The four category winners for 2017 are:


Improving the business environment

Winner - Enterprising Hull

There are many catalysts which have provided Hull with the impetus to begin a new era of regeneration.  In 2013 Hull was named as the UK City of Culture 2017 – placing it on a national and international ‘stage’.  A bold and unflinching decision was taken by the City Council and partners to capitalise on this unprecedented window of opportunity – to invest heavily in the infrastructure and physical environment of the city, to put into train capital projects which would energise the economy and allow it to grasp the attention of those who would be looking anew at the city during this period.

In the same year the City Plan for Hull was launched with the aim of creating some 7,500 jobs for the people of Hull, with a focus on those economically excluded.  The clear statement of intent was to build a growing, sustainable economy for the city. A delivery programme was developed ranging from small-scale pilot projects to multi million pound capital investments to be taken forward by partners in the private, public, voluntary and community sectors.  Alongside purely economic projects are those which will make Hull an exciting city - encouraging people to visit, families to live, students to study and businesses to invest.

Since 2013, the City Plan for Hull has resulted in 6,800 more people in employment compared to 2011, with a focus on securing jobs for economically excluded groups. 

Promoting entrepreneurial spirit

Winner - North Tyneside Council            

Made in North Tyneside delivers innovative support services for pre-start and new businesses, changing lives through enterprise and job creation.

Made in North Tyneside was established in 2012 as a service designed to engage with local residents, particularly in the deprived areas of North Tyneside, and encourage them to explore enterprise and self employment as a viable career option. This service has been honed, developed, tailored and continually improved to ensure maximum benefit and impact and we have now built up local communities of Business Factory alumni, real life case studies and role models. This has led to a truly entrepreneurial revival within the borough.

Self-employment in North Tyneside has grown from 6,794 people in December 2011 when the project commenced to 10,600 in December 2016. This is an increase of 3,806 additional people now self-employed since the project started which represents a growth of 56% in just 5 years. The services include advice and guidance for business start-ups, expert assistance to develop new products or services, school support, social enterprise development and help for businesses with growth potential to scale-up. Assistance is accessed through apps, online and face to face to address client needs.

Building enterprise skills

Winner - Hatch Enterprise Incubator     

Hatch Incubator, is a dedicated Enterprise Programme supporting young adults (18 - 30) and social entrepreneurs (any age) to start their own business or social enterprise. The model builds on successful incubators such as Microsoft Ventures, Techstars and Seedcamp. The notable difference is that Hatch does not invest into the start-ups by taking an equity stake in these early stage ventures, but provides everything else that makes a holistic support ecosystem for young businesses.

Hatch Incubator is an intensive 12-week programme, followed by an additional 12-weeks of Alumni support. Each programme is built around the needs of each cohort (10 -12 people), taking into consideration their unique enterprise challenges as well as their personal circumstances. The weekly workshops and group sessions have been developed using the Lean Methodology and the Business Model Canvas, with participants engaged through interactive and participatory learning.

Hatch Incubator businesses are turning over more than £3.2M and are employing around 190 people.

Support for exporting

Winner - Business West              

The International Trade Centre at Business West has transformed international trade services, combining regional, national and international expertise, funding and resources. It aligns its Chamber of Commerce objectives with UK and Pan European policy, combining private sector expertise from third party providers and the Banking Sector to benefit businesses and boost export sales in the South West of England. It has helped to create 3,800 jobs and £430m worth of exports to date.

Business West recognised an opportunity to maximise its international trade services to benefit business in the South West of England. The International Trade Centre (ITC) project was born. Now employing over 100 trade advisers, providing digital solutions through eBooks, virtual trade fairs and award-winning documentation fulfilment, combined with Government online resources and globally enabled portals from banking partners – it supports thousands of businesses to embark on their export journey.


The following were awarded Highly Commended

World Class Worcestershire - a Place to Do Business! - Promoting entrepreneurial spirit

The World Class Worcestershire Partnership is led by the LEP and Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and is supported by all 6 districts, the Chamber of Commerce, Worcester University and the Growth Hub (WBC) as well as many private enterprise's such as QinetiQ and the CEC Company. All partners within this collaboration have played their part in the economic success and growth of the County.

The partnership also works within Schools, with over 30 enterprise advisers (local business owners) now working with schools, offering their time for free to advise schools on enterprise education and inspiring young people to be entrepreneurial as well as supporting 'real life' work experience. This is supported by the Young Enterprise Awards which recognises and supports young people to set up and develop their business, with some amazing product development ideas being brought to market.

Aldershot Community Enterprise Centre - WSX Enterprise - Promoting entrepreneurial spirit

This is a flagship project operating from an ex military officers mess in Aldershot, and serving the military and civilian communities of North Hampshire. While the concept of an Enterprise Centre is not new, it is the partnership and aims of the Centre which really support the entrepreneurial spirit in a unique way.

Now in year three of the project, the success has been remarkable, not just in terms of new businesses and employment created, but also the social and economic impact in Aldershot and beyond.

London South Bank University - Building enterprise skills

The Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation was opened by London South Bank University (LSBU) in 2013. The Centre is housed in 17 grade 2 listed Georgian terrace houses and the former Duke of Clarence public house which first opened in the 1820s. Before the Centre opened, these buildings were in a state of disrepair and created a visible barrier between the University and local community. Through the creation of the Centre, the University has renovated these important local landmarks, whilst also creating a new, open gateway to the University campus, demonstrating the University’s commitment to the physical and economic regeneration of the its locality. Buildings have been brought back into use; the public realm has been improved and a home for enterprise and entrepreneurship has been created.

The Centre brings together University staff, businesses, students and graduates, co-locating entrepreneurs at different stages of their journey in a vibrant entrepreneurial community. Much of the Centre is open to the public, including a café, reception and gallery, providing a space for interaction and reflecting LSBU’s corporate goal of being an Enterprising University.

Furthermore, the Centre provides affordable office accommodation for start-ups and SMEs, who are an integral part of our enterprise and innovation ecosystem.  This supports the University’s commitment to supporting students to develop their enterprise skills through interaction with our local SME community.

The creation and continued development of the Clarence Centre demonstrates LSBU’s commitment to embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship into the ethos of the institution and the local community.  There is a strong institutional commitment to support this activity for the long term.

Bradford City Centre Growth Scheme - Improving the business environment

Bradford City Centre is an economic priority for the Council and for Bradford District. As an economy of substantial scale, Bradford is also a critical part of the Leeds City Region and has been identified as a strategic growth centre in the Leeds City Region Strategic Economic Plan.

As a direct result of the recession the Broadway shopping development in the city centre stalled in 2008. In response, the Council launched the City Centre Growth scheme in November 2014.  This ambitious scheme was developed to create the right conditions for business, to make the City Centre a great place to set up, grow and run a business.  The scheme’s aim was to help push forward the shopping centre development and also to help bolster the rest of the City Centre, making businesses more resilient to the changes the shopping centre would bring.

The scheme created a designated Zone focussed around the City Centre within which businesses could access business rate rebates and capital grants thereby encouraging tenants that are new to the city centre, increase city centre diversity or provide a unique selling point.  The awarding of rate rebate and capital grants was linked explicitly to long term job creation and the unlocking of previously unused commercial space, encouraging businesses to move into the city centre growth zone and to expand within it.

Business Durham - Improving the business environment

Durham County Council (DCC) set up a new and bespoke service Business Durham (BD).  BD, while still part of the council, operates under an independent brand and identity. Its aim is to create an environment that attracts and supports businesses to create wealth and jobs in County Durham, while becoming increasingly financially self-sufficient from profitably letting commercial property.

BD operates DCC’s industrial and office property portfolio. In total, this equates to 50,938m2 split across industrial units (30,725m2), offices (11,962m2) and North East England’s only science park, NETPark (8,701m2). The portfolio is 85% full, an increase from 72% three years ago and is funding the delivery of over £1 million worth of economic development.

BD works closely with enterprise agencies active in County Durham, as they deliver support for start-ups. BD's principal role is focused on animating the market, particularly school children and students. The flagship program is Future Business Magnates (FBM) which connects schools to local businesses and works with Year 8s to expose them to enterprise over a year-long program. FBM has also been submitted for an award this year. BD, with Durham University and New College Durham, is establishing an incubator and an incubation program to encourage greater start-up and business growth.  Initially aimed at graduates to help retain their skills in the locality, eventually the incubator will hopefully enable new businesses to be formed from wider sources and lead to the development of a vibrant business community.