FOLLOWING the unveiling of this year's Oldham Business Awards finalists, the countdown to the grand 10th anniversary ceremony has begun.

Companies and individuals shortlisted across 11 categories were gathered at headline sponsors Innovative Technology to be officially declared in the running for the 2018 titles.

The "exceptional" candidates met fellow finalists for the first time and were congratulated by OBA chairman Steve Kilroy and Dayna Patterson, marketing manager at Innovative Technology and a volunteer on the OBA steering group.

Mr Kilroy said when the awards first began a decade ago, organisers never dared to dream they'd still be going 10 years later.

"We did not know where we were going when we set up the awards but we gave it a try and at our first event we had 300 people," he said.

"This year we will see over 600 people on May 11 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

"The idea is to celebrate all that is good in the borough of Oldham."

He went on to say how many thousands has been raised for charities by the awards over the years.

This year's recipients are Dr Kershaw's Hospice and Mahdlo with young people from the youth organisation playing a big part at the ceremony by performing on stage before the awards get underway.

Sam Jobey, practice manager at Oldham Chiropractic - which is a finalist in the Employer of the Year category, sponsored by Ultimate Products - spoke of their pride at being shortlisted once again after being a runner-up last year.

"It was really overwhelming to be a finalist last year so we thought we'd give the team another chance to take part this year.

"We also got involved this year because its the big 10 and we wanted to be part of that. We really enjoy being part of the Oldham community and that's what being involved in the business awards is all about.

"It's a fantastic event to be part of. Last year after work we all went home, got dolled up and when the ceremony had finished we danced our socks off!"

Well known Oldham businessman, Frank Rothwell, who is founder of leading portable building manufacturer Manchester Cabins, is a stalwart figure at the Oldham Business Awards and his company won an innovation award at the inaugural event.

He is up for Business Person of the Year, a title he won in 2015, and his Bunkabin company won Business of the Year £5-10m in 2017.

"This is a great honour," said Frank.

"It really is and it's fantastic to be part of the biggest event in Oldham.

"On the night we will be bringing a number of people who have worked for our company for over 30 years."

Relative newcomer to the OBAs is marketing and advertising agency Cornerstone DM, based in Lees, which is shortlisted in the Business of the Year (less than £1m) category, sponsored by Seftons Accountants, and Employer of the Year.

Managing director David Wadsworth said: "Having been shortlisted for the awards around seven years ago, it’s been great to come back to OBA and see how well the ceremony has now developed and moved forward.

"The shortlist event was packed with outstanding local businesses, all of which help to make Oldham a great place to work in, and be proud of.

"The variety of businesses in terms of size, industries, capabilities and skills is fantastic, and it was nice to hear so many positive success stories of businesses from the local area leading their respective markets and making a real impact on the North West and UK Economy."

The flagship business event will take place on May 11, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, hosted by TV personality and impressionist Rory Bremner.


Supporting Young People - Sponsored by Oldham College

Capita Translation and Interpreting

Channing Childcare


Business of the Year £10m + - Sponsored by KPMG

Diodes Zetex Semiconductors

Oldham Motor Company

Widdop and Co

Business of the Year £5-10m - Sponsored by Pearsons

Gemini UPVC

J A Harrison & Co

Portculis Oldham

Business of the Year £1m-£5m - Sponsored by Asian Business Leaders

Catalyst Claims

Linda Lewis Kitchens

Seftons Accountants

Business of the Year less than £1m - Sponsored by Seftons Accountants

Cornerstones DM

Future Safety

Remedian IT Solutions

Business Person of the Year

Ansar Ali – dsgnuk

Frank Rothwell - Manchester Cabins

Maria Williams - Upturn

Employer of the Year - Sponsored by Ultimate Products

Cornerstone DM

Diodes Zetex Semiconductors

Oldham Chiropractic Clinic

Young Entrepreneur - Sponsored by Oldham Enterprise Trust

Eric Bashyika - SW Clothing Co

Hayley Smith - Simply Skin

Jannatul Choudhury – Muzzini

Young Business - Sponsored by Reward Finance

Corner House Cakes

Dream Big Sports

Old School Barbecue

Community Engagement - Sponsored by Unity Partnership

Blue Tiffin Restaurant

Dale Bathrooms

Safeguard Fusion

Start Up - Sponsored by Business Growth Hub

Assure Certification

Energi Mine

The Secret Sip