Great Yarmouth offshore crane manufacturer Seatrax UK stepped out of the shadows to take the enterpriseGY 2012 Business of the Year award at the town's Spirit of Enterprise Awards.
"We don’t usually shout about what we are doing," said operations manager Dean Barlow. “It’s the first time we have gone for something like this and it’s quite a surprise to succeed.”
A sell-out audience of more than 200 people packed Potters Leisure Resort, Hopton, to see 10 awards presented to an array of businesses during a gala dinner.
As well as the overall Business of the Year title (sponsored by PKF Accountants who were also main sponsor), Seatrax took the Great Engineering/Manufacturing Award (sponsored by E-Tech Group).
Mr Barlow said afterwards that the company was launched in 1998 with a team of eight and had since grown to a 90-strong workforce building cranes that are exported for clients worldwide.
"We believe very firmly in manufacturing in this area and will continue to progress along with everyone else here, principally through our commitment to quality," he added.
The Imperial Hotel also took two titles – the Great Business Tourism Award (sponsored by Paul Robinson Partnership) and the Great Environmental Contribution Award (sponsored by Norse) while the 2010 Business of the Year, Bradwell Butchery, was back on the rostrum as Great Employer of the Year (sponsored by Pasta Foods.)
Nick Mobbs, Imperial Hotel director, said that eight representatives of the family-led business at the awards shared 165 years of experience between them. "We love being in business in Great Yarmouth. It’s a special place," he added.
Other award winners were:
Investing in Young People Award (sponsored by Great Yarmouth College): Noritake Itron
Great Community Contribution Award (sponsored by A4e): Jay Jay’s @ The Beach Café
Great Customer Service Award (sponsored by Applied Acoustics): Potters Leisure Resort
Great New Business Award (sponsored by Lovewell Blake): Managed Perceptions
Great Innovative Product Award (sponsored by Itron): Oxifree.
The Spirit of Enterprise Awards are organised by enterpriseGY, which is supported by Great Yarmouth Borough Council.