Best of local business celebrated in awards

Niall and Jennifer McKeever of Airporter which was  named Business of the Year and awarded the Excellence in Innovation at the Londonderry Business Awards at the City Hotel
The directors of Allpipe Engineering and coach company Airporter were among the top businesses in the north west to be honoured in this year’s business awards at the City Hotel.

The directors of Allpipe Engineering and coach company Airporter were among the top businesses in the north west to be honoured in this year’s business awards at the City Hotel.

Hosted by the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce and the City Centre Initiative and sponsored by Bank of Ireland, the main awards winners were Malachy Connor and Liam Gallagher who co-founded Allpipe Engineering 21 years ago and are now in charge of a thriving business with 130 employees and exports around the world.

It has just opened its first satellite office, in London, and is rebranding as AE Global in recognition of its increasing presence in the electrical installation sector.

The judges said they were impressed not just by the speed of growth of Allpipe, but also by the commitment of the two men in maintaining a family-type working environment and by their continued support for their community.

Connecting Londerrry with the two Belfast airports , the Airporter coach service is heavily used by business leaders and tourists.

Airporter won both the ‘Business of the Year’ award and also for ‘excellence in innovation’.

The first transport company in Northern Ireland to install wifi on all vehicles its drivers now use iPhones to check-in passengers and sell additional tickets.

A particularly poignant part of the evening was the special presentation made to Sharon McCrossan in recognition of the role of her late husband Martin McCrossan, who ran the City Tours business.

Martin was a very well know local figure and champion of Northern Ireland’s tourism sector, who sadly died earlier this year.

Other award winners included the Pier 59 restaurant, for best hospitality business; An Grianan restaurant in Burt, County Donegal, for best tourism initiative; Wurkhouse, for best use of digital and social media; and Seagate, for ‘healthy workplace 2015’.