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Hull Live Business Awards winners revealed in night of inspiring celebration

One of Hull’s most highly respected figures has been honoured for his achievements in business and the community as part of a night of inspiring celebration.

Neil Hudgell’s outstanding contribution to city life was recognised at the Hull Live Business Awards, with the receipt of the top accolade. It capped an incredible evening where success was toasted from a city-founded giant that now spans the globe, to record-breaking inward investment and micro-enterprise, alongside individual endeavours.

For Mr Hudgell, it followed a run of high profile case wins and representations that has taken him from humble East Hull beginnings to the highest courts in the land, while enabling his beloved Super League side Hull KR thrive.

The gala dinner united leading business figures and was led by inspirational British athlete Iwan Thomas MBE, who wowed the crowd with his life story and incredible footage from his climb to the top of elite sport. And there were several references to the dearly missed Hull regeneration director, Mark Jones MBE, with the city council choosing to dedicate their sponsored award to his memory. In his acceptance speech Mr Hudgell also remembered him, while business editor David Laister earlier led a toast in his name.

But it was the plaudits for Mr Hudgell that brought a 350-strong crowd to their feet. Alex Yeung, deputy chief executive and co-founder of headline sponsor Connexin, presented the award. He said: “One of East Riding’s leading business figures, Hull born and bred, he is both well known and highly regarded in the region, and this accolade recognises his immense and sustained contribution to both business and the community across a number of years.”

Mr Hudgell has forged a national top 200 boutique litigation practice, playing a key role in huge group action inquiries, including the Post Office Horizon IT scandal, the Manchester bombing, infected blood and Covid.



Neil Hudgell with the Outstanding Contribution Award, flanked by Iwan Thomas MBE, left and Alex Yeung, co-founder and deputy chief executive of headline sponsor Connexin.

Hull East MP Karl Turner, who worked alongside Mr Hudgell to quash convictions for subpostmasters jailed for accountancy errors made by the Horizon system, led the testimonies. In a video played out before he took to the stage to a standing ovation, Mr Turner described Mr Hudgell as a lawyer who “very often took those David and Goliath cases that most lawyers would shy away from”. “He gets stuck in to get justice for clients,” he said. “It has not come easy, it has been with really hard work from Neil and his team.” There were plaudits from rugby rival Adam Pearson and brain injury charity founder Paul Spence too.

Reckitt and Adams & Green – named overall Business of the Year – were both awarded two accolades, with the former taking global excellence and innovation, while growth at the animal feed specialist was also highlighted after impressing judges with an incredible decade of delivery.

Andy Sykes, plant director at Siemens Gamesa was named Business Person of the Year, having maintained operations through a huge expansion, having been promoted to the top role.

Winners’ reactions to follow from post-award interviews.


Hull Live Business Awards 2023 Roll of Honour:

Rising Star Award

In partnership with Hull City Council



Harry Hall flanked by Iwan Thomas, left, and Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council.
Harry Hall flanked by Iwan Thomas, left, and Cllr Mike Ross, leader of Hull City Council.

Winner: Harry Hall, founder of Beverley-based automotive business Attention to Detail.

Runners-up: Joe Bannister and Chelsea Gill

Environmental and Sustainability Award

In partnership with C3 Group / GW Power Safe



Premier Modular representatives, with Annelee Roscoe and Warren Fothergill holding the certificate and award, flanked by Iwan Thomas and Ash Wray, founder of C3 Group.
Premier Modular representatives, with Annelee Roscoe and Warren Fothergill holding the certificate and award, flanked by Iwan Thomas and Ash Wray, founder of C3 Group.

Winner: Premier Modular, high-growth off-site construction specialist based at Brandesburton

Runners-up: John Good Group and Pure Renewables

Growth Award

In partnership with Reach Recruitment




Winner: Adams & Green, animal feed fat and oils producer based in Hull.

Runners-up: Airco and Good Travel Management Ltd

Unsung Hero Award

In partnership with KCom



Alex Webster, centre receiving her award, with Iwan Thomas MBE, left, and Alan Worthing, head of business at KCom.
Alex Webster, centre receiving her award, with Iwan Thomas MBE, left, and Alan Worthing, head of business at KCom.

Winner: Alex Webster, service lead for City Health Care Partnership.

Runners-up: James Halls and Darren Howden

Small Business of the Year

In partnership with MKM Building Supplies and Horncastle Group



Polly and Paul Sowden with the award and certificate, with team, and Iwan Thomas and Andrew Horncastle, right, of Horncastle Group.
Polly and Paul Sowden with the award and certificate, with team, and Iwan Thomas and Andrew Horncastle, right, of Horncastle Group.

Winner: Sowden & Sowden, Hessle-based creative digital agency.

Runners-up: Alessandro Caruso Architects and INIT Creative

Innovation Award

In partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council




Winner: Reckitt, global health, hygiene and nutrition brand founded in Hull.

Runners-up: Adams & Green and IHelios Living Reinvented

Business Person of the Year

In partnership with Sewell Group



Business Person the the Year winner Andy Sykes, flanked by Iwan Thomas MBE and Jo Barnes, managing director of Sewell.
Andy Sykes, flanked by Iwan Thomas and Jo Barnes, managing director of Sewell.

Winner: Andy Sykes, plant director for Siemens Gamesa’s Hull blade facility.

Runners-up: Daniel Casey and Tony Prescott

Best Place to Work

In partnership with The University of Hull



The Hull Trains team, flanked by Iwan Thomas and Unversity of Hull's chief people officer, Sarah Wilson.
The Hull Trains team, flanked by Iwan Thomas and Unversity of Hull’s chief people officer, Sarah Wilson.

Winner: Hull Trains, open access rail firm providing direct services to London.

Runners-up: Cloud Design Box and H&H.

Global Britain Award



The Reckitt team, with Iwan Thomas, left.
The Reckitt team, with Iwan Thomas, left.

Winner: Reckitt, global health, hygiene and nutrition brand founded in Hull.

Runner-up: Adams & Green

Business of the Year

In partnership with Future Humber



The Adams & Green team with Iwan Thomas MBE, left, and Bill Walker, chair of Futuer Humber - Bondholders, right.
The Adams & Green team with Iwan Thomas MBE, left, and Bill Walker, chair of Futuer Humber – Bondholders, right.

Winner: Adams & Green, animal feed fat and oils specialist based in Hull.

Runners-up: Soanes Poultry and Willerby Ltd

Outstanding Contribution

In partnership with Connexin



Neil Hudgell, with Iwan Thomas and Alex Yeung.
Neil Hudgell, with Iwan Thomas and Alex Yeung.

This award recognises an immense sustained contribution to business, society and the community across a number of years and will be revealed on the night.

Original artice – https://business-live.co.uk/all-about/yorkshire-humber

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