The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards in association with Business Gateway took place on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow Central.

Guests enjoyed a 3-course dinner with wine, entertainment, awards ceremony and official event programme followed by an evening of networking. The event has now passed and ticket sales are closed.

Coming Soon!

Entry Deadline

Tuesday, October 17 – 6pm

Event Date

Thursday, December 7

Event Time



DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow Central


Bryan Burnett


Broadcaster Bryan Burnett is one of Scotland’s best known voices due to the many radio and TV programmes he has presented over the past three decades.

Aberdeen born Bryan currently presents Get It On, a nightly music show for BBC Radio Scotland and has presented a wide variety of programmes for the BBC.

For STV, Bryan presented the long running travel show Scottish Passport as well as quiz shows, documentaries and entertainment formats.

Bryan has worked on hundreds of live events ranging from hosting sporting occasions like the London Olympics, to chairing book festivals around the country.

Bryan is looking forward to learning more about the businesses and celebrating the contribution that our family business have made to the Scottish economy this year.


All organisation entries of the below categories will automatically qualify for entry to the Scottish Family Business of the Year Award looking at the strongest overall Scottish Family Business for 2023 across the sectors.

This is awarded to businesses of varying size including:

SCOTTISH FAMILY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (Mirco) – sponsored by Business Gateway

This category is for a family business headquartered in Scotland with 10 employees or fewer, operating in any sector of the economy, which has enjoyed outstanding success.

SCOTTISH FAMILY BUSINESS OF THE YEAR (Small/Medium) – sponsored by Virgin Money

This category is for a family business headquartered in Scotland with 100 employees or fewer, operating in any sector of the economy, which has enjoyed outstanding success.


This category is for family business headquartered in Scotland with more than 100 employees, operating in any sector of the economy, which has enjoyed outstanding success.

Categories Open for Entry:


A business which makes a sustainable contribution to the community in which they operate. Examples of this could include supporting local initiatives, charity work, demonstrating commitment to their industry sector or taking extra care of employees and their families.


This category will recognise a company which has excelled in the provision of customer service as an integral part of their business. Judges will be looking for evidence of how this has been achieved and contributed to the success and development of the organisation.


A business which has achieved sustained expansion over recent years, against the toughest economic backdrop for decades. Growth could be in terms of turnover and profit, an increase in employee numbers, and/or through expansion into new market-places at home or abroad.


Businesses in rural areas play a vital role in providing employment and wealth in the communities in which they operate. This category recognises family businesses in rural Scotland (outwith Glasgow City, City of Edinburgh, Aberdeen City and Dundee City) from any sector.


This category looks to recognise family businesses who have demonstrated an innovative approach and made it their goal to reduce their environmental impact on the world.


This category will recognise a business which has enjoyed major success in overseas market-places in recent times. Such success could have been achieved with the launch or significant expansion of international operations, through new or existing products and services.


This category will reward a company which have embraced innovation, whether through the development of products and services, or by making changes to service delivery, production processes, or working practices, or by altering the direction of the business radically to adapt to a changing environment.


This award will be presented to an individual who plays a pivotal role in shaping and securing the future of their family business for the next generation. The award will highlight an individual who has demonstrated commitment to and understanding of their family business and the successful future of that enterprise. Individuals can enter this themselves or be nominated by a colleague.


This award will be presented to an individual who has shown loyalty and dedication to the family business in which they work in. We understand that most businesses wouldn’t be where they are without the strong workforce behind them. We want to hear about an employee that has gone above and beyond the call of duty over the last year. Let’s celebrate their hard work, achievements and outstanding contribution to their role and business. The award will highlight an individual who has become “one of the family”.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION – sponsored by Strathclyde Business School

This award recognises an individual or team which has made an outstanding contribution to a Scottish-headquartered family business over the years, from any level of seniority within the business.

2023 Finalists

Fastest Growing Family Business – sponsored by Business Gateway

  • Cobbs
  • Spectrum Service Solutions
  • The Donaldson Group
  • The Hearing Clinic UK
  • We hae meat
  • Wholesale Domestic Bathrooms

Business Innovation Award

  • Beatson’s Building Supplies Ltd
  • The Power Within Training
  • Union Technical Services Ltd
  • We hae meat

Customer Service Excellence

  • Allied Vehicles Limited
  • Hebrides Cruises
  • Sonas Hospitality Ltd
  • Spectrum Service Solutions
  • The Hearing Clinic UK

Green Family Business of the Year

  • Hebrides Cruises
  • Union Technical Services Ltd
  • We hae meat

Commitment to the Community

  • Allied Vehicles Limited
  • Beatson’s Building Supplies Ltd
  • Macphie
  • MPH Group – All Trades Specialist
  • Seabirds-and-Seals – The Original Noss Boat Tours

Rural Family Business of the Year

  • Big Bite Catering Ltd
  • Hebrides Cruises
  • Maclennan Distribution
  • We hae meat

Next Generation Award

  • Alex Equi – Equi’s Ice Cream
  • Barrie Henderson – Hendersons – Eat Better Live Better
  • Brenda Horne – Direct Waste Management Ltd
  • Matthew Wallace Jnr – The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club
  • Rebecca Bell – Spectrum Service Solutions

Scottish Family Business of the Year (Micro) – sponsored by Business Gateway

  • Big Bite Catering Limited
  • Direct Waste Management Ltd
  • H.W.Tankel (Scotland) Ltd
  • Hebrides Cruises
  • Seabirds-and-Seals – The Original Noss Boat Tours

Scottish Family Business of the Year (Small-Medium) – sponsored by Virgin Money

  • Equi’s Ice Cream
  • Hendersons – Eat Better Live Better
  • MacLennan Distribution
  • MPH Group – All Trades Specialist
  • The Cairndale Hotel and Leisure Club
  • The Hearing Clinic UK
  • We hae meat
  • Wholesale Domestic Bathrooms

Scottish Family Business of the Year (Large)

  • Allied Vehicles Limited
  • Beatson’s Building Supplies Ltd
  • Cobbs
  • The Donaldson Group
  • Macphie
  • Spectrum Service Solutions

Recognition Award

To be announced on the night

Judge’s Award

To be announced on the night

Outstanding Contribution – sponsored by Strathclyde Business School

To be announced on the night


Hugh Lightbody
Chief Officer, Business Gateway

As the Chief Officer of Business Gateway’s National Unit, Hugh Lightbody is at the forefront of shaping the future of business support in Scotland. With over a decade of experience in the role, he has worked closely with National and Local Government, as well as various enterprise agencies, to develop strategies that will support businesses across Scotland now and into the future.

A graduate of the University of Strathclyde, where he studied Manufacturing Sciences and Engineering, Hugh began his career in materials management at Smiths Industries Aerospace and Defence. In 1989 he moved into the public sector and has held various economic development and policy roles with organisations including the Scottish Development Agency – Scottish Enterprise, NFUS, Local Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA). In 2006, Hugh achieved a postgraduate certificate in Local Authority Management from the University of Strathclyde.

Today, he leads a team of highly skilled professionals who provide operational support to Local Governments for the delivery of Business Gateway services. With his extensive knowledge and expertise in business support and economic development, he is a well-known and highly respected figure in Scottish business.

LinkedIn – https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/DansCJynnSqPAJxWIVtjVo

Ian McConnell
The Herald

Ian has been with The Herald since 1995. Since 2003, he has been business editor, overseeing a section which is focused on Scottish and exclusive content, while covering the big stories from elsewhere in the UK and internationally. The business section includes extensive opinion, insight and analysis. Ian writes two columns each week for our Business Voices page, covers companies across all sectors, and takes a keen interest in key economic issues. In recent years, he has written extensively on Brexit, which remains a key issue for the economy and the business community. Seven-times category winner in the Scottish Press Awards. A winner of various UK-wide awards, including Scoop of the Year in the Workworld Media Awards.

David Henderson
Head of Strategic Finance West of Scotland, Virgin Money

A career banker with 36 years experience in Retail, Business and Corporate Banking across Scotland and the UK. A founder member of the bank’s acquisition finance team in Scotland, over the last 20 years has assisted many families and businesses to fund their acquisition, growth and exit strategies. A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and an MSc in Organisational Development from The University of Glasgow. Maintains a keen interest in business strategy and during his career has lead a number of key strategic projects for the organisation, including most recently the bank’s LIBOR Transition Programme , representing Virgin Money on a number of key industry working groups and task forces, and lead the internal team which assisted customers to transition loans to alternative reference rates. Currently leads our team of Corporate and Commercial Managers focused on providing a face to face relationship banking service, alongside a suite of digital banking products.

John Anderson
Strathclyde Business School

As well as being Head of SME Engagement at Strathclyde Business School and Director of its pioneering Growth Advantage Programme, John is an experienced non-executive chairman and director in growing businesses and is Chairman of the Gabriel Investments angel syndicate. He is an influential commentator on issues facing emerging and high growth companies and has worked extensively with the leaders of growth companies and family firms, sharing experiences of the realities of growing a business.

Andrew Malcolm MBE
The Malcolm Group

Age 61, Andrew’s experience has covered every practical and managerial aspect of the Group. He started from school in the repair workshops and progressed to driving general haulage vehicles; he became Road Foreman and then Depot Manager. In 1989 he took over the running of the Logistics Services Division and was the driving force behind its transformation into a major, nationwide player in the logistics sector. In 1994 he became Chief Executive of both the Logistics and Construction divisions, joining the Grampian Holdings plc Board in 1997.  In 2005, he successfully led the deal to take the plc Company back into private family ownership. In 2022 the Group celebrated their milestone centenary year.  2023 Andrew was awarded an MBE in the Kings Birthday Honours List for services to the transport industry.

Mairi Mickel
Family Business Consultant

Mairi supports generational and business transitions through a blend of coaching, mediating and advising, she holds safe spaces for UK SME business owners and their families to make collective decisions about their futures together.  She specialises in family dynamics, planning, governance and communication.

Previously a main board director, she continues to be an active 4th generation owner of her 97 year old  Scottish construction family firm, Mactaggart & Mickel Group Ltd. She holds an independent director role on a 2nd Generation Family business in Colorado. She is the Visiting Professor for Family Business at Strathclyde University Business School and is also on Faculty for the Family Firm Institutes (FFI) ‘Certificate of Family business advising’.


Who can enter?

Anyone can submit a nomination, but they must be a family business based in Scotland.

For the purposes of the awards The Herald Family Business Awards judging panel review the below statement as a basis on what constitutes a family business

A family business is a business governed and/or managed by members of the same family (or a small number of families) with the intention of shaping and pursuing the vision of the business in a manner that is potentially sustainable across generations of the family (or families)

Why should I enter?

Not only does being shortlisted (or better yet, winning) an award mean you will be recognised as a leading family business in Scotland in your sector, it is also a major morale boost for you or your workforce and is a great PR opportunity both at the event and long after. If you win, you will also receive a trophy for your display cabinet!

How do I enter?

You must complete our entry form on our online portal to submit a nomination. Head to the ‘How to Enter’ section above for instructions.

Can I enter more than one category?

You can submit as many nominations as you like across the different categories. The categories and the criteria for each can be found in the ‘Categories’ section above.

The Scottish Family Business of the Year Categories are not open for general entry. All Businesses who enter a sector/ achievement category will be entered into the Business of the Year category relevant to the business size.

What is the deadline for entries?

The entry deadline is Tuesday, October 17

How much does it cost?

It is free to enter the awards.

Tickets to attend the awards are as follows:

Table of 12 – £1,900+VAT+Fees
Table of 10 – £1,750+VAT+Fees
Individual tickets – £185+VAT+Fees

What happens next once I’ve entered?

Once you have submitted an entry the Judges will have access to your entry to review. Once the judging session has taken place, we will contact you to let you know if your entry has been shortlisted or not.

How does the judging process work?

All the entries we receive will be considered by our expert judging panel at the judging session in October. Please note that the shortlist and winners are decided solely by our panel and do not come down to a public vote or number of nominations received.

When will the shortlist be announced?

The shortlist will be listed in The Herald and on this website in October.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced at our glittering awards ceremony on Thursday 7th December in Glasgow. More information on the event and tickets can be found in the ‘Event’ section.

What do I do if I have more questions?

We are happy to answer any additional questions you may have regarding the entry process or event. Please contact Events Manager, Sharon Franchetti on 07990 551 065 or Sharon.Franchetti@newsquest.co.uk with any enquiries.