Stevenage family firm braves dragon fire to win national award

Lewis Howard of C & J Heating and Plumbing Ltd celebrates receiving the award for Tradesperson of th

Lewis Howard of C & J Heating and Plumbing Ltd celebrates receiving the award for Tradesperson of the Year, with Sarah Willingham from Dragons' Den (right) and Will Shuckburgh, Nectar Managing Director (left), at the Nectar Business Small Business Awards 2015 round table event in London. Credit: David Parry - Credit: PA

A family owned plumbing and heating company from Stevenage beat hundreds of others to win a national award.

Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham was on the panel which judged C&J Heating and Plumbing Ltd and presented them with the award earlier this month.

Lewis Howard from the firm said: “This is really big for us as it’s the first national award that we’ve won and it’s recognition of the hard work we’ve put in.

“My father set up the company in 1985 as a sole trader until I joined him when I left school with the plan to grow the business – we have continued to grow over the years and now have 45 members of staff.”

The firm won the Tradesperson of the Year prize at this year’s Nectar Business Small Business Awards.

Sarah, who made her fortune in the restaurant trade, said: “C&J Heating and Plumbing is a really deserving winner of Nectar Business’ Tradesperson of the Year prize. Their specialist work in all aspects of domestic plumbing and heating, both for private individuals as well as large commercial companies, has been a huge success and is an inspiration.

“Britain has a great entrepreneurial appetite and SMEs are the backbone of our economy. I really was wowed by this year’s Nectar Business Small Business Award winners. All six winners reiterate that with hard work and a clear vision, anything’s possible. I hope that their achievements will motivate others to activate their own business ideas.”

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