Family-run global packaging and printing firm The Wilkins Group has been crowned Family Business of the Year at the 10th Midlands Family Business Awards.

The Wilkins Group specialises in the printing of folding cartons and packaging for a range of industries and brands worldwide, and employs over 500 people operating from five global sites in Nottingham, Romania, China, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Highly commended by the judges for the 2019 headline Family Business of the Year category is Charles Bentley & Son – a leading manufacturer and importer of brushware and household cleaning products based in Loughborough, and Johnson’s Coach and Bus Travel based in Henley-in-Arden.

Showcasing the most impressive, talented and innovative family-owned businesses, the 12 winners and 22 highly commended companies of the 10th Midlands Family Business Awards were selected from 51 finalists and announced at a black-tie award ceremony last night (7 November), held at the King Power Stadium in Leicester.

Winners of the four new accolades for the 10th Midlands Family Business Awards were Matthew Lymn Rose, managing director of Nottingham-based family funeral service company A W Lymn, who took the winning spot for Next Generation family Business Leader; Nottingham-based O’Keeffe Building Services for the Construction & Property Excellence category; Ilkeston-based Lobina Transport for the Anniversary award; and the winner of extra special new category – Rising Stars – was Derbyshire-based Bright Side Vets.

Other successful winners in the Midlands Family Business Awards included global fresh produce grower and trader Shropshire-based Jupiter Group for the Corporate Social Responsibility category; Nottingham-based online pharmacy UK Meds for the Fastest Growing Family Business category; Loughborough-based household goods wholesaler Charles Bentley & Son for the Manufacturing Excellence category; and Peterborough and Huntingdon-based Andrews Building Supplies for Service Excellence category.

Staffordshire-based The Wool Packaging Company was awarded Best Small Family Business and Loughborough-based CR Civil Engineering was crowned Employer of the Year, as well as winning the publicly voted for People’s Choice category.

Organised and backed by The Wilson Organisation – a Midlands-based, third-generation family business – the annual Midlands Family Business Awards celebrate and recognise the success, achievements and innovations of family-run businesses, and raise funds for local charities.

Attended by over 350 guests – including awards finalists, independent judges and sponsors – the awards were bigger than ever as attendees celebrated not just the achievements of the family businesses but also the milestone of the awards; reaching its tenth year of championing family businesses.

To reach the winning and highly commended spots, finalists met with an independent judging panel – led by a family business leader, industry expert and category sponsor – and all finalists were entered into the People’s Choice Award – the only award voted for externally by the public.

Group managing director of The Wilson Organisation, Charlotte Perkins, said:

“Being the only independent and not for profit awards of its kind, the Midlands Family Business Awards has a sole focus on celebrating and showcasing the hugely positive impact our regions’ family businesses have on our economy by supporting those companies and building communities of like-minded professionals.

“A huge well done to all those who have been successful tonight – both winners and highly commended – the achievements of your businesses are very impressive and the awards will hopefully be a lasting reminder of that.

“As a not for profit event, it wouldn’t be possible to do what we do without the generous support of our sponsors, many of whom have been involved in the awards for a number of years. We are grateful that so many brilliant firms support us and get involved.”

Over the last 10 years, the Midlands Family Business Awards has raised over £35k for regional charities, and to mark the 10th year the awards will be raising money via a raffle for the award’s chosen charities: Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance and The Midlands Air Ambulance.

Main sponsors of the 2019 awards were OrderWise (headline sponsor), Buckles Solicitors, PwC, Shakespeare Martineau, Streets Chartered Accountants and Ward Recycling.

The full list of winners and highly commended businesses of the 10th Midlands Family Business Awards are:

Family Business of the Year (sponsored by OrderWise)

Winner: The Wilkins Group

HC: Charles Bentley & Son

HC: Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel

Best Small Family Business

Winner: The Wool Packaging Company

HC: Hunts Coach Hire

HC: Petwood Hotel

Construction & Property Excellence

Winner: O’Keeffe Building Services

HC: Andrews Building Supplies

HC: S Brown Paving


Corporate Social Responsibility (sponsored by Ward Recycling)

Winner: Jupiter group

HC: Bright Side Vets

HC: Oakland International


Employer of the Year (sponsored by Buckles Solicitors)

Winner: CR Civil Engineering

HC: Total Reclaims Demolition



Fastest Growing Family Business (sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers)

Winner: UK Meds

HC: Juice Sauz

HC: Vanilla Underground


Next Generation Family Business Leader (sponsored by Shakespeare Martineau LLP)

Winner: A W Lymn – Matthew Lymn Rose

HC: Global Solutions for Clothing – Harrison Palmer

HC: Streets Heaver – Benedict Heaver

Manufacturing Excellence (sponsored by The Wilson Organisation)

Winner: Charles Bentley & Son

HC: Grayson Thermal Systems

HC: Jointine Products

Rising Stars

Winner: Bright Side Vets

HC: Recruit 2 You

HC: SMART Balustrades

Service Excellence

Winner: Andrews Building Supplies

Special HC: Absolute Works

HC: Johnsons Coach and Bus Travel

People’s Choice (sponsored by Streets Chartered Accountants)

Winner: CR civil engineering

HC: Johnsons coach and bus travel

HC: UK Meds

Anniversary Award

Winner: Lobina Transport