REVEALED: The winners of The Herald’s Scottish Family Business Awards 2017

THE top family firms in Scotland were honoured last night at the sixth Herald’s Scottish Family Business Awards 2017 in association with Business Gateway.

The Scottish Family Business of the Year (Large), sponsored by Craig Corporate, was won by Glasgow plumbing firm McAlpine & Co, while the Small / Medium category, sponsored by Clydesdale Bank, was won by whiskybusiness Douglas Laing & Co. There was further success for McAlpine & Co, with company director Kenneth Graham McAlpine taking the Outstanding Contribution award, sponsored by Strathclyde Business School.

The awards were supported this year by title partner Business Gateway and category sponsors The Kinnell Group, Burness Paul, TL Dallas, City Gate Construction, Campbell Dallas, Clydesdale Bank, Craig Corporate and Strathclyde Business School.

The event, hosted by Sanjeev Kohli was attended by over 350 guests who gathered at the Radisson Blu, Glasgow to hear from keynote speaker James Macsween, managing director and owner at Macsween of Edinburgh.

Ginny and the Tonic performed for the guests during dinner and Trav ‘Sax’ and DJ Pretty Ugly were also part of the evening’s entertainment.

Ian McConnell, The Herald’s business editor and chair of the judging panel, was lavish in his praise of all the finalists and entrants, commenting: “It was great to hear the myriad success stories from this year’s entrants, particularly given the tough and uncertain economic backdrop in which they are having to operate.”

He added: “The award entries underlined the strength, depth, and diversity and, crucially, the long-term approach of Scotland’s family businesses. In such turbulent times, a long-term view is vital. It was also heartening to see the high regard in which so many family businesses hold their loyal workforces.”

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer at the Business Gateway National Unit, said: “Yet again the quality of the finalists was of the highest calibre, which made the judging process extremely difficult. Across all categories we saw exactly how family businesses in all parts of the country are contributing to Scotland’s economy. Business Gateway is delighted to be part of this year’s awards programme and our congratulations go to all the finalists and award winners.”

Peter Dawson, founder of The Kinnell Group said: “Congratulations to all winners and finalists, who helped make an amazing night. The quality of the candidates and eventual winners demonstrates the calibre of Scotland’s family businesses, which is why Kinnell Group is proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic event.”

Grant Stevenson, Partner at Burness Paull said: “A huge congratulations to all winners and indeed finalists. The standard of Scottish family businesses on show at these awards has been fantastic, and really demonstrates what is special about this sector. I look forward to hearing of their continuing success both in Scotland and as they increasingly operate on an international stage.”

Bernard Dunn, client director at TL Dallas said: “My congratulations to all the award winners, and indeed all companies who entered the process. The awards evening was a great celebration, of family businesses, their people, suppliers and advisers. It continues to highlight the huge contribution that family companies make to our economy, and they deserve this recognition.”

Brian Colquhoun, UK head of commercial banking, Clydesdale Bank, said “Clydesdale Bank is delighted to have supported the Scottish Family Business Awards again this year. The awards certainly lived up to their promise of celebrating, showcasing and highlighting the vital role that family firms play in helping to drive Scotland’s economy. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners – each accolade is incredibly well deserved.”

Tom Craig, chairman at Craig Corporate said: “The 2017 awards have again been a great success. In the category which we sponsored – Large Family Business of the Year – the quality of the finalists was particularly high and we were delighted for McAlpine & Co Ltd who emerged as worthy winners. The awards are a fantastic way to celebrate the importance of family businesses in Scotland and having worked with family businesses for over 30 years, Craig Corporate is once again delighted to have sponsored the event.”

John Anderson, director at Strathclyde Business School said: “Many congratulations to all the finalists who are fantastic representatives of the real wealth creators of Scotland. It was a great pleasure to have presented the award for outstanding contribution to Kenneth Graham McAlpine & McAlpine & Co Ltd, one of Scotland’s most successful family businesses, 115 years old and still innovating and creating prosperity.”

Fraser Campbell, head of family business advisory services at Campbell Dallas said: “The winners and finalists at The Herald’s Family Business Awards in the Large Rural Family Business category demonstrated their ability to balance business success, innovation and investment with stewardship and leadership within their family.

“Achieving success down and across generations is extremely challenging and the participants this year are clear role-models for their peers. Family owned businesses are at the heart of the rural community and are vital for the future growth of the rural economy – we are proud to champion this. Congratulations once again to all of the winners in this year’s awards”.

Gary Tracey, finance director of CGC, said: “The awards justifiably celebrated the leading lights of Scotland’s family businesses. Every single winner is a credit to Scotland. Each plays a vital role in underpinning and strengthening our economy and crucially, they employ many people whose livelihoods depend on the continuing success of these businesses. Well done to them all.”

For more information or to get involved in the 2018 Herald Scottish Family Business Awards please contact Heather Steven on 0141 302 6018, or