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Celebrating The Best Of British Family Firms

The family business community recently convened in London in the delightful surrounds of the beautiful medicine garden in the grounds of the Royal College of Physicians to celebrate the contribution that family firms make to the national economy and to crown the winners of the Family Business of the Year Awards 2023.

What a night! Thank you to everyone involved, the judges, the sponsors and above all the business that entered, our fabulous finalists and of course congratulations to the winners. Events like these are special and the evening had a palpable mix of excitement, anticipation and community – the essence of being part of a bigger community, the collective sense of pride in being a family business and recognition for some families of their endeavours over numerous generations. It was a great night, made even more special as it was the first time that we have held the awards in person for 4 years due to the pandemic and the fact that the sun shone and the atmosphere was fantastic too.

Family businesses are the engine room of the UK economy and with 6 million family firms employing around 14 million people in all corners of the country they make a massive impact each and every day. Incomes are generated, jobs provided and wealth created but as one of the family members said to me last night, “That is just the tip of the iceberg. Family businesses care and want to be seen as doing the right thing, doing business the right way.”

That is undoubtedly true and reflected in may of the submissions as well as the conversations taking place throughout the evening with family business members meeting like minded peers from a community steeped in history, heritage, purpose, values and integrity. Doing business the right way is what they do. And do so well. Crowning the winners was great and it remains a pleasure and a privilege to run an organisation that has these businesses at our core, businesses that make a difference and have a real sense of purpose, a narrative and real authenticity.

The audience assembled and the winners were announced and celebrated. Photos taken. Speeches delivered, albeit they were short but poignant and certainly heartfelt – celebrating not only those in the room but as representatives of family firms across the UK, recognising that it is the broader family engagement and the teams of people that work in the businesses that help to make the business magic too.

Our Regional Winners:

Yorkshire – Arco

North of England – Knights Corporate Workwear

East & East Anglia – Shadbolt

Midlands & Central – The Wool Packaging Company

London & South East – Croxsons

Northern Ireland – Newcel Paper Converters

Scotland – GAP Group

South, South West & Wales – Rose Engineering Limited

Our Sector Winners:

Manufacturing – HMG Paints

Food & Drink – White’s Bakery

Professional Services – Spenbeck

Property & Construction – HE Simm Group

Transport & Logistics – The Workhorse Group

Hospitality, Hotel & Leisure – Zonal

Homes & Gardens – Duvalay

Retail – F Hinds

Health & Welfare – Douch Family Funeral Directors

Our People’s Choice Winners:

Yorkshire People’s Choice – The John Good Group

East & East Anglia People’s Choice – Prime Appointments

Midlands & Central People’s Choice – Palmers at Ullesthorpe

London & South East People’s Choice – John J Smith Funeral Directors

North & Northern Ireland People’s Choice – Candour Care Group

Scotland People’s Choice – Macsween

South, South West & Wales People’s Choice – Goats of the Gorge

National People’s Choice – Candour Care Group

Our National Winners:

Innovation & Sustainability – The Wool Packaging Company

Entrepreneurship – Little’s Chauffeur Drive

Community Support & Involvement – Allied Vehicles Limited

Essence of Family Business – Hayman’s Gin

Ones to Watch – Future Toolbox CIC and White Bicycle Limited

Small Family Business of the Year – Make an Entrance


A great night that was capped off with the announcement of the Supreme Champion Family Business of the Year 2023, an accolade that was accepted on behalf of Gap Group by joint Managing Director Iain Anderson. A fantastic business that deserves all the accolades that come with winning this title. They are an inspirational business, founded back in 1969 and they have weathered many challenges successfully along the way.

The growth journey is incredible and they now employ 2000 people and have a strong and engaged next generation to help drive the next chapter of the journey. Inspirational. Successful. Remarkable. They are a great example of a great British family business and whilst their HQ is in Scotland, they have a great presence around the UK with over 175 depots.

They have a plan to ensure their growth minimizes their environmental impact and they are continuing to grow. An incredible business. An incredible family. An incredible family business. Truly great family business ambassadors and deserving champions. Congratulations to Iain and the wider team at Gap Group on a fantastic win.

These awards were established back in 2012 to celebrate family businesses and the contribution they make. Lat night was certainly a great celebration and recognition of firms that are great ambassadors for the sector too.

Family businesses are at the heart of what we do here at Family Business United. Congratulations go to all the finalists and of course the winners. Enjoy the celebrations! We cannot wait to follow the next steps in your businesses and of course, return to announce the winners this time of the 2024 Family Business of the Year Awards too!

Check out the full gallery of images from a fabulous evening here:

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