“Bradford really does mean business” – that was the overwhelming impression left on the hundreds who attended the glittering Telegraph & Argus business awards.

Cheers of joy and delight greeted the 11 winners in each of the closely-fought categories.

The biggest winner on the night was Ashtree Glass Ltd, of Ashtree Works, Brownroyd Street, Bradford, which not only scooped the Medium/Large Business of the Year award, but was also named the Winner of Winners.

Alan Roper, founder of the family-owned rear view mirror manufacturer, said the awards represented the culmination of 33 years’ hard work. He said: “I’m a bit stunned to be honest – I was at Bradford City this afternoon and they lost, but this makes up for it.

“I turn 70 later this year but something like this makes it worthwhile continuing to work.”

Leading figures from Bradford’s business world, along with the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Peter Hill, turned out for the T&A Bradford Means Business Awards 2011, compered by former broadcaster Jon Hammond, on Saturday at Aagrah’s Midpoint Suite, in Thornbury.

T&A editor Perry Austin-Clarke, beginning proceedings with a speech, said: “I have always believed business is the engine-room of regeneration and it is business that will drive Bradford out of the doldrums and put it back where it should be on the national map.

“If you didn’t know it before you got here I can guarantee that you will leave here tonight with one thought in your mind – Bradford really does mean business and long may it do so.”

Bradford Council leader, Councillor Ian Greenwood, spoke of the important relationship between businesses and the public service.

Keynote speaker Carl Hopkins, Yorkshire business guru from TV’s The Secret Millionaire, gave a humorous and honest account of his development while working in Bradford.

The awards started with Saltaire-based Rance, Booth and Smith Architects picking up the Environment-Friendly Business of the Year Award, before fellow Saltaire firm Image Analysis won Business or Technical Innovation of the Year.

Victoria Newhouse looked delighted as she collected the New Business of the Year award after setting up her first venture, Nora’s Gifts and Interiors in Ilkley, less than ten months ago.

One of the loudest cheers of the night came from the friends and family of Kumar Patel, boss of Girlington-based convenience store Patson Local, who picked up the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

There were also scenes of jubilation as Jane Vincent, boss of recruitment agency Candelisa People, took the Woman in Business of the Year award.

Junior Jam was awarded Small Business of the Year, before brother and sister team James and Victoria Robertshaw took to the stage as Keelham Farm Shop was announced Retail or Hospitality Business of the Year.

Victoria Robertshaw said the award meant more than other national awards the business had already won this year.

She said: “This year we have won an award in the House of Commons, but the feeling we have got from this one is bigger. We’re a Bradford business, this is Bradford’s big award, so it feels like a home win.”

Employer of the Year went to the Incommunities Group Ltd, while the charismatic Andrew Mason won Business Personality of the Year.

Mr Mason said the real winner on the night had been Bradford as a whole. He said: “The great and the good are here tonight and everybody is having a fantastic time, everybody’s really enjoying themselves – there’s vibrancy and excitement.”

  • Read the full story in Monday's T&A