A WASTE and recycling company has been crowned champions of a regional business award.

Fresh Start Waste Services, based in Astley, has won the The People’s Choice Family Business of the Year in the North and Northern Ireland category in the 2019 Family Business Awards.

Chief executive officer Nicola McGrath attended the prize-giving ceremony, which was held in London on June 6.

She said: “It has been my family’s privilege to serve the borough these past 14 years.

“This accolade is especially meaningful as many of our local customers took the time to vote for us, which is a fantastic reflection of the quality, professionalism and service we offer.

‘It represents a significant milestone in our company history and honours the hard work of our entire team, who are leading the way in waste management.”

The annual awards ceremony is hosted by Family Business United.

It recognises the diversity of family firms and celebrates the contribution they make.

“Attending the awards ceremony was hugely inspiring. Many of the finalists and winners have been trading for decades across multiple generations,” added Nicola, who launched Fresh Start in 2005 with her father Paul.

“We are relatively early on in our journey, but we have already grown significantly over the past 14 years and now have 33 wagons that collect more than 60,000 tonnes of waste and recycling annually.

“We employ more than 100 people and are passionate about making communities better places – whether that’s through the services we provide or our charitable giving.”

In addition to The People’s Choice winners, regional Family Business of the Year trophies were presented, as well as accolades in several industry sectors.

Founder of Family Business United Paul Andrews said: “Innovation, investment, passion and pride are evident in family businesses across the UK – confirming that the family business sector has much to celebrate.

"With around five million family firms in the UK providing around 12 million jobs and generating a significant contribution to GDP, these national awards certainly help to put the family business sector on the map and give them the recognition they deserve.”