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Individual Excellence Praised At Hull Live Business Awards

Siemens Gamesa blade plant director Andy Sykes was named Business Person of the Year at the Hull Live Business Awards.

Three promotions since joining the original team in a construction role, before operations and overall responsibility, were recognised by judges. And there was little doubt that experience of both elements has helped keep production on track while the footprint is doubled to build even bigger and better.

A total of 300 new employees are also being recruited to develop the blades for the next generation turbines, with new processes to those initially deployed.

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Neil Hudgell in his own words – Outstanding Contribution winner Growth and innovation honoured Mr Sykes said: “I am immensely proud, absolutely blown away. To be shortlisted, for such a superb award and see the amazing achievements by others, then to be selected as the winner, is fantastic.”

And while dedication has been at the core of his career development, modesty about his rise to the leading role doesn’t hide ambition harboured. “I have been incredibly fortunate,” he said. “I was attracted to the site because of the potential it had,I came to secure the future of the business, to win things and for the site to be recognised as best in class, and we continue to get better, and better and better.

“I can’t credit the team enough for their commitment, hard work, the things they have achieved and will achieve in the future, because the sky is the limit.

“We were set up to make blades of 75m, then 81m, now 108m, and let me tell you it will go beyond that – 115m and more. Our factory is set up for the future and I’m just incredibly proud to accept this award, but it is recognition of the team.”

On nomination he told how the “journey over the past few years has been incredible, to see the factory change, the environment change”. Hard work by the Hull tram means more than 7.2 million homes have the factory to thanks for clean energy supply since it launched.

“There is always something to do, always something to improve and ultimately we’re aiming to be best in class,” he added.

Harry Hall is presented with the accolade by Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council. (Image: Donna Clifford/HullLive) Rising Star is Harry Hall, the founder of Beverley-based automotive business Attention to Detail.

He has gone from a 16-year-old sole trader to a 23-year-old MD heading a team of eight, and is still recruiting to serve a growing clientbase of prestige car owners keen to keep their vehicles in showroom-state.

“It means the world, recognition for the dedication and hard work that has gone into it, not just from me but the team as well,” he said. “It is incredible, I’m totally honoured.”

He has recently taken on a second unit to cope with demand, but is considering a future move to a site closer to major motorway links.

“I started just in Hull and East Yorkshire, now we’re all over the country, and on my table tonight had people from Harrogagte, Essex, London, Leeds and Manchester. It is an ever-growing clientbase across the UK,” he said.

Explaining the background, Harry said: “I always had a passion for cars. My Dad used to take me to car events and car shows, but rather than look at the cars themselves as a whole, I’d look at the paintwork and the condition of them, to see why some looked shinier or better than others. It got me into that industry and to see how we could make things better.”

He’s got some road left to cover before netting the car of his dreams, though.

”I need to keep working a little bit harder, but I’m a big Ferrari fanboy,” he said.

Alex Webster is presented with her award by Alan Worthing, head of business at sponsor KCom. (Image: Donna Clifford/HullLive) A tear-jerking award was made to Alex Webster, hailed as an Unsung Hero for how she coped with tragedy.

The service lead for City Health Care Partnership lost her partner following a fall at a rugby match in Rome, Italy. She spent eight weeks by his side in hospital there, before flying home with him, where he eventually passed away.

Her return to work was lauded by her colleagues, and she was praised for the way she put others first throughout.

“It is for my team, my resilience and their resilience, and everyone else who manages to get out of bed every single morning when they have adversity and challenges,” she said. “I had to get back to work, keep myself moving, keep my mind occupied with the strength of the team around me.

“There are 59 of us in my team, a lot have adversity to deal with, and everyone is striving to do their best, to work so hard from home.”