Against a backdrop of glitz and glamour, the brightest stars from Doncaster’s business community were championed at a prestigious awards ceremony.
Organised by the local Chamber of Commerce, the 25th annual Doncaster Business Awards took place at the city’s racecourse venue and was dedicated to honouring the achievements of exceptional firms, as well as enterprising individuals, from across our borough. Year after year, this black-tie event proves to be a consistent highlight in the calendar and 2023’s iteration was no exception in that regard, with a collection of outstanding nominees making up the shortlist for 17 diverse categories.
Indeed, there were accolades for standout SMEs, major corporations, inspiring apprentices, caring charities, promising start-ups, exemplary education providers, intrepid entrepreneurs and more; allowing the ceremony to really do justice to our phenomenal business community here in Doncaster. All of the finalists underwent a rigorous judging process — which saw them being scored by expert panels and being interviewed by their peers— to ensure that the most deserving recipients were selected for each trophy.
These worthy winners were then announced at the event itself on Thursday 7th of December, with their achievements being celebrated in front of a live audience of 900 fellow businesspeople. As per tradition, there was also a special lifetime achievement prize, which was awarded to Paul Stockhill, Founder and Managing Director of precision-engineering company Agemaspark.
Speaking about this, the Chamber’s President, Andy Morley, said: “It was a privilege to present this trophy to Paul, who has done so much for Doncaster, its economy and communities.
“While growing his business, which was founded back in 2002, he has helped to drive forward innovation in the manufacturing industry by embracing new technologies and really thinking outside the box. In the process, he has supplied parts for use in aviation, medicine, robotics and oil drilling, with Agemaspark’s global clients spanning both sectors and continents. They even have interstellar components that can be found in places like Mars and the International Space Station.
“Of course, Paul’s open-minded thinking is not only evident in his use of cutting-edge technology but also in the way that he nurtures the next-generation of talent. Indeed, he has mentored dozens of apprentices over the years, sits on various skills and education- related boards, and was instrumental in getting Doncaster’s first UTC off the ground.
“For all of this and more, Paul has been showered with accolades and praise throughout his distinguished career and we are pleased to recognise this with our 2023 Lifetime Achievement award.”
In addition to the actual trophy presentations, guests at the 2023 Doncaster Business Awards were also treated to live entertainment (in the form of musical performances from a professional violinist and a 10-piece band) a delicious three-course meal, and a charity auction.
The proceeds from the latter —which were raised via bids for assorted luxury items, desirable memorabilia and exotic getaways —will be donated to a pair of organisations that were personally selected by the Chamber’s President, Andy Morley. For 2023, the specialist education provider Harrison College and homelessness charity Doncaster Housing for Young People were both identified as the evening’s good causes. More information about how much money was raised from the auction will be revealed in the near future.
Reflecting on the evening as a whole, Dan Fell, Chief Exec of Doncaster Chamber, said: “It’s hard to believe that our Business Awards have been going strong for 25 years now and Doncaster has certainly come a long way in that space of time.
“Last night was an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made since that inaugural ceremony in 1998, to recap the biggest highlights from the past quarter century and, of course, to shine a spotlight on our city’s best and brightest.
“Speaking of which, it was a real honour to be in the presence of such remarkable businesses last night, all of whom exemplify the uniquely tenacious, determined and forward-thinking spirit of Doncaster. It’s always difficult to single out just a handful of winners — especially with all of the impressive finalists that put themselves forward, of whom there was a record amount in 2023 — but I believe that our judges have picked some truly fantastic organisations and entrepreneurs this year.
“When I look at those who were recognised last night, I am reminded just how extraordinary our local business community is and how they are constantly driving forward growth and taking us to new heights. With incredible businesspeople like these right at our doorstep, I know that the future for Doncaster is truly bright and cannot wait to see where they take us next.
“With that said, I would like to thank everyone who made this inspiring evening possible, from our hosts at Doncaster racecourse right through to our amazing roster of finalists, our generous sponsors and, of course, the fantastic team I am privileged to lead at the Chamber.”
The sponsors, finalists, runners-up and winners for The 2023 Doncaster Business Awards are all listed below.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Sponsored by Twenty Four IT Services
People’s Choice Award – Presented by The 2023 Doncaster Business Awards Headline Sponsor, Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Apprentice of the Year – Sponsored by Doncaster College
Campaign of the Year – Sponsored by Harrison College
Customer Service of the Year – Sponsored by Dolphin ICT
Local Impact of the Year – Sponsored by LNER
Partnership of the Year – Sponsored by First Bus
Innovator of the Year – Sponsored by SYNETIQ
Employer of the Year – Sponsored by One Call Insurance
Green Business of the Year – Sponsored by The University of Sheffield
Education Provider of the Year – Sponsored by Fastline Services
Charity of the Year – Sponsored by Keepmoat
New Business of the Year – Sponsored by Launchpad
Self-Employed Person of the Year – Sponsored by Discover Financials
Small Business of the Year – Sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University
Medium Business of the Year – Sponsored by ORB Recruitment
Large Business of the Year – Sponsored by Carlton Forest Group
Don't miss out on our latest news, updates and events - sign up here.