowned at a prestigious gala dinner.

Our competition takes the winners from the area’s six biggest business awards - those run by the region’s four Chambers of Commerce, the Derbyshire Times and the Mansfield Chad newspapers - and pits them against each other across 13 categories to find the ‘first among winners’ - the best of the best in the entire Sheffield City Region, an accolade no one could officially lay claim to until our awards were launched last year.

This year’s awards will celebrate the importance of apprentices to the region’s fast growing economy – and the speaker is Nick Hewer, star of hit BBC show The Apprentice. He will be supported by host Clare Frisby of BBC Look North.

The gala presentation evening also offers unparalleled networking opportunities with business leaders from an area stretching from Derbyshire Dales to Doncaster.

For ticket information call Haroldine Lockwood on 07803 505658 or email haroldine.lockwood@jpress.co.uk

The Judges:

One is an award-winning businesswoman, one assesses companies for a living, one was a Government minister and one is responsible for bringing on the next generation - welcome to the City Region Awards judging panel.

The quartet has been handpicked to offer a range of expert views and an independent and regional outlook.

Play Arena founder Sipra Deb, winner of the first City Region ‘businessperson of the year award’ at the event last year, will cast her votes alongside former sports minister Richard Caborn, who has taken up the torch for the city region’s business and is an advisor to the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. He is currently driving plans for a £40m Olympic Legacy Park on the site of Don Valley Stadium.

Fellow judge Ellen Cutler is director of the Inward Investment Team at Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and Keith Starr is assistant principal at The Sheffield College, an institution with a leading role in closing the skills gap and firing business growth in the region, which returns as headline sponsor this year.

College back as sponsor

The City Region Business Awards have been given a major endorsement by the return of The Sheffield College as headline sponsors.

The largest training provider in the city, the college plays a pivotal role in supporting businesses through academic, vocational and professional training and enables the next generation of young people to succeed. Its economic contribution to the city is worth £321 million annually.

Other leading companies sponsoring the awards include Doncaster Airport, law firm Taylor and Emmett and MADE the Entrepreneur Festival.

Barnsley Chamber of Commerce, Donbac, Inmotion, Ogilvie Fleet, Napoleon’s Casino, CVC Events, Brinsworth Academy and Mercury Taxis are also on board.

She was the dazzling entrepreneur hailed ‘Business Person of the Year’ at the first City Region Business Awards last year.

As we gear up for the second year of the contest, Sipra Deb – one of this year’s judges – founded the Play Arena, on Little London Road, Sheffield, without any prior business knowledge and reflects on what it meant to win:

“Winning the first City Region Award for business person of the year was an enormous honour personally, but alongside it gave me the added motivation to keep pushing the boundaries.

“The award reinforced both mine and my team’s belief that we were doing things right and doing them well, and brought recognition for the business. There is no doubt that The Play Arena, and I, have a much stronger profile as result of winning. In terms of PR, you couldn’t ask for a better platform,” said Sipra, whose business is now one of the UK’s biggest play and indoor entertainment centres.

“The experience gives me the impetus to keep on pushing myself to be the best.”