Century Office win family business award

20 June 2018

Century Office win the Family Business of the Year Award 2018 in the East and East Anglia Regional Category. 

The competition in the category included companies such as Coes, The Highfield Event Group and Stephen Walter & Sons Ltd.

Century Office, a UK leader in affordable office furniture solutions based in Colchester, Essex, are proud to be the winners of the Family Business of the Year Award 2018. Organised six years in a row by the award-winning magazine and resource centre, Family Business United, the ceremony this year was held earlier this month at the prestigious Mayfair Hotel and was sponsored by Birketts.

Winners were determined by a panel of experienced judges who looked at a range of criterion including history, family values, governance, development and innovation. Previous awardees include companies such as Thatcher’s Cider Company and F. Hinds Limited.

Paul Andrews, Founder of Family Business United, comments, “Each year the quality and quantity of nominations increase and it is fantastic to identify and recognise family firms from across the UK. It is not just about household names either as the awards give recognition to great British family firms of all sizes and sectors and we are delighted to champion this national initiative.”

Paul Andrews continues; “Century Office have been on a real journey as a family and as a business. They have evolved over time to become a very confident and strong family firm that can hold its own amongst much larger competitors. As a family business, Century Office, have managed to proactively tackle and overcome some of the key challenges that are faced by families in business and used the process to successfully create a platform from which to grow."

Paul Andrews highlights, “It has not been an easy task, yet the honest and real approach taken by Century Office in their submission really resonated with the judges and the underlying essence of family values, pride and passion in themselves as a family in business shone through. Successful family firms need to evolve to stand the test of time and Century Office have taken the necessary steps to ensure that there is a bright and exciting future for the family business that now remains current and fit for purpose in the 21st century. They are worthy winners of the East and East Anglia Family Business of the Year Award 2018.” 

Adam Jones, Partner and Head of Family Business at Birketts, sponsors of this award added; “We were very impressed with the submission, it touched on many of the points that we frequently come across when advising family businesses, be that an awareness of the benefits of good governance documentation, the usefulness of the next generation gaining external experience, through to hugely impressive examples of employee loyalty and also the evidence of innovating the business to help sustain growth. No family business is perfect, and there was notable honesty in the acknowledgement that family issues had to be dealt with or else risk the business itself. Steve and Sarah clearly made the right choice in backing themselves and investing in the business to ensure it sustained them and their family for the long term, and they deservedly took home this award.”

On receiving the award, Sarah Bays, director of Century Office comments, “We were extremely proud to have been nominated for this award, but we did not expect to be the winners amongst so many well-known, successful, local businesses. The last five years we have seen Century Office change almost beyond recognition and it is only down to the huge efforts of all of our team that we have in the past year celebrated a number of successes; some small, some large, but this one is definitely the icing on the cake!” 

Other categories included ‘People’s Choice Regional Winners,’ and ‘Manufacturing,’ plus special categories for apprentices, lifetime achievement, innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Century Office are a leading UK office and contract furniture supplier, with over 40 years’ experience in the industry. They provide workplace solutions and offer a tailored approach for architects, interior designers and facility managers for small offices to large corporations as well as educational facilities.

This article is from the July 2018 issue of The Family Business, our newsletter for those working within family-owned businesses. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website.

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