Midlands Family Business Awards finalists announced | Wilson Organisation

Midlands Family Business Awards finalists announced

Midlands Family Business Awards finalists announced


A manufacturer founded in 1875, a £50m annual turnover construction and civil engineering business, a children’s nursery with over 500 staff and led by its founding family’s third generation, a fifth generation farming family’s ice-cream business, a builders merchant, property management company, haulage firm, marketing business, and waste management company, are all amongst the finalists in this year’s Midlands Family Business Awards.

Of the 44 family businesses and leaders reaching the final judging stage for the ten categories in the region’s only not-for-profit independent awards for family businesses and their leaders, 26 are based in the East Midlands and 18 in the West Midlands.

East Midlands family firms dominate the shortlist for the headline Family Business of the Year – Nottingham’s A1 Flue Systems and Children 1st Day Nurseries, Derbyshire’s Bowers Electricals and Glossop Cartons, and LJ Fairburn & Sons of Alford, Lincolnshire, with haulage business Roadlink International of Willenhall representing the West Midlands.

The Best Small Family Business (turnover up to £5m) has finalists split equally between the East and West of the region – Brocklebys of Melton Mowbray, Rock Fall UK of Alfreton, Steve Soult of Nottinghamshire, General Building Plastics of Rugeley in Staffordshire, Churchfields Farmhouse Ice Cream of Droitwich, and Teal Patents of Chelmsley Wood.

The 2015 finalists include family firms founded over 100 years ago and as recently as 2008, and are based the length and breadth of the Midlands, from Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Birmingham and Solihull.

Other family businesses amongst the 2015 finalists are fifth generation family firm Chasetown Civil Engineering, 140-year old fourth generation manufacturer Crofts & Assinder, retailer Chapmans Electrical that was founded in 1925, importer and £30m turnover family firm Bonnington Plastics, and Mereway Kitchens, a £20m turnover business with three generations of the founding family still working in the business.

All 44 finalists will face the judges over the next few weeks, with the ten category Award winners announced at the Midlands Family Business Awards celebratory black tie dinner at Leicester’s Athena on Thursday 12th November 2015.

Each of the judging panels for the ten categories in this year’s Awards includes a senior family business figure and a leading industry expert.

2015 Finalists

The full line-up of finalists in the ten categories for 2015 is:

  • Family Business of the Year (Sponsor: The Wilson Organisation):
    • A1 Flue Systems (Nottingham)
    • Bowers Electricals (Heanor, Derbyshire)
    • Children 1st (Nottingham)
    • Glossop Cartons (Glossop, Derbyshire)
    • LJ Fairburn & Son (Alford, Lincolnshire)
    • Roadlink International (Willenhall, West Midlands)


  • Best Small Family Business
    • Brocklebys (Melton Mowbray)
    • Churchfields Farmhouse Ice Cream (Droitwich, Worcestershire)
    • General Building Plastics (Rugeley, Staffordshire)
    • Rock Fall UK (Alfreton, Derbyshire)
    • Steve Soult (Kirby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire)
    • Teal Patents (Chelmsley Wood, West Midlands)
  • International Development (Sponsor: Family Business Futures)
    • A.R.T. Foods (Shrewsbury, Shropshire)
    • Crofts & Assinder (Birmingham)
    • Edgewise Edgestrip (Retford, Nottinghamshire)
    • R H Smith & Sons (Smiffys) (Gainsborough, Lincolnshire)
    • Rood Group Holdings (Nottingham)


  • Retail Excellence (Sponsor: PCMS)
    • Advance Performance (Fengate, Peterborough)
    • Broad Street DIY (Bromsgrove)
    • Carvers (Wolverhampton)
    • Chapmans Electrical (Cradley Heath)
    • Focus Gallery (Nottingham)
    • Rutland Cycling (Manton, Rutland)


  • Environmental Sustainability
    • Mereway Kitchens (Tyseley, Birmingham)
    • Corporate Solutions Logistics (Solihull)
    • Shredall  (Nottingham)


  • Employer of the Year (Sponsor: Royal London)
    • Hallam Internet (Nottingham)
    • Hogarths Hotel Solihull (Solihull)
    • Ideal Manufacturing (Finedon, Northamptonshire)
    • Inside Out Group (Nottingham)
    • ISO Quality Services (Worcester)
    • Jigsaw CCS  (Coventry)


  • Fastest Growing Family Business (Sponsor: PwC)
    • Bonnington Plastics (Nottingham)
    • Chasetown Civil Engineering (Burntwood, Staffordshire)
    • Corporate Solutions (Solihull)
    • Country Court Care (Werrington, Peterborough)
    • Danzer (Nottingham)
    • LJ Fairburn & Son (Alford, Lincolnshire)


  • Manufacturing Excellence (Sponsor: Barclays)
    • A1 Flue Systems (Nottingham)
    • Bowers Electricals (Heanor, Derbyshire)
    • Glossop Cartons (Glossop, Derbyshire)
    • Mereway Kitchens (Birmingham)
    • Moss Valley Fine Meats (Norton, Derbyshire)
    • Penny Hydraulics (Clowne, Derbyshire)


  • Director of the Year (under 40) (Sponsor: RSA)
    • Ian Fisher, Bonnington Plastics (Nottingham)
    • Jo Haydon, Complete Kidz (Smethwick, West Midlands)
    • Phillip Kalli, Ideal Manufacturing (Finedon, Northamptonshire)
    • Rebecca Fahy, Jigsaw CCS (Coventry)
    • Luke Benton, MNB Precision (Coventry)
    • Sally Middlemiss, Rutland Cycling (Manton, Rutland)


  • Service Excellence (Sponsor: Yu Energy)
    • Develop and Promote (Lincoln)
    • Chapmans Electrical (Cradley Heath)
    • Carvers (Wolverhampton)
    • Lane Roofing Contractors (Birmingham)
    • Midland Conference Services (Nottingham)
    • Spenbeck (Nottingham)

Backed and run by The Wilson Organisation, the Awards are now in their sixth year and the regions only independent, not-for-profit initiative to recognise the work and achievements of family businesses. Wilsons’ MD Charlotte Perkins, the third generation of the family to lead the business alongside her sister Annabel Prow, comments: “All entries this year demonstrate the exceptional pedigree of the Midlands’ family businesses, and the shortlist includes businesses with ten to over 500 employees, and annual turnover ranging from £0.5m to more than £50m.”

For the full shortlist and profiles of the judges for 2015 and more information about the Awards, visit: www.familybusinessawards.co.uk or contact Wilsons’ Ped Briggs, Tel: 0115 942 0111, email: pbriggs@wilorg.com.

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

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Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

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Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)