Katapult, a creative business that designs themed attractions and experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world, has been crowned the Derbyshire Business of the Year by East Midlands Chamber.
The Derby-based company – which has worked with leisure industry leaders including Lego, Merlin Entertainments, Ferrari and Cartoon Network and Warner Bros – also won the Excellence in International Trade award at the Derbyshire Business Awards, which was held on Friday (11 November) in partnership with headline sponsor Mazars.
Established in 2001 and employing 15 people, the company’s portfolio of work includes the Ferrari Experience in Orlando – featuring simulator rides, an e-sports adrenaline hub and dining experiences – and the DOTS immersive experience for children at 11 Legoland Discovery Centres across the world.
Closer to home, it created an outdoor hospitality space in Derby market place during the pandemic. With a foothold in North America, it is now pursuing new opportunities in the Middle East.
Derbyshire Business Awards recognises innovation, green growth and entrepreneurship
The Derbyshire Business Awards, held in partnership with headline sponsor Mazars, recognised East Midlands Chamber members across 13 categories, ranging from Excellence in Innovation and Environmental Impact at organisational level through to individual honours for Entrepreneur of the Year and Apprentice of the Year, in addition to the overall Business of the Year winner.
Finalists, chosen by a judging panel of the Chamber’s senior leadership and board of directors, as well as sponsors, discovered their fate during a gala dinner attended by hundreds of people at Reach, in Pride Park, Derby.
Scott Knowles, chief executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: “The past few years have been challenging for our business community, and yet we continue to see so many shining examples of business success across our region.
“It’s always important to celebrate these achievements and shout about the great things happening right here in Derbyshire. We know it is a fantastic place to do business and these organisations – many of which have worked together to maximise their impact within their sectors and communities – are doing a wonderful job.
“Later this month, the Chamber will launch a Business Manifesto for Growth in the East Midlands and Beyond in Parliament that illustrates how our region is a Centre of Trading Excellence. Our Business Awards are full of companies that are living proof of this.”
Money raised for East Midlands Chamber charitable fund
The Derbyshire Business Awards – one of three awards hosted by the Chamber, along with Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire – were hosted by comedian Patrick Monahan.
A raffle was held to raise funds for East Midlands Chamber president Lindsey Williams’ three chosen charities this year – Focus, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Treetops Hospice.
Lindsey, chief executive of housing association Futures Housing Group, added: “Behind every nominee and winner whose name will go up in lights are people and organisations that are truly delivering for the region. Their achievements generate employment, wealth and opportunity not just for those directly connected, but for the wider community.
“So I’m proud to see the Chamber yet again take the opportunity to bring us together and celebrate our top talent – for their success but also for what they bring to the East Midlands as a whole.”
Winners of Derbyshire Business Awards (headline sponsored by Mazars)
Business Improvement Through Technology (sponsored by Purpose Media)
Community Impact (sponsored by University of Derby)
The Enthusiasm Trust
Outstanding Growth (sponsored by Amazon)
Excellence in Collaboration (sponsored by EMA Training)
Cosy Direct and Derby Kids Camp
Environmental Impact (sponsored by Futures Housing Group)
Commitment to People Development (sponsored by Eight Days a Week Print Solutions)
Bam Boom Cloud
Apprentice of the Year (sponsored by Access Training)
Cameron Browne, Devtank
Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Ryley Wealth Management)
Jillian Thomas, Future Life Wealth Management
Education and Business Partnership (sponsored by Concertus)
UTC Derby Pride Park
Excellence in Customer Service (sponsored by Aston Lark)
Excellence in International Trade (sponsored by RH Automotive)
Small Business of the Year (sponsored by Barclays)
Excellence in Innovation (sponsored by Rolls-Royce)
Business of the Year (sponsored by Mazars)