Paul Nixon receiving Green Business Award for Winton House

Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce and the Business Partnership Ltd recently hosted their annual Business Exhibition and Awards Dinner at the Brunton, Musselburgh to recognise the dedication, commitment and success of businesses and individuals throughout East Lothian and Midlothian.

Winton House was highly commended in the Best Green Business category sponsored by Anderson Strathern. The Best Green Business Award itself was won by The Moredun Group at Pentlands Science Park which carries out world-leading research into farm livestock diseases. Runner up was EAE which provides sustainable print merchandising services to tourism and arts bodies.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been at the heart of the management of Winton Estate for many generations. The Estate is owned by the Winton Trust and the Trustees have a responsibility for good stewardship of all the Trust assets so that they can be passed onto the next generation.

As a green corporate events venue, Winton House is committed to sustainable tourism and minimizing its impact on the environment by meeting standards of good practice for sustainable development. Winton House is heated by a wood chip boiler fuelled with low grade timber from the estate. Winton also supports local employment and local businesses with most employees living nearby and by using many local suppliers.

Awards were presented across 8 categories including Business High Growth & Innovation, Green Business, Family Business, Youth Engagement Company, Social Enterprise of the year, Best Employer for Students and Graduate Recruitment, Networker of the Year and Local Business Hero.

Each category was supported and sponsored by a different organisation, illustrating their commitment to business excellence. The sponsors this year included Midlothian Council, East Lothian Council, Anderson Strathern, EDF Energy, Network ROI and Johnston Press.

George Archibald, the Chamber’s Chief Executive, told the gathering: “There is an exceptionally strong spirit of enterprise within the region, with fascinating success stories. Many businesses are also committed to making a really positive impact on their communities.”

The other award winners were:

Best Business High Growth and Innovation – sponsored by Midlothian Council

Lothian Electric Machines Ltd (LEMAC) in Haddington was named joint best for High Growth and Innovation. It manufactures electric motors and stairlifts on behalf of Acorn, the world’s largest stairlift company, for worldwide distribution. It shared the no. 1 slot with GH Event Catering which has more than quadrupled turnover to over £1m for 2014, expanded its operation to Aberdeen and secured a contract with the National Trust for Scotland. Joint runners up in the category were Melville Castle and Oscha Slings Ltd, with Market Prepare highly commended.

Best Family Business – sponsored by East Lothian Council

Best Family Business was jointly awarded to Itihaas and East Links Family Park. Itihaas, owned and run by Matin Khan and his family, is one of Scotland’s highest rated Indian-Bangladeshi restaurants. East Links Family Park is a farm themed, 4-star visitor attraction, owned and run by Grant Bell and his son Cameron. Joint runners-up in the Family Business category were The Premium Roll Co. and Olmat Engineering Ltd, with Bilston Engineering Ltd highly commended.

Best Company for Youth Engagement – sponsored by EDF Energy

The award for Best Company for Youth Engagement went to Young SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) Ambassadors which gives school pupils hands-on experience of industry. Volunteer Midlothian, which has had more than 720 young people register with it in the past year, was runner-up.

Social Enterprise of the Year – sponsored by Midlothian Council

Winner of the Social Enterprise of the Year award Progressive Sports Development increased participation levels in sport by helping local nurseries, schools and community sports clubs to offer opportunities to children between three and 12 years old. Runner up was the Glencorse Association which provides a social hub in the village of Auchendinny, and The Kabin in Loanhead was highly commended.

Best Employer for Student and Graduate Recruitment

Edinburgh Pharmaceutical Processes (EPP) Ltd, took the award for Best Employer for Student and Graduate Recruitment. EPP employs 18 graduates out of a work force of 25 and six staff have PhDs, so over 70% of employees are graduates.

Runner-up was TaxAssist Accountants, and highly commended was EDF Energy (Torness) capable of supplying electricity to more than two million homes from its nuclear power station at Torness, near Dunbar.

Networker of the Year – sponsored by East Lothian News/Midlothian Advertiser/Musselburgh News

Networker of the Year was Brian Johnstone of Home Instead Senior Care. Joint runners-up were Susan Laidlaw of Laidlaw Lettings and Ian McLeish of Rosslyn Associates, with Roger Thomas of &Coaching highly commended.

Local Business Hero – sponsored by Network ROI

Ian Green of Greentrax Recordings, whose featured artists include Barbara Dickson, Dick Gaughan and The Paul McKenna Band, was named the Chamber’s Local Hero. Greentrax currently has over 450 titles in its catalogue.