The North West Business Awards

City Centre Initiative team, from left, Dermot McCrossan, warden, Lucia McCurley, administrator, Aisling Gallagher, manager, and Jim Roddy, chief executive.                    (Photo – Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)


The North West Business Awards is one of City Centre Initiative’s signature projects.

The 2019 North West Business Awards, was sponsored by Derry City and Strabane District Council and recognised and celebrated of the achievements of businesses operating within the Derry~Londonderry and Strabane Council area over the past year at a gala awards ceremony on Friday 7th June at the Best Western Whitehorse Hotel.

For further information on the 2020 North West Business Awards contact Aisling on 02871360169 or email

The 2019 NW Business Award finalists and winners…


NW Business/Entreprenuer of the Year – sponsored by Derry City and Strabane District Council
John Harkin – Alchemy Technology Services – Winner

Mayor Michaela Boyle presents the NW Overall Business/Entrepreneur of the Year award to John Harkin, Alchemy Technology Services at the 2019 NW Business Awards held in the White Horse Hotel. Included on left is Jim Roddy, chief executive, CCI. (Photo – Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

NW Creative Industries Business of the Year – sponsored by Foyleside Shopping Centre
Fashion & Textile Hub – Winner
In Your Space
Season Hats

Feargal Rafferty, Foyleside Shopping Centre (sponsor), presents the NW Creative Industries of the Year award to Deirdre Williams (Fashion & Textile Design Centre). Included from left, are Elaine Duffy, Helen Quigley, and on right Collette Donaghy.

NW Pub of the Year – sponsored by Full Circle Management Solutions
Badgers Bar
Bentley Bar
Guildhall Taphouse – Winner

Amy Bell, Full Circle Management Solutions (sponsor), presents the North-West Pub of the Year Award to Rachel Eastwood, proprietor, The Guildhall Taphouse. Included is Will Toland. (Photo – Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Restaurant of the Year – sponsored by RiverRidge
Primrose Café
Soda & Starch – Winner
Synge & Byrne

Fergal Kerr, RiverRidge Rethinking Resources (sponsor), presents the NW Restaurant of the Year award to Jessica Moran, Soda & Starch. Included on left, Kim Murray, and from right, Raymond Moran and Caoimhe Dineen. (Photo – Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Hotel of the Year – sponsored by Dillon Bass
City Hotel
Shipquay Boutique Hotel – Winner

Colm McLaughlin, Dillon Bass (sponsors) presents the NW Hotel of the Year award to Johanne Ferguson and Rory Cregan, Shipquay Boutique Hotel. Included on left, Laura Curran and on right Michael Duffy.

Retailer of the Year – sponsored by JKC Coleraine
City Man
Sproules Jewellers – Winner
Synge & Byrne

Niall MacFlynn, JKC Coleraine, presents the NW Retailer of the Year to Caroline and Nigel Sproule (Sproule’s Jewellers)

Business Hero of the Year – sponsored by Derry News
Aaron Coleman (A&E Carwash)
Fashion & Textile Hub
Sean Dillon – Winner

Caroline Morris, Derry News (sponsor), presents the NW Business Hero of the Year award to Sean Dillon, Heart of the Foyle First Responders.

Young Business Person of the Year – sponsored by Specsavers Derry~Londonderry
Adam Beales – NewAdamB99
Ben Sayers – Beanery Nursery
Gerard McElwee – McElwee Custom Motor Cycles (Winner)

Maeve Walsh, Specsavers, presenting the Young Business of the Year Award to Gerard McElwee (McElwee Custom Motorycycles).

NW Award for Environmental Excellence in Business – sponsored by Derry City and Strabane District Council
2 North
Seagate – Winner

Stephen Gillespie, director of business and culture, Derry City & Strabane District Council, presents the NW Excellence in Innovation award to Eamon McIvor and Catherine Woodrow, Seagate Technology.

Contribution to the NW Economy Award – sponsored by City of Derry Airport & Loganair
EHA Group
North West Regional College (NWRC) – Winner

Lauraine Mollison, City of Derry Airport/Loganair (sponsors) presents the Contribution to NW Economy award to Nicola Curry, NW Regional College. Included on right Patrick McKeown, and Fergal Tuffy. (Photo – Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

NW Excellence in Innovation – sponsored by Allstate
Globaltec NI
Joule Group – Winner
With Love Recipes Ltd

Columb Duffy, All State (sponsors) presents the NW Excellence in Innovation award to John McColgan and Mick Lannon (Joule Group) at the 2019 NW Business Awards held in the White Horse Hotel.

NW Excellence in Leadership – sponsored by Ulster University
Garvan O’Doherty – Winner
Gavin Kileen
John Harkin

Dr. Sharon Loane, Ulster University Business School (Magee Campus) presents the NW Excellence in Leadership award to Garvan O’Doherty (Garvan O’Doherty Group). Included on left, is Dr. Laura McCauley.

Best use of Marketing, Digital and/or Social Media – sponsored by BHP Security Solutions
Nerve Centre
NWRC – Winner

Ian Crowe, BHP Security Solutions representative, presents the NW Best Use of Marketing, Digital and/or Social Media award to Conor McGurgan, North West Regional College. Included are Erin Hutchinson and, on right, Patrick McKeown.

Best NW Small Business – sponsored by Power NI
DA Miller
MFC Sport
MPA Recruitment  – Winner
Sproules Jewellers

Emily Fair, Power NI (sponsors) presents NW Small Business of the Year award to Ciara Campbell and Paul McQue, MPA Recruitment. Included from left are Laura Gallagher, Mark Canning and on right, Erin O’Mahony. (Photo – Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

Best NW Large Business – sponsored by CCI
Allstate – Winner

Jim Roddy, chief executive, City Centre Initiative, (sponsors) presents NW Large Business of the Year award to Clare McShane, Allstate. Included from left, are Mark McCusker, Nicola McLaughlin, Stephen Lomas, and from right, Garreth Harvey, Natasha Habgood and Columb Duffy.

Press Release 1 – NW Business Awards winners revealed


NW Pub of the Year - Sponsored by Full Circle

This award will recognise public houses that have demonstrated consistent commitment to excellence.

The category is open to all bars/pubs/nightclubs who can demonstrate they have provided a professional, safe, responsible and ambient environment for their customers. Applicants must also be committed to providing the best standards of practice for their sector.

NW Restaurant of the Year – Sponsored by RiverRidge

This award is tailored to celebrate restaurants who have demonstrated a commitment to creating the ultimate dining experience for customers.

Entrants will be judged on their abilities at providing cooking, ingredients, customer service, atmosphere and environment.

NW Award for Environmental Excellence in Business - Sponsored by Derry City and Strabane District Council

This award acknowledges the business that has minimised its Environmental Impact, has demonstrated a sustainable business model and best-practice in the development of environmentally friendly products, services, practices and/or operations and strives to protect and enhance the local environment and contribute towards a circular economy

Contribution to the NW Economy Award – Sponsored by City of Derry Airport and Loganair

This category celebrates everything from businesses, people, events and tourism initiatives that have; helped to develop the NW economy or enhanced the image and profile of the NW over the past year.

NW Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Dillon Bass

A quality hotel offering is a critical element of the NW economy.

The award is designed to recognise the hotel that has provided an excellent visitor experience for our leisure and business visitors and of course our locals.

Young business person of the Year - Sponsored by Specsavers

This award will be judged from nominations received from schools, colleges and the general public.

This will recognise the outstanding work of a young person in any aspect of business activity. This category will be open to any young person under the age of 22 years of age (before 7th June 2019).

Judges will require evidence of unique skills and dedication to business.

NW Creative Industries Business of the Year - Sponsored by Foyleside Shopping Centre

Creative industries are defined as ‘those industries that are based on individual creativity, skill and talent.

This award recognises the growing importance of the creative industries to the local economy. It is open to businesses from the sector, including: Arts, Crafts, Advertising, Architecture, Art and Antiques, Design, Designer Fashion, Film, Video Games, Music, Performing Arts, Publishing and TV and Radio.

NW Excellence in Innovation - Sponsored by All State NI

Innovation is a new idea, more effective device or process.

Innovation can be viewed as the application of better solutions that meet new requirements or existing market needs through more effective products, processes, services technologies or ideas.

This award therefore will recognise local businesses that have embraced innovation to significantly improve the commercial performance or prospects of the company.

Best use of Marketing, Digital and/or Social Media - Sponsored by BHP Security

This award should reflect an organisation that has demonstrated the best application of marketing and/or digital technologies in their business.

The award winner should illustrate how the use of marketing and/or digital techniques has helped to develop and build their business and how the use of marketing and/or digital/ social media is incorporated, as well as the impact it has had on their business growth.

NW Retailer of the Year Award – Sponsored by JKC Coleraine

This award reflects businesses who have gone that extra mile to build their organisation around the needs of their target audience and are focused on delivering excellence in the retail environment.

The category recognises and rewards great customer service based on evidence of customer satisfaction, future plans for the business, originality of offering through products on sale, service, added value for consumers and customer engagement.

Ulster University Excellence in Leadership Award – Sponsored by Ulster University Business School

The Ulster University Business School at Magee is committed to supporting and developing leadership and management talent across the North West region. This award celebrates and recognises outstanding individuals who can demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities. The award is open to individual business leaders who can demonstrate excellence in some of all of the following criteria: 

  • Lead with a vision to deliver impact for the region; 
  • Inspire and motivate teams; 
  • Collaborate and create new partnership opportunities; 
  • Deliver sustainable results. 
Best NW Small Business - Sponsored by Power NI

The category will recognise a small business that represents the best quality and dedicated practice to its field. This category is open to any business with less than 50 employees.

Best NW Large Business – Sponsored by Dalradian Gold

The category will recognise a large business that represents the best quality and dedicated practice to its field. This category is open to any business with more than 50 employees.

Overall NW Entrepreneur/Business of Year – Sponsored by Derry City and Strabane District Council

The Entreprenuer/Business of the Year Award is the most coveted and hotly anticipated presentation of the night.

The award will go to the business or entrepreneur that is representative of all that is positive about the work that takes place in the city on a daily basis.

This is a non-entry award which has been awarded by the judging panel; this company or person will be chosen on the basis of outstanding contribution to business, drive, ambition, vision, tenacity, inspirational leadership, inventiveness and confidence.

Visit Derry Ambassadors Award

Visit Derry is a public-private partnership established to increase visitor numbers and spend to the city and region through destination marketing and visitor servicing.

Our Conference Ambassador Programme is a dynamic collaboration of local professionals who use their influence to attract conferences and events from within their business, medical, academic or sporting industries to the city.

Our Ambassadors generate over £2m to the local economy each year and we are delighted to celebrate their outstanding efforts, commitment and passion, and hope that their achievement will inspire others to play their part and consider regional, national or international conference or event.

This is a non-entry award, winners will be selected from the Visit Derry Ambassador Programme.

NW Business Hero – Sponsored by Derry News

Nominations for this category will be invited from the public who must demonstrate why they believe their choice is the NW Business Hero of the year.

Choices should reflect either a person, business, service or initiative that has either; gone beyond to help the NW region, individuals, businesses; provided an exceptional value or service for the area or has shown commitment and dedication to promoting the NW.

Rules & Criteria

1. The awards are open to all businesses and individuals operating within the Derry~Strabane Council area. These awards are designed to be inclusive and accessible and will be presented at a gala dinner to be held in the Best Western White Horse Hotel on Friday 7th June 2019.

2. Entries must be made using the official entry/application form available at Your entry should be no more than 800 words. Paper application forms are available on request.

3. The opinion of the judging panel in all matters will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 

4. Organisations/Individuals may enter as many of the award categories as they wish. An official entry form as outlined in each criteria for each category must accompany each entry. 

5. Entries which do not conform to this format will be excluded from the competition. 

6. Information supplied may be used in media coverage and this should be accepted as condition of entry. 

7. Additional items such as brochures etc. should not be included.   

8. Entries must be received no later than 12 noon, Wednesday 1st May 2019. 

9. Judges will receive applications on Thursday 2nd May 2019 for shortlisting. 

10. On Tuesday 7th May 2019 shortlisted applications will be announced.