CHEESEMAKERS and a flower farm, barn manufacturers and a travel app were among the diverse businesses to receive accolades at an awards ceremony.

The Teesdale Business Awards 2019, organised by Enterprise House in Barnard Castle, was held at The Witham in Barnard Castle on Wednesday night.

With more than 200 nominations, the annual celebration showcases the best of Teesdale business activity recognising the area’s successful businesses, social enterprises and individuals.

Bright Woods Forest School mental wellbeing project

The twelve awards focused on business in Teesdale, from new and emerging businesses to more established and expanding, those trading outside the Dale and the apprentices and entrepreneurs with bright futures.

The big winner on the night was Ellipse Fabrications Ltd, of Boldron.
The company designs, manufactures and installs arc shaped agricultural, horticultural and leisure buildings – specialising in steel framed structures with a curved roof. 
Ellipse Fabrications scooped both the best business and growth business of the year awards, following its success as best new business in the 2017 TBA.

Chocolate Fayre, purveyor of handmade luxury chocolates, did not win an award but made the shortlist in four categories. 

Social enterprise and responsibility were also recognised.

The Warm Age Wood Company won the Social Responsibility award and Bright Woods Forest School CIC, which offers outdoor learning experiences for all ages and is a previous finalist in the TBAs, took the Best Social Enterprise award.

Business advisor John Atkinson and Teesdale businesswoman Emma Hignett hosted the evening.

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Duncan Peake, chief executive of Raby Estates.

Mr Peake has developed some of the UK’s foremost landed estate businesses and is responsible for business operations across Raby landholdings in County Durham and the Midlands. He is also a chartered surveyor and director of Visit Co Durham.

He gave a summary on the background of Raby and its current approach, speaking also about the challenges and opportunities for the rural environment and wider business.

Event Organiser Peter Dixon said: “It was a real delight to celebrate the success of local businesses from the Teesdale area.

"There is clearly an entrepreneurial spirit in the area with businesses old and new winning wonderful plaudits from the sponsors who judged each category.”

The winners were: Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by Durham County Council: Chloe Mason (GSK); Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Newcastle Building Society: Heidi Varley of Pink’s Flower Farm; Social Responsibility, sponsored by The Greenfields: The Warm Age Wood Company; Best Community Engagement Project, sponsored Tilly, Bailey & Irvine Law Firm: The Castle Players; Best Social Enterprise, sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses: Bright Woods Forest School CIC; Best Customer Focus, sponsored by Meikles Solicitors LLP: Serene Spa; Most Innovative Business, sponsored by GSK: Teesdale Cheesemakers; Best Marketing Initiative, sponsored by Digital Drive County Durham; The Roam App by Roam Everywhere; Best Business Trading Outside Teesdale, sponsored by Equus Leather: Claire International Limited; Growth Business of the Year, by Business Durham: Ellipse Fabrications Ltd; Best New Business, sponsored Raby Estates: The Milbank Arms; Best Business, sponsored by Jane Ascroft Accountancy: Ellipse Fabrications Ltd.