Future’s bright for area’s businesses

MANSFIELD’S business community proved the area’s future is bright with a show of pioneering talent at the 2011 Chad Business Awards on Thursday.

More than 200 people attended the ceremony at the John Fretwell Sporting Complex to take in the glittering surroundings and celebrate those making big contributions to the local economy.

The third instalment of the annual contest - sponsored by Specsavers - featured 13 categories.

Mansfield Sand walked away with one of the top accolades of business of the year, plus the award for manufacturing after judges were impressed by its business developing unique sand-based products and surfaces.

They are used for a variety of landscape and sporting uses including Premiership and Championship football stadiums, equestrian ménages, golf courses, and rugby stadiums.

Said managing director Jon Boulton: “We are absolutely thrilled to receive these awards.

“They are testament to the hard work and dedication the whole team, as well as our local suppliers, have put in over the past twelve months, which has helped to make the company a market leader.

“It has been a testing year for many businesses in the local area as the economic climate has and continues to affect the spending of consumers and companies alike.

“However we have continued to invest money in our manufacturing facilities to secure the future of the company and employment in Mansfield for many years to come.”

The firm has been quarrying in Mansfield for more than 100 years.

It was also a remarkable night for well-known local businessman Ian Linney, who scooped the lifetime acheivement prize, but could not attend due to ill health.

Instead his son Nick took to the stage to accept the award for him and pass on some words of thanks.

Mr Linney senior’s name is synonymous with the Mansfield-based Linney Group, a family firm founded in the town in 1851 as a bookshop and later a printers.

Today it is a leading print, design and marketing company. Ian is the firm’s deputy chairman, and has made numerous other contributions to the town’s local economy over his lifetime.

“I’m really proud of the team that enabled me to win the award,” he said.

“I’d really liked to have been there and I’m really proud of all the nominees and award winners and I’m really proud of the town that I’ve had my career and business in.”

It was also a proud night for West Notts College principal Asha Khemka, who was awarded business personality of the year.

Said Mrs Khemka: “This award is not for me, it’s for the business community of Mansfield and Ashfield - the people sitting in this room - there’s no way without that partnership we would have achieved and contributed what we’ve been able to do.”