Entrepreneur of the year Cheryl was ‘over the moon’ to win prize

Left to right Dave Neilson, chief executive of Fusion 21, who sponsored the award, Grace Lea owner Cheryl Mullins, and Andy Crane, television presenter
Left to right Dave Neilson, chief executive of Fusion 21, who sponsored the award, Grace Lea owner Cheryl Mullins, and Andy Crane, television presenter

A Prescot woman has scooped a top business award to be named entrepreneur of the year.

Cheryl Mullins, of own Grace Lea at Prescot Shopping Centre, fought off stiff competition from dozens of other high-flyers to claim the prize.

The store, which sells restored furtniture, only opens in April and has already become a much-loved fixture at the retail centre.

Success at the annual Community Achievement Awards, run by Prescot social impact business First Ark, isn’t the first time Cheryl has been honoured.

She also won a competition to win shop, rent-free, providing a jump-start to her business career.

Cheryl said: “When I was announced as the winner of the award I was absolutely over the moon. I didn’t think that I’d be the one to win so it was a real shock!

“I love being in the heart of Prescot and getting to know the community has been fantastic.”

Victoria Nichol, centre manager at Prescot Shopping Centre, said: “Cheryl has been an absolute delight to have at Prescot Shopping Centre and I am very happy that her hard work and determination to make Grace Lea a success has been recognised through this award.”

Bob Taylor, chief executive of First Ark Group, said: “Each of the individuals and businesses which have been recognised by our awards has proven that they are willing to go the extra mile to make a real difference in their local communities in a variety of ways.

“The awards evening was a great opportunity to reward people who have truly dedicated themselves to the borough and its residents. I’d like to offer my personal congratulations and a thank you to all of them.”

First Ark Group launched the awards to recognise all inspiring and enterprising individuals and groups in the area.

Each of the 11 winners impressed a panel of judges with their commitment to creating success and helping to build a more thriving borough for Knowsley and its residents, mirroring the motivation of First Ark Group itself, which is to deliver real social value and investment to generate growth in the communities in which it works.

Other winners including:

Knowsley Housing Trust Resident of the Year (sponsored by Innovation Central) – Sam Blackwell from Kirkby

KHT Resident Association (sponsored by Structec) – HME in Knowsley

Green Living Champion or Project (sponsored by Lyjon) – Larkins Farm in Knowsley

Community Organisation (sponsored by Gleeson) – Al’s Club in Huyton

Sport Achievement (sponsored by Bullock) – David Perryman from Knowsley

Creative Achievement (sponsored by ITS Technology Group) – The Ambition from Knowsley

Young Person of the Year (sponsored by Orchard) – Tia Donnellan from Huyton

Entrepreneur of the Year (sponsored by Fusion 21) – Cheryl Mullins of Prescot’s Grace Lea

One Ark Achiever (sponsored by One Ark) – Happy Go Cooking from Liverpool

Best Kept Garden (sponsored by Vivark) – Stephen Johnson from Knowsley

Overall Contribution to Knowsley Award (sponsored by Travis Perkins) – Al’s Club

Broadcaster Andy Crane presented the awards, which took place at The Venue in Huyton. The ceremony also featured a musical performance from Eleanor Nelly, winner of Knowsley Housing Trust’s Rising Stars competition, which sought to discover the borough’s best undiscovered, young talent, earlier this year.