The beginning of a glittering evening for the 2017 Business Awards consisted of a champagne reception at the Cresta Court Hotel, as guests and members alike arrived in their most glamorous attire. Conversations were flowing just as well as the fizz before everyone took their seats in the beautifully decorated ceremony room, tables dressed with flashes of red and sparkling centre pieces.

Our much-anticipated host for the evening, radio presenter Darren Proctor  gave everyone in attendance a warm, yet lively welcome to the awards, exclaiming how he was the new guy on the block when it comes to hosting this event but intended to make it a night for everyone to remember!

Chamber CEO, Sue Aldridge, then took the floor welcoming our Patron the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Jonathan Coupe and his Mayoress, Diane Coupe; our Vice Patron Graham Brady MP and his wife Victoria and the Leader, Sean Anstee. Sue highlighted how proud she is of the Chamber for all the support given to members in the background, and also Altrincham as a town, describing it as “The blueprint for the whole of Trafford” which was met with an enthused round of applause, and rightly so! Sue also encouraged members to get involved with the Board and submit their ideas and suggestions to continue improving the Chamber.

Then without further ado, beautiful plates of fresh melon drizzled with honeyed syrup and raspberry coulis began making their way to the tables, whilst money was gathered to play Heads & Tails, with all proceeds being donated to the brilliant Maggie’s Manchester. Darren explained how he would be playing the game with a musical twist – once a song was played, the audience had to put their hands on their heads if they thought it got to number one in the charts, or on their bottoms if not, basing the game on more than just the luck of a coin this time! Tunes ranging the decades from Take That to Oasis were played, until only one was left standing – Richard Harris from Blackstone Solicitors, who took home two business class tickets to a destination of his choice, courtesy of the award sponsors, Turkish Airlines – what a prize!

After all that excitement, it was back to the food as the main course arrived and went down a treat; Roast Cheshire turkey with all the trimmings. This was followed by a selection of English Shire cheeses, and all the while, close-up magician Jason Rea wowed everyone with his superb tricks.

Then it was time to get down to business and begin presenting the all-important awards, as an air of excitement and anticipation settled over the room…

Small Business of the
Sponsored by Slater Heelis LLP

Entrepreneur Dominic Kent has worked tirelessly to create a directory of professionals who can be trusted, that has grown to over 100 businesses strong in Sale, and recently franchises have been agreed to launch in Altrincham & Hale – a great achievement from its inception.

Start Up Business of the Year – Matt Fox Physio
Sponsored by Sale & Altrincham Messenger

Matt Fox is inspirational.  He has a passion for helping people recover, sees people at their lowest and with his professional yet friendly manner puts them back on the right path again. This has no doubt been a great contributing factor to his businesses success.

Retailer of the Year – Diadem Jewellery
Sponsored by Handelsbanken

Diadem Jewellery survived the recession and thrived when others were closing down. It made headlines last year for being the first UK high street trader of its kind to accept payments in bitcoin online and in store. Sue Aldridge collected the award on their behalf

Property Team of the Year – Helpful Home
Sponsored by Together

Helpful Home started out with the aim of becoming a complete home solution, offering regular cleaning, ironing and handyman services. They now offer landlord services to private landlords that need a one-stop solution to dealing with tenants. The feedback from the landlords they have worked with has been excellent and complimentary.

Young Apprentice of the Year – Olivia Parkes
Sponsored by Trafford College

Olivia Parkes has become an invaluable part of the team and succeeded in progressing and developing skills on a massive scale since joining MiniMe Marketing in 2014, and taken on full client accounts independently. Now close to completing a Level 4 Diploma in Marketing Communications, she clearly has drive and ambition.

Provider of Professional Services – HR Dept (Trafford & Warrington) Sponsored by Informed Solutions

HR Dept provides a personalised tailored service for all the businesses they work with. They are always available, prompting a response with practical advice, support and guidance on a range of personnel issues.

Leisure & Tourism – Cresta World Travel
Sponsored by Turkish Airlines

Cresta World Travel opened in Altrincham in 1969 and has not rested on its laurels. They offer services to local clientele and have worldwide clients. They won the Altrincham BID mystery shopper award with 100% score and feel they are “getting it right”. Their clients are well informed and want to return again and again.

Charity of the Year – Maggie’s Manchester
Sponsored by MLP Law

Visitors to Maggie’s Manchester receive free practical, emotional and social support for both themselves and their families and friends. A warm welcoming place where visitors can find the answer to their questions, meet people who understand what they are going through and find the hope and strength they need.

Customer Service of the Year – MiniMe Marketing & PR Consultancy Sponsored by Bluebird Care Trafford

MiniMe Marketing works with the commitment of an in-house team, planning and implementing marketing tools, delivering results and maintaining regular communication with clients. Their client retention rate has remained at an impressive 95%, which they feel is due to their commitment to making every client feel individual.

Business of the Year – Informed Solutions
Sponsored by Trafford Council

Informed Solutions are committed to equality and bridging the UK’s digital skills gap, sponsoring awards, sitting on boards supporting universities and inspiring young people to enter the industry. With offices across the UK and Australia, they are proud to have their global headquarters in Altrincham’s old


After all of the fantastic recognition for local businesses, there was still one person left to thank for putting together such a fantastic Business Awards Ceremony for the 6th year running, as Sue presented Anne Jardine with a bottle of champagne and the room erupted with applause for all of her hard work to pull of every brilliant Chamber event throughout the year.

It was then time for some raffle prizes to be won, with a myriad of fabulous things up for grabs from a bottle of Glenmorangie Malt Whisky or a Michael Kors men’s gift set, to dinner for 2 and an overnight stay at the Cresta Court Hotel – it was safe to say everyone was eager for their raffle numbers to be called!

The excitement wasn’t quite over yet, as Darren took the floor to auction off a fabulously festive ‘Christmas House of Commons Essentials’ package donated by Vice President for Sale, Christine Stout, containing whiskey, champagne, Cuban cigars and Taylor’s 2003 Vintage Port – everything needed for an indulgent Christmas! Starting the bidding at £100, the figure crept up and up until it was finally sold to Salim Uddin-Khandakar from Hale and Bowdon Magazine for a staggering £450! Darren exclaimed he was a brave man for not consulting his wife before nodding his head to bid the final amount, but all for a great cause so hopefully he was off the hook!

CEO, Sue Aldridge closed the evening by congratulating everyone who had made the shortlist this year, which was an accolade to each business and the judges had their work well and truly cut out for them. All that was left to do was top up on drinks, and move over to the dancefloor to celebrate amongst the most successful businesses and individuals in the region.

A massive congratulations to all those taking away a trophy at the 2017 Awards, and a special thanks to all of our sponsors. For information regarding the 2018 awards, please contact Anne Jardine via

Photographs were taken by our photographer Martin Hambleton, and the video of the event was recorded and produced by Rob Taylor of Reedsmore.  All can be viewed on the Chamber website


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