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MHR Crowned Midlands Family Business of the Year

Family-owned HR, payroll and finance software development company, MHR, has scooped the headline Family Business of the Year award at the 2023 Midlands Family Business Awards.

Specialising in customisable and compliant software solutions for businesses across a broad range of sectors, MHR was family-founded in 1984 and has since delivered integrated solutions to over 1,400 businesses globally, operating from its business headquarters in Ruddington, Nottingham.

Sponsored by the previous Family Business of the Year award winners, The Wilkins Group, the two Highly Commended positions for the headline category were taken by the deserving Derby-based estate agent Hannells and Alfreton-based family butcher – Owen Taylor & Sons.

Shining a light on over 300 years of family businesses in the region the Midlands Family Business Awards, organised by Nottingham insurance and financial services provider The Wilson Organisation, has recognised the success, achievements, and innovations of companies in the Midlands.

Now in its second decade, returning after a three-year break following the pandemic, judges selected 11 winners and 21 Highly Commended companies from all finalists at its summer awards ceremony on 29 June held at Kelham Hall in Newark. John Pye & Sons were sponsors of the Drinks Reception.

Winner of the brand-new Sustainability category, sponsored by Flame UK, which highlights the very best of the region’s environmentally-minded family businesses was Tyseley Energy Park – a Birmingham-based energy park committed to the delivery of zero carbon power, transport, heat, waste, and recycling solutions for a greener city.

In winning position for the Best Small Family Business was Belper-based nightwear company, Slenderella. Walsall-based water safety business – H20 Hygiene was crowned Fastest Growing Family Business and Midlands-based co-working space provider, Cubo, took the top spot in the Rising Stars category, for family businesses established since the Awards’ 10th anniversary back in 2019.

The Director of the Year winning position went to Total Reclaims Demolition director, Melvyn Cross Jnr and Employer of the Year to Derbyshire golf and leisure venue, Morley Hayes.

Categories celebrating business excellence included the Construction and Property Excellence award, of which Alfreton-based S Brown Paving took the top spot, Burntwood-based Haywoods Contracts was crowned winner for the Manufacturing Excellence category and the Digital Excellence winning title was awarded to Premier Community – a provider of quality adult care services in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Judged by an independent panel led by a family business leader, industry expert and category sponsor, all finalists were entered into the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants – the only award voted for by the public.

Taking the category top spot was Hucknall-based professional demolition solutions provider, Total Reclaims Demolition and Highly Commended positions went to Staffordshire-based holiday park, Quarry Walk Park, and Heanor-based recruitment agency, Recruit 2 You.

Sponsors for the 2023 awards included The Wilkins Group, Buckles Solicitors, Family Business Futures, Flame UK, Human Alchemy, Recruit 2 You, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Shakespeare Martineau, Streets Chartered Accountants and Ward.

Organised by The Wilson Organisation – a third-generation Nottingham-based family business – the Awards are the Midlands’ only initiative dedicated to celebrating and recognising the success, achievements and innovations of the region’s family run and owned businesses.

Almost 300 guests attended the event including sponsors, finalists, and independent judges, celebrating and championing Midlands family businesses for the second decade.

Group managing director of The Wilson Organisation, Charlotte Perkins, said: “After a very long three-year break, we’re absolutely delighted to see everyone celebrating the exceptional family businesses in the region in what is now the second decade of our awards, and what better way to celebrate than in the height of this beautiful summer in the grounds of Kelham Hall.

“The calibre of businesses we’ve seen this year has been incredible and we’ve been so inspired and moved hearing all their success stories and their plans for the future. We’d like to say a huge congratulations to everyone who has been successful – to all winners and Highly Commended, and all businesses that entered, it’s been fantastic to celebrate achievements and meet the companies that are having a hugely positive impact on our region.

“We are incredibly grateful to the brilliant firms that have been involved and supported us this year, as a not-for-profit event, this all wouldn’t be possible without our generous sponsors. We hope they enjoyed the Awards celebration as much as we did.”

The Midlands Family Business Awards has raised over £30,000 to date over the last two decades and to mark the return of the awards for its 11th year, all donations have gone to the award’s chosen charity: Move Against Cancer – a supportive community that inspires and empowers people impacted by cancer to live an active and fulfilling lifestyle.

The full list of winners and highly commended businesses for the 2023 Midlands Family Business awards are:

Family Business of the Year (sponsored by Wilkins Group)

Winner: MHR

HC: Hannells

HC: Owen Taylor & Sons

Best Small Family Business (sponsored by Ward)

Winner: Slenderella

HC: Flame UK

HC: Quarry Walk Park

Construction & Property Excellence (sponsored by Buckles Solicitors)

Winner: S Brown Paving

HC: Cubo

HC: Spenbeck

Digital Excellence (sponsored by Family Business Futures)

Winner: Premier Community

HC: Award Leisure

HC: Shuperb

Director of the Year (sponsored by Human Alchemy)

Winner: Total Reclaims Demolition – Melvyn Cross Jnr

HC: Ambitions Personnel – Amanda Watson

HC: Fashion UK – Gurdev Mattu

Employer of the Year (sponsored by Recruit 2 You)

Winner: Morley Hayes

HC: Flame UK

HC: Haywoods Contracts

People’s Choice (sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants)

Winner: Total Reclaims Demolition

HC: Quarry Walk Park

HC: Recruit 2 You

Fastest Growing Family Business (Sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Winner: H2O Hygiene

HC: Cook Recruitment Group


Manufacturing Excellence (sponsored by The Wilson Organisation)

Winner: Haywoods Contracts

HC: Cropwell Bishop Creamery

HC: Owen Taylor & Sons

Rising Stars (sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau)

Winner: Cubo

HC: Aben Interiors and Projects

Sustainability (sponsored by Flame UK)

Winner: Tyseley Energy Park


HC: Mainline Mouldings

HC: Shredall

Photo caption – Family Business of the Year winner caption – MHR

Left to right – James Bennett, Anne McKinlay, Emma Isichei, Nick Felton, Nada Giuffrida, Jessica Mills, Anton Roe, Paul James, Neil McKinlay, Louise Bennett

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Photo caption - Family Business of the Year winner caption - MHR Left to right – James Bennett, Anne McKinlay, Emma Isichei, Nick Felton, Nada Giuffrida, Jessica Mills, Anton Roe, Paul James, Neil McKinlay, Louise Bennett

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Notes to editors

Midlands Family Business Awards The Wilson Organisation launched the Midlands Family Business Awards as a not-for-profit initiative in 2010. They remain the region’s only independent initiative dedicated to celebrating and recognising the success, achievements and innovations of family run and owned businesses. Through the Awards, Wilsons aims to create an ethical, supportive, and friendly community for the Midlands’ family businesses and raise funds for charities throughout the Midlands. The Wilson Organisation The Wilson Organisation is a third-generation family business providing insurance, financial and risk management solutions to businesses and individuals across the Midlands and the UK. Based in Nottingham, the business is run by sisters Charlotte Perkins and Annabel Jackson Prow, who are the driving force behind the Midlands Family Business Awards. The Wilkins Group The Wilkins Group are specialists in supplying retail packaging worldwide to a range of markets including chilled and frozen food, textiles, confectionery, toiletries, luxury, and household products. The UK head office is a modern 120,000 square foot facility located in Nottingham, called the commercial and technical centre international. Dealing with manufacturers and marketing departments on an international level, it has also invested in state-of-the-art hubs in Sri Lanka, Romania, China, India, and Bangladesh, allowing it to maintain a hugely successful global trading network.

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