Havering 2010 Business Awards: The winners

A COMPANY which suffered its worst ever loss last year only to undergo a dramatic reversal of fortune this year has scooped the top prize in the Havering 2010 Business Awards at the weekend

Family-run Coborn Engineering, which has designed and made machine tools for more nearly 70 years, was named Havering Business of the Year at a glitzy awards ceremony in the City Pavilion, in Collier Row Road, Collier Row, on Friday evening (October 1).

Chairman John Innocent, whose father set up the company in Hainault, Ilford, in 1941 before moving to Chesham Close, Romford, in the ‘60s, said: “The workforce is phenomenally skilled. Much of our success is down to their strength.”

He added: “The award won’t affect sales but it is very gratifying.”

Coborn Engineering is the second largest business of its kind in Europe, dealing mainly to the Chinese market - where it dominates.

Last year the company suffered badly as the recession bit but this year - through tenacity, hard work and bravery - Coborn Engineering recorded its highest ever turnover.

Mr Innocent, 69, who has steered his business through five recessions, explained: “Last year was our worst ever year and this year our best. Our turnover was down by 45 per-cent. It was exceptionally bad.

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Each time we went into recession, we have battened down the hatches too much. This time I was determined to be braver. We didn’t lose any men and we had a lot of product on the floor ready to go. The gamble paid off and when we came out of recession we had an enormous amount to sell.”


The winners:

Havering Business of the Year Award

Coborn Engineering Co Ltd

Sustainability Award

Juniper Food Waste

Shining Through Award

Hornchurch Dry Cleaners

Staff Training and Development Award

Havering Mind

Sole Trader of the Year Award

All Awards

New Business of the Year Award

Total Site Construction Ltd

Customer Care Award

Acumen Design Consultancy

Business Person of the Year Award

Paul Harris - Harefield Manor Hotel

Innovation Award

By Design (Sealants) Ltd

Excellance in Apprenticeship Training

Thomas Sinden Ltd