FOR any business the need to change with the times and evolve is so important.

Family Business of the Year award winners Pennine Plus have done that and more since starting out almost 50 years ago as an aerial installation and television repair company.

The electrical products firm now sells a variety of laundry, refrigeration, dishwashers, cookers and televisions, alongside the original services.

As an independent firm they offer an unashamedly old fashioned approach to business and customer interaction - hoping to keep customers coming back to deal with the company again.

In addition to “looking after the people that need looking after” Pennine Plus is a dementia friendly store.

It is that personal touch that Managing Director Geoff Higgins thinks stands his business out from the rest.

Mr Higgins said: "We wasn't expecting this award at all but obviously it is very welcome.

"When the lads go out to customers, they are our ambassadors. That personal touch we have with the customer has kept us going for 50 years.

"A lot of big firms don't want to talk to anybody anymore it is all internet related, email and online etc. I know it's a changing world but the more businesses that are like that, it give us a better chance of succeeding because we want to talk to people. Talking to people directly has always worked for us.

"Community is what it is all about, dealing with people and delivering that personal service."

As for the future, Mr Higgins added: "I am almost 74 so my idea is by next year (when the firm celebrates its 50th anniversary) I will move sideways as I have got my grandson in the business who will carry it on."

This award, which is sponsored by Packetts, was for established family businesses across all industry sectors, that can demonstrate sustained success across a broad range of measures, whilst ensuring all family values are followed.

The judges looked at the aspirations of the businesses to see how both current and future family generations will be involved in the growth of the business.

Bradford-based 360 Secure Systems, who install CCTV systems across West Yorkshire and Winder Carpets , at Five Lane Ends, were the other finalists in the category this year.