Two clients of the Skipton and Ripon Enterprise Group have won top honours in leading Yorkshire business awards in 2012. In early November, Northern Paper Board was awarded ‘SME Manufacturer of the Year’ in the 2012 Yorkshire Post Business in Excellence Awards. Helping Hands of Harrogate, a SREG client in 2011, won its business accolade in the Ackrill Media Business Awards.

Skipton-based packaging firm Northern Paper Board received its award from Business Secretary Vince Cable. Yorkshire Post’s business editor Bernard Ginns said: “Congratulations to Northern Paper Board. Our judges said our winner is achieving growth based on the courage to invest – they’re increasing sales despite the flat UK economy. It’s a great example of an innovative family-owned business.”

The company, run by brothers John and Paul Curran, has almost completed a £2.4 million expansion and investment programme at its six-acre site in Engine Shed Lane. Northern Paper Board remains on track to achieve record turnover of £10 million in the current financial year. It is now the UK’s second largest manufacturer of solid board boxes for the food processing industry, primarily the meat, poultry, fish and horticultural packaging sectors.

Earlier this year, Helping Hands of Harrogate won the ‘Working for your Business’ award sponsored by Harrogate Borough Council. The award, presented by Mayor, Councillor Les Ellington, recognises and celebrates companies who have done something special to achieve business success despite challenging economic times.

Established mid-recession in 2010 by husband and wife team Chris and Rebecca Blunstone, Helping Hands of Harrogate has seen its business grow at a rate that its founders did not predict, surpassing all of the growth projections initially produced. Its clients include North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust and it currently provides 37,000 hours of care a year on average to Children, Young People and Young Adults with a range of disabilities, learning and behavioural needs, complex care needs, medical needs and terminal illness.

Founded in 2010, SREG is a network of experienced entrepreneurs and business people dedicated to providing free and effective support and mentoring to local businesses. To date, SREG mentors have worked with over 50 companies including Northern Paper Board and Helping Hands of Harrogate to find business solutions to a wide range of challenges.

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