Tension mounts as awards loom

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Thirty one businesses, representing every corner of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, are on tenterhooks as the tenth annual Cornwall Business Awards draw near.

Ideal Foods MD, Tony Horner
Ideal Foods MD, Tony Horner

The winners will receive their trophies from TV space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock on Thursday May 14, in front a packed audience of business leaders at St Mellion International Resort.

Companies on the shortlist include a maker of beekeeping equipment, a designer that turns shipping containers into buildings, and a seafood trader that has found a niche exporting fish heads to the Far East.

Ideal Foods managing director, Tony Horner, said: “We love what we do, and we do it well. We are so proud of being shortlisted, and of our Cornish identity.”

Cornwall Air Ambulance trust, fresh from its 25,000th rescue and unveiling two new helicopters, leads the way with three nominations, alongside marine software specialist Harbour Assist, and new mums’ exercise programme, Mutu System.

Penryn-based entrepreneur, Wendy Powell, explained: “We’re on a mission to take care of women’s tummies and undercarriages right across the world, and it all happens from here in Cornwall. Thrilled to be shortlisted for three awards!”

Wendy Powell of Mutu Systems
Wendy Powell of Mutu Systems

Nick Gill of Harbour Assist was no less excited, and added: “We nearly fell overboard when we heard we were finalists in all three categories we’d entered. We really couldn’t be more proud… unless we win, of course!”

The Awards are organised by the Cornwall Development Company, in partnership with Business Cornwall Magazine and Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, to shine the spotlight on Cornwall’s brightest business talent.

Other notable finalists include a company offering ‘zorb football’ experiences, a 25-year old who built a million-pound renewable energy business, and a boating company on the farthest-flung of Scilly’s inhabited islands, which has entered the digital age.

Zorb football
Zorb football

The sheer variety of businesses making this year’s shortlist is impressive but not necessarily unexpected, according to CDC chief executive Suzanne Bond.

“There’s no end to Cornwall’s business talent,” she said. “For ten years, we’ve found enterprising people from Bude to Scilly, who are succeeding in new and surprising ways. Once again, there are so many great stories for us to share.”

A full list of the award nominees can be found online at www.cornwallbusinessawards.co.uk.