Best Employers accredited 2021



Cambridge Enterprise

Cambridge Enterprise is a subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, and we support academics to commercialise their ideas. We offer expert advice and support in commercialisation and social enterprise, including offering academic consultancy services, help with the protection, development, and licensing of ideas, and new company/ social enterprise creation.      

Judge's comment

'Another outstanding employer where the judges recognised the company is doing lots of the right things in every area to ensure great employee engagement. The company has a clearly articulated mission and facilitates communications and feedback from the bottom up as well as cascading information down. It has a sophisticated training and development offering and a clear career framework, and proactively tracks the effectiveness of employee development plans. It does lots on reward and recognition and on employee wellbeing, and is to be highly commended on welcoming neurodiversity and working to be fully inclusive.'

Lighthouse Group

We deliver life-changing leadership and management development. Our mission is to rid the world of poor managers, one at a time! Whether you are starting out in your management career or striving to attain the next level we can support you and your business in reaching your goals.

Judge's comment

'I loved the fact that they went and asked their people about their thoughts when they were pulling together their submission. The only award entry to reference doing this ­– it was great!'

Power Testing Ltd

Power Testing is a family company that started in 1966, supplying our skilled people to solve our clients' electrical engineering issues, keeping their power on and keeping everyone safe.     

Judge's comment

'Really nice entrant into the awards ­– the values that were front and centre of the award entry rang true throughout the submission. Authentic and genuinely appeared to care for their people in an environment where this may not always be the easiest to encourage engagement (and the dog on the front of the monthly magazine is adorable).'


Best Employer 2021 Accreditation



Arthur Rank

We care for more than 4,100 patients each year at our Hospice in Cambridge, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech and in patients’ own homes.

Judge's comment

'There is clear intent from the Board and the management to harvest feedback from their employees, demonstrating an openness of mind to listen, support and pro-actively seek to improve the working experience of everyone. Given that the ARH is a charity, operating in a very challenging sector during a pandemic, they have striven to be the best that they can be, given their budget limitations. Alongside good policies for personal advancement for each employee, it is perhaps the “little things” – the afternoon tea invites from the senior managers to the employees, the gifts on return from furlough and the provision of “Arthur’s shed” to provide space for overwrought individuals to chill, that have so impressed us. It spells an atmosphere of genuine kindness and says, “We care”.'        

The Cambridge Building Society

The Cambridge is an independent, mutual society that has been integral to the community since 1850. We provide funding for people buying their own homes and are a trusted home for people in a position to save.

Judge's comment

'The leadership at CBS take a noticeably proactive, approach to look after their people. Their coaching culture, the design of in-house, accredited learning programmes and the unique “Clever Nelly” system to check on learning retention, all indicate a very active L&D policy. Checking gender balance and having an open “People Dashboard” to measure diversity in the business, demonstrates a positive approach to achieving equality. The funding of external WeCare support 24/7 to employees during the pandemic sends a caring signal internally and the Alternative Dormant Assets Scheme to support the vulnerable in society externally is another part of the holistic approach that CBS has towards people in general. By any standards, the CBS is a great employer.'


CPL creates and delivers strategic content marketing that inspires people and brings them together around our clients' brands and organisations. In short, we help people belong. We have a reputation for excellence among membership bodies, commercial organisations, government and charities. We make it our business to understand what they want to achieve, so we can create content that works.               

Judge's comment

'Strong leadership from the MD provides a clear personal connection to him and the wider exec team.  A really strong emphasis on the wellbeing agenda.'


We are a passionate multi-disciplinary design and property consultancy. Our teams work collaboratively to provide innovative solutions which are sustainable and inspirational. There is a true family culture, with all employees on the same journey to see the business develop its award-winning services within the public and private sectors.

Judge's comment

'Concertus received significant external accreditation from their staff. A strong people focus and a sense of community come across in the application. There are clear development pathways for all and an emphasis on wellbeing.'

Lovewell Blake

As well as being the oldest accountancy firm retaining its original name, Lovewell Blake is also one of the most innovative in serving clients. With specialist teams covering the needs of particular professions and business sectors, we serve more than 10,000 businesses, private and charitable clients across a wide range of sectors throughout East Anglia and beyond.

Judge’s comment

'This is an all-round very good employer, focused on developing, recognising, and rewarding their staff regardless of level or status. Lovell Blake really seek to listen to their staff and take concrete actions to address any issues raised by them, whether it is from the employee survey or from general feedback. They have put in place a number of things that really stand out. They invest heavily in L&D from CPD to apprenticeships where 1 in 3 employees are on a programme. Managers really take the time to say “Thank you” for a job well done and they have a number of bonuses in place for great client work and “refer a friend”. Diversity and inclusion is a big driver for the firm and they have already put in place some actions and have further plans. There is a real sense that this is a company that really wants to improve and be truly an employer of choice.'


LSI Architects is an AJ100, award-winning architectural practice with around 70 people, including Architects, Architectural Technologists and support staff, based in London and Norwich. We seek to create sustainable, innovative, valuable and positive architecture that improves lives, builds communities and enhances society, or as we put it – Life Touching Design.

Judge's comment

'Strong external accreditation from staff. A focus on values is clearly recognised across the organisation. An internal talent development programme which ensures both commitment and retention.'

ML Financial 

We are a small, tight knit team of experts and administrators dedicated to providing a bespoke and tailored service for the precise needs of all our clients, whether that is retirement or portfolio management or any other financial management expertise. We deliver people's financial objectives and make dreams come true.       

Judge's comment

'Active encouragement for people who are driven and want to grow their careers, the inclusion of the story about an administrator who was encouraged to develop themselves and become a qualified independent financial advisor was nice to see.'


N-ERGISE is an independently and privately owned organisation established in 2015. Generating an adaptable, personal, reactive and customer focused approach. The company delivers safe, innovative solutions to the renewables, oil & gas, nuclear and marine sectors, with a firm hand on project delivery and cost control.

Judge's comment

'It was good to see examples of attention in the areas of diversity and inclusion in this award submission and it was good to see the team and charity photos alongside their entry.'      


Opus is a local authority owned recruitment business that works directly with organisations to deliver high-quality professional recruitment solutions. Our vision is to inspire confidence and realise opportunities for people and organisations, and make a difference by adding value, pace and doing the right thing in the marketplace.

Judge's comment

'Grandparent reviews were a nice inclusion in this award entry ­– something a little bit different to the standard approach of manager and employee only reviews.'

Scrutton Bland

We are a leading provider of accountancy, tax, insurance and independent financial advice to individuals and businesses throughout the UK, with offices across East Anglia.

 Judge’s comment

'Scrutton Bland are working on all fronts to ensure they are a good employer and reap the benefits from being so. Their L&D programme is comprehensive and well designed for every individual. Of particular note is the new leadership framework. In the R & R area, their work on the “levelling review” to spot any pay anomalies is testament to their desire to achieve fairness. Returning to work after lockdown has been especially thoughtfully handled, comprising surveys and the accommodation of individual attitudes and emotions. Their trainee and apprenticeship schemes are well established. Recent analysis of diversity in SB is another demonstration of good intent. The last two years have seen SB putting a range of excellent practices into place to make what is good even better.'


StrategiQ is a full-service digital agency with offices in both Suffolk and the Midlands. It offers a wide range of integrated marketing services including web development, branding, design, UX, SEO, PPC, social media, email, video, content and PR. We thrive on understanding the needs, objectives and visionary goals of any business, and devise integrated strategies to help achieve them.

Judge's comment

'It is nice to see a simple set of core values in this one which are easy to understand and remember, and the use of tools like Scoro to help measure and celebrate the success of individuals.'


Best Employer 2021 Silver Accreditation



AMARA is the go-to online destination for luxury homeware. With over 300 of the world’s biggest home brands alongside up-and-coming designers, there’s something for every style and taste. Offering next day delivery, international shipping, and first-class customer service, AMARA.COM is the place to go when ordinary just won’t do.  

Judge's comment

'AMARA work hard in a number of ways to ensure regular communications at a companywide and individual level, and hold regular staff social and fun events to generate camaraderie and a sense of belonging. They recognise success, care about staff wellbeing and are commended for supporting charities including Women for Women International and donating a proportion of profits. Some good initiatives to build upon.'


AGI UK develops, manufactures and sells innovative and high-performance chemistry equipment and scientific glassware for chemists.  We help our customers advance their science. Our culture is built on trust, respect and honesty to enable an enjoyable and fulfilling working environment. By doing so we create happy staff, customers and shareholders.

Judge's comment

'AGI foster a management style of openness and communicate with all colleagues on a regular basis including weekly CEO meetings. They take training and personal development of staff seriously and run a comprehensive all staff awards scheme. They clearly care about staff wellbeing and support agile working, and are commended for supporting StopHateUk to demonstrate their commitment to oppose racism. Some good initiatives to build upon.' 

Hundred Houses

Hundred Houses Society is a not-for-profit housing association founded in 1933 and completed our first development of 100 homes in Cambridge, in 1935. We currently own and manage around 1500 homes in Cambridge and Greater Cambridge. Our mission is 'To Provide Great Homes and Services that People Value'.

Judge's comment

'A very structured and effective appraisal system in place, with plenty of regular catch-ups throughout the year. The team have many opportunities to discuss their own personal development with time to discuss the effectiveness of any training undertaken.'

Lakin ROse

Founded in 1985, Lakin Rose have a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the accountancy arena. We’re a small yet thriving business with an eclectic mix of clients giving us experience in most accountancy-related situations. This also allows us to offer you a broad range of expertise, which leaves no stone unturned when assessing your business or personal accountancy-related matters.

Judge's comment

'The progression for school leavers and new team members is impressive, alongside a strong sense that they are committed to promoting from within, which isn’t always the easiest path to take. So it was nice to read about their approach.'

New Anglia LEP

New Anglia LEP works with businesses, local authority partners and education institutions to drive growth and enterprise in Norfolk and Suffolk. We’re transforming the economy by securing government funding to help businesses grow, ensuring they have the funding, support, skills, and infrastructure needed to flourish, whilst giving them a voice.

Judge's comment

'The focus on personal development was inspiring. It was also great to see diversity champions and the importance given to the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda more widely.'

Newton Commercial

Newton Commercial is the leading manufacturer of British and European classic car trim in the world. Based in Leiston in Suffolk, it employs over 50 craftsmen and women making original classic car interior trim. Established in 1979 it exports over 40% globally and is a great place to work.

Judge's comment

'We enjoyed the simple ‘Newton’s Law’ especially since it was short and sweet, and included a reference to having a sense of humour!' 


Smithfield Foods is the UK arm of WH Group, a global protein business. Smithfield UK is part of the European operations, working with farming and manufacturing companies in Poland and Romania to bring a variety of pork and poultry products to the UK retail, food service and wholesale markets.

Judge's comment

'Helping people to understand both their conscious and unconscious perspectives was a nice initiative to read about in this submission. It is good to see more attention being paid to the quality of 1-1 development time in helping people understand themselves and how they perform and interact with others rather than just static catch-ups with a manager.'

Stratagem Intellectual Property Management Ltd is a full service, UK based, outsourced intellectual property law firm with offices in Cambridge and Oxford. Stratagem has global reach through its growing network of foreign legal contacts and clients and assists clients ranging from start-ups through SMEs to global corporations. Stratagem fills a developing need within industry for the provision of strategic advice and intellectual property management for life science, MedTech, cleantech and high technology companies. Stratagem’s qualified patent and trademark attorneys and solicitors use a commercial perspective and hands-on management approach to enhance the value of IP assets.

Judge's comment

'It is good to see the encouragement of individual's development and career progression. The check-in with each employee I am sure helps to keep the team engaged.'