Manchester has a vibrant music scene, is a sports mecca the world over, capital for live events, and a hotbed of creative talent. It’s safe to say that when it comes to spirit and grit, no one does it better than this big-hearted region.

The inaugural This is Manchester Awards was created to celebrate the incredible talent Greater Manchester has at its heart. Celebrities, sports stars & VIPs turned out last week to celebrate a very special line up of individuals and organisations chosen for their unique contribution to the city.

Representatives from the world of fashion, entertainment, sports, hospitality and technology, as well as those that have contributed to the betterment of the Greater Manchester community, were all presented with trophies at the awards ceremony, held at the Hilton Deansgate hotel.

Hundreds of businesses and individuals either self-nominated or were put forward for recognition by others wanting to spotlight their achievements. Entries were judged independently by a panel which included BRIT Awards’ Ged Doherty, ex-Manchester City footballer Joleon Lescott and Kate Squire from BBC Radio Manchester.

Over 400 attendees came along to the awards ceremony, including Vincent and Carla Kompany, Ilkay Gundogan, Joleon Lescott, Scott Thomas, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Faye Brookes, Seema Malhotra, Stacey Forsey, Simon Wood, and Umar, Mahmud and Adam Kamani.

“As a proud Mancunian, I’ve been lucky to work with many high-profile individuals within sports, music and industry all of whom wax lyrical about how amazing Manchester is and how proud they are to be representing Manchester on a global scale,” said Ziara Siddique, MD of Elite Profile Agency and the founder of the awards.

“It was time to shine a spotlight on all this great work and celebrate their achievements.”

Winners on the night included Wood Manchester taking the award for leading restaurant (formal dining), and Adam Reid being named chef of the year, as well as much-loved sculpture trail Bee in the City being awarded live event of the year.

First ever This Is Manchester Awards celebrated the city's creativity and community spirit I Love Manchester

“I feel incredibly passionate and connected to Manchester, it’s like my adopted home,” said Joleon Lescott, retired Manchester City, Wolves, Everton, West Brom, Aston Villa, AEK Athens and Sunderland footballer, TV pundit and DJ, who helped judge the awards.

“The city has a way of welcoming you and making you feel a part of it even if you’re not actually born here. I’ve spent a lot of time in Manchester and was made up to be asked to be a part of these awards.”

Mark Fletcher, CEO of Manchester Pride, was named the leading individual making a difference in the community – awarded by I Love Manchester CEO Chris Greenhalgh.

First ever This Is Manchester Awards celebrated the city's creativity and community spirit I Love Manchester

Alongside the shortlisted businesses, organisations, charities and individuals across various industry categories, a number of special awards were also presented.

Self-made entrepreneur Carole Nash (MBE) was presented with the ‘Centenary Woman of the Year’ award – recognising the 100 years of female suffrage, for her tireless charity work following the sale of her insurance business.

The final accolade, the Supernova award, was presented to John Roberts, founder of AO.com, recognised for his charity work developing youth zones in the North West and Nationally providing safe places for young people to go.

“As a radio station we’re at the heart of our communities, and we’re all about local passion and pride,” said Kate Squire, managing editor of BBC Radio Manchester and one of the judges.

“These awards reflect all of that and how great our city is. The community award is searching for those amazing people who make a real difference where they live and give them some of the recognition they so richly deserve.”

“I grew up in Wythenshawe surrounded by a big family and have always considered myself from Manchester,” said Ged Doherty, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry and BRIT Awards Limited, co-founder of Raindog Films, and one of the judges.

“When I was starting out, I had no choice but to move away to pursue my dream, but I’m pleased to say that this wouldn’t be the case today. The city is a hotbed for the arts and alive with creativity and support.”

Monies raised on the evening were donated to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Homelessness Fund. Rochdale headquartered Footasylum PLC supported the awards as headline sponsor alongside David M Robinson jewellers as premium supporters of the event.

“Across Greater Manchester, organisations and individuals are working together to end the need for rough-sleeping,” said Andy Burnham.

“We would like to thank the This is Manchester Awards for supporting the fund. Anything that champions the amazing talent we have across Greater Manchester is to be celebrated.”

This is Manchester Awards full list of 2018 winners:

  • Leading Formal Dining – Wood Manchester
  • Leading Smart Casual Dining – Eagle & Child
  • Leading Chef Of The Year – Adam Reid at The French
  • Leading Hotel Of The Year – Hotel Football
  • Leading Bar Of The Year – Albert’s Schloss
  • Force For Fashion – Pretty Little Thing
  • Leading Digital / Tech Innovator – UKFast
  • Leading Cultural Venue of The Year – The Met Bury
  • Leading Live Event Venue Of The Year – Manchester Arena
  • Live Event Of The Year – Bee In The City
  • Centenary Woman – Carole Nash MBE
  • Leading Individual Making A Difference In The Community – Mark Fletcher
  • Leading Organisation Making A Difference In The Community – Manchester City Football Club
  • Leading Sporting Venue Manchester City Football Club
  • Supernova Award – John Roberts, Founder AO.com

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