Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Derbyshire's Ward is the Midlands' top family business

Derbyshire-based metal and waste recycling company, Ward, has been crowned Family Business of the Year 2018, and the Fastest Growing Family Business, in the region’s flagship awards for family businesses.

Established in 1940, Ward is a fourth-generation family business specialising in metal recycling and waste management. Ward was announced winner of the Midlands Family Business Awards’ headline award last night (22 November) at a prestigious black-tie ceremony at Leicester’s Athena.

Operating from five UK sites, Swadlincote-headquartered Ward is the largest independent metal and waste recycling company in the East Midlands and employs over 400 people. It offers complete metal and waste management solutions to ensure minimal waste to landfill and, this year, opened a dedicated deep-sea export dock facility as part of its ongoing growth strategy.

Now in their ninth year, the not-for-profit Midlands Family Business Awards are backed and run by The Wilson Organisation, a Nottingham third-generation family business. The Awards are the region’s only independent, not-for-profit initiative dedicated to celebrating and recognising the success, achievements and innovations of family run and owned businesses.

East Midlands’ businesses also scooped the two Highly Commended places in the headline Family Business of the Year award: Retford-based elastomer solutions provider, J-Flex, and Derbyshire-based power generation specialists, WB Power Services.

Derbyshire is home to a record breaking four Award winners this year, with HSG UK winning the Innovation category, Owen Taylor & Sons winning Manufacturing Excellence, and Bright Side Vets crowned the Best Small Family Business 2018 – the first time a veterinary practice has picked up an award in the Midlands Family Business Awards’ nine years.

Other East Midlands 2018 Award winners include Rutland Cycling which won Retail Excellence, and Mansfield-based Premier Care that took home the coveted Service Excellence title.

Matthew Ballard of Nottinghamshire removal company, Ballards Removals, was named the Midlands’ Director of the Year, and the directors of two Lincolnshire businesses – Richard Broadhead of Oldrids & Downtown and Emma Brealey of Petwood Hotel – were Highly Commended in the category.

All forty-eight finalists were automatically entered into the People’s Choice Award sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants – which saw them face the public vote. The overall winner was Oldrids & Downtown.

This year’s ceremony was attended by over 300 guests from the awards’ finalists, independent judges and sponsors, including headline sponsor and former Family Business of the Year titleholder OrderWise.

Individual category sponsors of this year’s Awards are Buckles Solicitors, Goldfish Luxury Travel, John Pye Auctions, Morningside Pharmaceuticals, PwC, Shakespeare Martineau, Streets Chartered Accountants, The Wilson Organisation and V Formation. The Drinks Reception was sponsored by NIG Insurance.

The full line-up of Winners and Highly Commended in the 2018 Awards, are:

Family Business of the Year – sponsored by OrderWise
Winner – Ward (Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – J-Flex (Retford)
Highly Commended – WB Power Services (Derbyshire)

Best Small Family Business – sponsored by John Pye Auctions
Winner – Bright Side Vets (Swadlincote, Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – H20 Hygiene (Walsall)
Highly Commended – Nick Young Tractor Parts (Market Rasen, Lincolnshire)

Corporate Social Responsibility – sponsored by V Formation
Winner – David Manners (Birmingham)
Highly Commended – Bumble Hole Eggs (Bromsgrove, Worcestershire)
Highly Commended – Owen Taylor & Sons (Derbyshire)

Director of the Year – sponsored by Goldfish Luxury Travel
Winner – Matthew Ballard, Ballards Removals (Retford)
Highly Commended – Richard Broadhead, Oldrids & Downtown (Lincolnshire)
Highly Commended – Emma Brealey, Petwood Hotel (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire)

Employer of the Year – sponsored by Buckles Solicitors
Winner – David Manners (Birmingham)
Highly Commended – Morley Hayes Leisure (Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – Swiftool Precision Engineering (Nottinghamshire)

Fastest Growing Family Business – sponsored by PwC
Winner – Ward (Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – Travelworld Motorhomes (Telford)
Highly Commended – Nick Young Tractor Parts (Market Rasen, Lincolnshire)

Innovation – sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals
Winner – HSG UK (Derby)
Highly Commended – Southall Associates (Solihull, Birmingham)
Highly Commended – Streets Heaver Healthcare (Lincoln)

Manufacturing Excellence – sponsored by The Wilson Organisation
Winner – Owen Taylor & Sons (Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – A1 Flue Systems (Newark, Nottinghamshire)
Highly Commended – James T Blakeman & Co (Staffordshire)

Retail Excellence
Winner – Rutland Cycling (Rutland)
Highly Commended – GemPort Jewellery (Birmingham)
Highly Commended – The Internet Gardener (Nottinghamshire)

Service Excellence – sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau LLP
Winner – Premier Care (Mansfield)
Highly Commended – Bright Side Vets (Swadlincote, Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – Fairlawns Hotel (Walsall)

People’s Choice – sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants
Winner – Oldrids & Downtown (Lincolnshire)
Highly Commended Bright Side Vets (Swadlincote, Derbyshire)
Highly Commended – Fairlawns Hotel (Walsall)

Wilsons’ managing director Charlotte Perkins commented: “Our Awards team, panel of judges and each of our sponsors has been blown away by the exceptional performance and calibre of our finalists in this year’s Midlands Family Business Awards.

“We run the awards as a not-for-profit initiative and are honoured to provide a platform for the Midlands’ family business community to showcase and celebrate their successes and work, for the ninth year running.

“The talent, ambition and entrepreneurial spirit of our finalists and winners highlights the significant role that family businesses play in keeping the Midlands’ economy thriving.”

For the full list of winners, visit:

The Wilson Organisation provides innovative insurance and financial solutions to businesses and individuals both regionally and nationally. For more information, visit:

Photo Caption: (L-R): Thomas Ward; Michael Ward; David Ward (SR); David Hallam (OrderWise); Donald Ward; David Ward (Jr).

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