Ward is crowned the Midlands’ top family business

Derbyshire-based metal and waste recycling company, Ward, has been crowned Family Business of the Year 2018, as well as the Fastest Growing Family Business

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  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.

Highly Commended by the judges in the headline Family Business of the Year category are East Midlands firms 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. Joining Ward on the region’s roster of winners are HSG UK that won the Innovation category, Owen Taylor & Sons that won Manufacturing Excellence, and Bright Side Vets which was crowned Best Small Family Business 2018 – the first time a veterinary practice has picked up an award in the Midlands Family Business Awards’ nine years. 

In recognition of its fundraising for Primrose Hospice in Bromsgrove and support of staff wellbeing, Birmingham car parts supplier, David Manners, scooped the Corporate Social Responsibility and Employer of the Year titles. 

Other winners on the night were Rutland Cycling and Premier Care, whilst Matthew Ballard of Nottinghamshire removal company, Ballards Removals, was named the Director of the Year.

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 

Highly Commended – J-Flex 

Highly Commended – WB Power Services 


Best Small Family Business – sponsored by John Pye Auctions

Winner – Bright Side Vets 

Highly Commended – H20 Hygiene 

Highly Commended – Nick Young Tractor Parts 


Corporate Social Responsibility – sponsored by V Formation

Winner – David Manners 

Highly Commended – Bumble Hole Eggs 

Highly Commended – Owen Taylor & Sons 


Director of the Year – sponsored by Goldfish Luxury Travel

Winner – Matthew Ballard, Ballards Removals 

Highly Commended – Richard Broadhead, Oldrids & Downtown 

Highly Commended – Emma Brealey, Petwood Hotel 


Employer of the Year – sponsored by Buckles Solicitors

Winner – David Manners 

Highly Commended – Morley Hayes Leisure 

Highly Commended – Swiftool Precision Engineering 


Fastest Growing Family Business – sponsored by PwC

Winner – Ward 

Highly Commended – Travelworld Motorhomes 

Highly Commended – Nick Young Tractor Parts 


Innovation – sponsored by Morningside Pharmaceuticals

Winner – HSG UK 

Highly Commended – Southall Associates 

Highly Commended – Streets Heaver Healthcare 


Manufacturing Excellence – sponsored by The Wilson Organisation

Winner – Owen Taylor & Sons

Highly Commended – A1 Flue Systems 

Highly Commended – James T Blakeman & Co 


Retail Excellence 

Winner – Rutland Cycling 

Highly Commended – GemPort Jewellery 

Highly Commended – The Internet Gardener


Service Excellence – sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Winner – Premier Care 

Highly Commended – Bright Side Vets 

Highly Commended – Fairlawns Hotel 


People’s Choice – sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants

Winner – Oldrids & Downtown 

Highly Commended Bright Side Vets 

Highly Commended – Fairlawns Hotel 


The People's Choice 2018 is closed!

Thank you for taking the time to vote. The winners of all our categories will be announced on 22 November