By Scott Wright

CULLEN Eco-Friendly Packaging was the big winner at last night’s Glasgow Business Awards, lifting three prizes on an evening that celebrated the achievements of city-based companies in challenging times.

The packaging manufacturer, based in Dawsholm Park towards the west of the city, was named most outstanding business at a glittering event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central hotel. It capped a memorable evening for Cullen, which also won the awards for best performing large business, and innovation in business.

Cullen, which began life as a cardboard box manufacturer in Tradeston in 1921, supplies companies across a range of sectors with high-quality, sustainable packaging. With annual turnover of £15 million, the company has manufactured more one billion eco-friendly products since 2019.

The three titles picked up by Cullen were among 17 awards presented on the night. These included the award for excellence in communications, sponsored by The Herald. This award was presented by Catherine Salmond, editor of The Herald, to AC Whyte & Co.

The Glasgow Times, sister newspaper to The Herald, again sponsored the award for Glasgow’s favourite business, which this year went to Glasgow Science Centre. The venue, which is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, has played a key role in the redevelopment of Clydeside, where neighbours include BBC Scotland and STV. The centre has also been credited with working hard to improve access to its facilities, providing more than 100,000 travel grants to people from Glasgow’s most-deprived areas to encourage the next generation to engage with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

This year’s ceremony, sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland with The Herald as media sponsor, highlighted the resilience and determination of Glasgow businesses in the face of challenging circumstances. Those qualities were underlined by the presentation of the first ever Glasgow Business Award for Business Resilience, which went to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity. The charity received high praise for its proactive approach to safeguarding its operations through resilience planning, ensuring that it can continue to operate when disruption occurs.

Building on the 2021 ceremony and the COP26 conference on climate change held in Glasgow last November, sustainability was again a core focus of the event, with three awards presented on this theme. Matthew Algie was named green champion, GlasGo Bus Alliance was recognised for net zero achievement, and Barclays took home the award for sustainable development. The latter was awarded for its recently opened Glasgow campus on the south banks of the Clyde, in which the bank invested £330 million.

KC Group Shipping took home two awards on the night. As well as the prize for international trade, chief executive David W Milne was crowned entrepreneur of the year. KC recently established the first Scotland to China direct shipping route which has been hailed as a breakthrough for Scottish trade.

The final accolade of the evening, the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Award for Lifetime Achievement, was presented to Professor Pamela Gillies CBE of Glasgow Caledonian University, for services to education.

Richard Muir, deputy chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “This year’s awards ceremony comes at a time where many of our members are entering into more uncertain, challenging and unprecedented times. It feels pertinent to recognise the hard work undertaken by Glasgow’s business community to continue to flourish at this time.

“Glasgow Chamber of Commerce has been highly impressed by the high standard and variety of nominees celebrated tonight. It demonstrates the unwavering passion and entrepreneurship present in Glasgow and its pivotal role in restrengthening the Scottish economy.

“Thank you to our sponsors and all our entrants, and congratulations to our deserving winners on the evening.”

Judith Cruickshank, managing director of Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “The Glasgow Business Awards provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the ingenuity, innovation and resilience of the city’s businesses, and the individuals behind them.

“We are proud to continue our longstanding support for the event and for Glasgow’s business leaders. This year’s winners reflect the core values which have shaped Glasgow into the forward thinking, thriving city that it has become today.

“We’d like to extend our congratulations to all the winners, and we look forward to continuing to provide the support that Glasgow businesses need to drive the economy forward and lead Scotland into a bright future”.