The judging is finished, the votes have been cast and we have a shortlist of hopefuls for Cumbria’s premier business awards.

The in-Cumbria Business Awards will take place on November 23 at The Halston, Carlisle, and 33 companies and individuals are in the running to walk away with a prize.

Guests to the in-Cumbria Business Awards will be treated to a night of entertainment, socialising and delicious food and drink, hosted by hypnotist and mind reader Aaron Calvert.

Aaron initially trained as a doctor before combining his skills as a mind reader and hypnotist to bring thrilling live shows to audiences all over the country. He has appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and is also the star of Channel 4 show Hello Stranger.

Our panel of 10 judges have been intensely scrutinising the entries across 11 categories, including the much respected Businessperson of the Year award.

In addition, all eyes will be on the winner of the prestigious Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria Award, which will also be announced on the night.

All of the judges were given the chance to assess entries in each category before selecting the top three. They then met at in-Cumbria's head office in Carlisle to handpick a group of finalists and an ultimate winner.

The judges in the 2023 in-Cumbria Business Awards are:

• Rachael Bell, Rachael Bell Wealth Management

• Carol Fish, Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors

• Graham Lamont, Lamont Pridmore

• Mark Bowman, Inspira

• Karen Hadley, University of Cumbria

• Kelly Ashbridge, The Cumberland 

• Caroline Barber, 32West

• Gail Rajjayaburn, David Allen

• Jim Walker, Cumbria Tourism

• Rebecca Graves, Director of NRL which is also the headline sponsor of the awards

Graham Lamont, chief executive of Lamont Pridmore, said: “The standard of entries this year was very high and deciding on the eventual shortlist and then the winner of each category was extremely difficult so everyone shortlisted should be very proud.”

“There are so many people out there doing amazing things in the county that it is tempting to name them all as winners. However, in the end we’ve got a very strong list of contenders, including some well-known names and others that people might not be so familiar with.

“The excitement is now building towards November 23 when the winners will be unveiled. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there!” said Sue Riley, associate editor of in-Cumbria.

The finalists are:

Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by David Allen

Charlotte Maxwell, project management, React Engineering

James Middleton, 1818 Auctioneers

Deniss Fridenbergs, plastering apprentice, Carlisle College

Best Marketeer – sponsored by 32West

Emma Sherlock, Stan Sherlock Associates

Oliver Hodgson, Platinum Live

Mark Metcalf, West Port

Best Family Business – sponsored by Lamont Pridmore

Park Cliffe Camping and Caravan Park

Low Sizergh Barn

Stanwix Park Holiday Centre

Flying the Flag for Cumbria – sponsored by University of Cumbria

1818 Auctioneers

Cumbria Tourism

Fine Art Restoration

Business Person of the Year – sponsored by Rachael Bell Wealth Management

Kurt Canfield, Delkia

Mark Telford, Forth

Phil Redfern, React Engineering

Green/Ethical Business of the Year

The Natural Plant Food Company

Park Cliffe Camping and Caravan Park

Paragon Vets

Large Business of the Year

The Cumberland

University of Cumbria

Genesis Homes

New Business of the Year – sponsored by Cartmell Shepherd

The Rebuild Site, CIC

Fisher Financial Associates


Professional Services Business of the Year – sponsored by NRL

Dynamic Training

Rachael Bell Wealth Management

CCL Solutions

Best Community Involvement – sponsored by The Cumberland


Rachael Bell Wealth Management

Razzamataz Theatre Schools

SME of the Year – sponsored by Inspira


Explosive Productions

Harrison Network Ltd