Awards battle lines drawn

Vet Luc Van Dijck
Vet Luc Van Dijck

THE big night when the borough’s brightest business stars are unveiled draws ever closer.

And today, in the second of a series of special Wigan Evening Post features, we discover which firms are contending another trio of coveted categories at this year’s Wigan Business Awards, organised by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.

Small or Medium Enterprise of the Year – Sponsored by the Wigan Development Company

A Connolly Ltd is a family-owned building, painting and decorating contractor located in Leeds Street, Wigan, which specialises in affordable housing maintenance and refurbishment solutions. The company’s ambition is to become a customer relationship-driven business. A spokesman said: “With this in mind we have developed a bespoke business model which ensures they deliver a local service, using local people and local suppliers for the local community. They are passionate about people, properties and the places where they live and work hard, and aim to provide a truly local service to their customers.”

Home Instead Senior Care is a provider of domiciliary care to vulnerable people in their own homes. The company specialises in the support and care of people who live with a form of Dementia and other life limiting conditions. Services offered include companionship, home help, personal care, respite care and much more. The main focus of Home Instead is to provide companionship-focused care built around the individual rather than simple tasks. The differentiators of the business are that it provides continuity of care, visits at the time that is best for the clients and family members and caregivers who are specialist-trained to support the individuals they work with.

Motorstart is an MOT and vehicle repair centre in Wigan. Although long established, it has recently moved to a new, modern premises in York Street which has motorcycle testing and extra-long ramps for light commercial vehicle testing. Here, customers can relax in the comfort of the newly-refurbished reception area where refreshments are provided together with internet WI-FI and wide screen TV. Motorstart prides itself on using the most up-to-date diagnostic equipment that ensures it is the best in eliminating faults. Motorstart is an approved towbar fitting centre and is an established member of the Industry Code of Practice and RAC approved.

The Lane Family Pet Centre, trading as Luc Van Dijck Veterinary Centre, is the longest established veterinary centre in Wigan. Since 1996 the practice has undergone a major modernisation and refurbishment process to make a successful transition from a typical traditional mixed (equine, farm and small animal) practice to a more specialist companion animal practice. The centre is now very well equipped for a first line general practice and is able to offer a high standard of care at very competitive costs. The team performs many procedures, treatments and investigations (including key-hole surgery, major soft and orthopaedic surgery and even chemo-therapy where appropriate) at the centre itself.

The centre’s aim has always been to provide high standard and dedicated pet health care with a personal touch in a relaxed family atmosphere setting. The team also places a lot of emphasis on good communication with clients, and take extra care to explain investigations and treatments to patients’ owners.

Exporter of the Year – Sponsored by Link Contracting Services

Krempfast is a manufacturer and supplier of thermal insulation sleeving, idents and expandable braided sleeving, supplying to many of the world’s leading companies in aerospace, rail and telecom wiring harness manufacturing.

Krempfast goes from strength to strength and has had rapid growth from staying with its

long established UK engineering partners, using its expertise and innovation to win business against competition from the Far East.

The company’s priority is to ensure it has highly skilled UK engineers on all projects. The team is proud of the business and says it has the drive and determination to deliver excellent service and quality products every time to customers.

Safelok Components Ltd is based in Wigan and is the manufacturer of high pressure instrumentation valves and fittings for the oil and petrochemical industry.

Three-quarters of its products are shipped aboard and the company now trades in over 34 countries worldwide. Safelok is continuing to grow despite the turbulent economic climate, enjoying a 15 per cent annual growth over the past 10 years.

This has been achieved by investing in new machinery, designing and manufacturing the first zero emission ball - needle valve that has a life time guarantee (no other company worldwide can compete with the revolutionary design), and also by joining the UKTI in their trade missions aboard.

Some of the team and suppliers have been with the company for 20 years demonstrating the company’s working relationships with both.

Something to Shout About Award – Sponsored by Wigan and Leigh College

Avatar started in 2009 by managing director, Eamonn Mgherbi, and is one of the leading recruitment and management companies in the games industry and work with major games developers and publishers around the globe. This year, Avatar expanded its services to the TV and music industry, having established a pipeline of exciting projects with leading brands in those respective industries. The games business has secured major partnerships such as Microsoft Games Studios UK, and has continued to build a strong business model which has a bright future. Having won the Entrepreneur of the Year in last year’s Wigan Business Awards and selected as a finalist in this year’s Develop Games industry awards, Eamonn is confident the team can go from strength to strength and continue to build on its firm foundations.

Motorstart - see above

Lowri Beck is an independent metering and data service provider to the utilities industry. Working on behalf of energy suppliers and businesses throughout the UK, it has a nationwide workforce in excess of 900 employees providing metering services including meter reading, meter installations and contact centre solutions. Clientele include Npower, Scottish Power, Scottish & Southern Energy, EDF Energy, Cooperative Energy to name a few.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the DW Stadium on the evening of November 15.