Three North West leaders triumph at EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards 2015

Three North West leaders triumph at EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards 2015

North West business leaders James Wilkinson of Zuto, Simon Cooper of On the Beach and Gareth Mobley of Solidor Group each took home awards at the North of England EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015 ceremony in Manchester last night.

Macclesfield-headquartered Zuto’s CEO James Wilkinson triumphed in the Science and Technology category. The judges praised him for spotting an opportunity and taking his customers on an ‘easy journey’. They also commended Zuto for its ‘disruptive technology’, which has helped the vehicle finance specialist to grow 100% year-on-year for the last three years.

Simon Cooper won the Private Equity-backed category for his work as CEO of Cheadle-based On the Beach. The judges highlighted his ‘passion and understanding’ of the business, noting that the online travel firm is ‘breaking into Europe’ and has the potential to turnover £1bn ‘in the next few years’.

Peter Roberts, Founder and Executive Chairman of Leeds-headquartered Pure Gym, was named overall North of England EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2015. Peter, who also took home the Hospitality and Leisure award, was praised by the judges for taking a traditional model and ‘turning it upside down’, with his ‘clear strategy’ helping Pure Gym to become ‘the number one player’ by membership in the UK gym market.

Robert Crooks, Partner and North of England Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader at EY, said: “It’s outstanding to see the North West well represented again at this year’s Northern awards. All three of the region’s winning companies have been innovative and bold in capitalising on new opportunities as they’ve arisen. They’ve helped to generate wealth and jobs, making a real economic and social impact in the North West.”

Held at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, the awards dinner honoured nine business leaders across 10 categories. Each of the winners was judged and selected from finalists leading 36 companies from across the North West, Yorkshire and North East. All of the North of England winners will go on to represent the region at the UK finals in October 2015.

This year’s North of England region judges:

• Ian Kelly, Chairman of Utiligroup, and Non-Executive Director of Purple WiFi and PowerLinks • Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe • Bill Holmes, Chief Executive Officer at Radius Payment Solutions • Mohsin Issa, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Euro Garages • David Judge, Managing Director of Cormar Carpets • Marnie Millard, Group Chief Executive at Nichols • Angela Spindler, Chief Executive Officer at N Brown Group • Jim Sumner, Chairman of Andrew Page and Non-Executive Chairman of James Briggs • Geoff Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Utilitywise • Gary Tipper, Managing Partner at Palatine Private Equity • Simon Wilkinson, Chairman of RealityMine • Majid Hussain, Managing Director of Accrol Holdings • Liz Allen, Director at the connectives

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