A BOOMING Barnsley-based business which has been making the earth move for more than 50 years has secured a highly coveted title.

Warwick Ward Machinery, based at Blacker Hill, was founded in 1970 and has grown to become one of Europe’s largest suppliers of new and used earth-moving and waste recycling equipment.

The company – which employs more than 100 people across four sites in the UK – won the Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber’s Business of the Year, the first time since 2018 that a Barnsley business has triumphed.

Over 550 representatives went to the ceremony – held at Magna and hosted by BBC Look North presenter Amy Garcia – which featured entertainment provided by Barnsley-based composer Catherine Rannus.

Ashley Ward, managing director at Warwick Ward, said: “It has been a momentous year for our business and being named as Business of the Year is something that I think both myself and every member of our great team can feel justifiably proud.

“Having traded successfully for over 50 years, we recognised that we needed to future-proof the business and one of the steps we took was to become a fully employee-owned organisation.

“This transformed our business almost overnight; as a result, we’ve seen growth in all areas of our business, including growing our workforce.

“Winning the award is one of the most prestigious awards any company can achieve, and I feel incredibly honoured that our efforts have been recognised in this way by the judges.”

There was more good news for the borough’s charity and not-for-profit sector with Wombwell-based FareShare, which was presented with the title of Charity of the Year, whilst dementia support charity BIADS was also highly commended, with both receiving cash prizes to support their vital work.

Matthew Stephens, president of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber, added: “This evening was more than a celebration, it was a showcase of the resilience, innovation and collaborative spirit that defines the thriving business landscape of Barnsley and Rotherham.

“It proved to be a particularly good night for businesses in Barnsley, and the work delivered by Warwick Ward made them a worthy winner of Business of the Year.”