First-ever LGBTQ+ Business Awards hailed a success

More than 350 people attended the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards held in Wirral, organised by Drew Cockton and sponsored by Liverpool FC – see the full list of winners

Drew Cockton
Drew Cockton at the North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards


More than 350 people attended the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards which saw 14 accolades handed out.

Organised by Wirral businessman Drew Cockton, the black tie awards ceremony took place at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa. The event was held in association with Liverpool Football Club and in support of The Albert Kennedy Trust.

Businesses from across the North West region came together to support the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community in commerce and industry after a difficult 18 months for all.

Delegates enjoyed a drinks reception followed by a four-course meal and entertainment from Rachel Roberts – the UK’s premier Shirley Bassey tribute act. 

Winners included microbiologist turned businesswoman, Erika Tranfield of Pride Angel, who scooped the Best New Business award for her company which specialises in uniting sperm donors with lesbian, gay and infertile couples.

Liverpool entrepreneur and radio DJ, Josef Hollywood was awarded the prize for Entrepreneurial Spirit. And it was ‘Feel Good Club’, a trendy Manchester-based coffee shop with a focus on mental health and wellbeing which so impressed the panel of judges that they were crowned Overall Winners of the LGBTQ+ Business Awards.

Owners and wives, Kiera and Aimee were on hand to collect their prize presented by ex-footballer John Thompson on behalf of Liverpool Football Club.

North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards
Pride Angel, winners of the Best Small Business Award
North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards
Steve Dobie of Dobie Optimum Fitness with the Best Customer Service Award
North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards
Overall winners Feel Good Club with Liverpool FC legend Phil Thompson
North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards
More than 350 people attended the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards


Drew Cockton described the atmosphere on the night as being “electric”, with attendees up on the dancefloor before the starters had been cleared. He added: “Everyone was in such a great mood; the room was filled with love and positivity. People have been telling me they have never ever been to an event like it.”

Former chief executive of industrial giant Siemens UK, Juergen Maier, addressed the room with details of his personal experiences of homophobia in the work environment. He said: “I support the LGBTQ+ Business Awards because I believe that everybody should be encouraged and able to be who they are, particularly in the workplace.

“I spent the first half of my career pretending to be someone else because of the casual homophobia which existed in society at the time. Thankfully, moments like the LGBTQ+ Business Awards send a firm signal that discrimination is not acceptable and that for the health and prosperity of our nation, prejudices must be challenged and fought.”

Drew added that planning for next year’s awards is back in full swing, saying: “I want to thank everyone who was involved in this year’s awards, especially Liverpool FC.

The LGBTQ+ Business Awards will be back in 2022. To get involved or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities, email

Full list of winners:

  • Young Person in Business Award Sponsored by Levara Properties: Aaron Jones
  • Best Small Business Award sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses: Pride Angel
  • Community Impact Award sponsored by Mode Training: Agent Academy
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award sponsored by Hi Impact Media: Michael Franks Creative Styling
  • Best New Business Award sponsored by LBW Accountants: Queer Lit
  • Best Employer Award sponsored by Be Well Learning: The Senate Group
  • LGBTQ+ Ally Award sponsored by Weightmans: The Open Door Centre
  • Outstanding Personal Achievement Award: sponsored by Owen Drew: Daniel Hughes
  • Best Hospitality Business Award sponsored by Maddison J Creations: Manna Foods
  • LGBTQ+ Business Awards Entrepreneurial Spirit Award: Sponsored by MSB Solicitors: Josef Hollywood
  • Overall Winner of LGBTQ+ Business Awards sponsored by Liverpool Football Club: Feel Good Club
  • Best Social Media Award sponsored by The Christmas Decorators Wirral & Chester: Merseymade
  • Investment in People Award sponsored by Westminster Associates: The Forshaw Group and Knowsley Chamber of Commerce
  • Best Customer Service Award sponsored by Heatherfield House: Dobie Optimum Fitness

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