Press Release

13 February 2024

Mitie crowns winners of its Cumbria Business Boost competition

  • Mitie has crowned the winners of its Business Boost competition, an initiative designed to support the development of local entrepreneurs in Cumbria  
  • The winners, Three Hills Gelato and Bakes by Gina, each received £10,000 in prize money, dedicated business mentorship, and access to the Cumbrian Larder Board, to help support the growth of their businesses 
  • The ‘Dragon’s Den’ style competition was judged by a panel of industry leaders including representatives from Source at the Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Muncaster Castle, Caterite, Realise HR and Mitie 

Mitie has crowned two local businesses as the winners of its inaugural Business Boost competition, which was created to support the development of entrepreneurs and businesses in West Cumbria. With this year’s competition focused on local catering companies, the two winners were announced as Three Hills Gelato, a producer of premium ice cream, and Bakes by Gina, a bakery business specialising in cakes and traybakes. This was one of Mitie's commitments to support Sellafield’s social impact multiplied strategy (SiX) as part of the facilities management contract.

As competition winners, Three Hills Gelato and Bakes by Gina will each receive a range of prizes to support their business growth, including: £10,000 in prize money donated by Mitie, access to the Cumbrian Larder Board, a local food and drink suppliers network for businesses looking to promote their local produce, business mentoring from local fresh produce supplier, Caterite, as well as a free stand at Caterite’s Food and Drink Show on 11 June. 

Set out in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style contest, Mitie’s competition attracted a diverse pool of local entrepreneurs who were each tasked with presenting their business ideas to a panel of judges made up of industry experts. This included Ollie Bridgwater, CEO of Source, the Michelin starred restaurant at the Gilpin Hotel & Lake House in Windermere; Ewan Frost-Pennington, Director of Operations at Muncaster Castle; Tariq Malik, Commercial Director at Caterite; Claire McLean, Founder and CEO of HR services provider, Realise HR; and Beverly Winrow, Chief Operations Officer, Technical Services at Mitie.

Working in partnership with Baxterstorey and Caterite, and with support from its long-term customer Sellafield Ltd., Mitie launched the Business Boost competition to foster entrepreneurship in Cumbria, as part of its commitment to invest in initiatives to support the local community. Mitie’s relationship with Sellafield Ltd, Europe’s largest nuclear site, started over 20 years ago, expanding from a cleaning contract to now providing a fully integrated facilities management service for the Cumbria Consortium contract, which covers multiple sites across Cumbria and Warrington and employing approximately 550 people. 

Lesley Sewell, Strategic Account Director, Sellafield Ltd, Mitie, said:

“As a major local employer, we’re committed to supporting small businesses in Cumbria and The Mitie Business Boost competition has been a fantastic opportunity to see first-hand the entrepreneurial spirit across the region. Congratulations to our worthy winners, Three Hills Gelato and Bakes by Gina, as well as to all of our excellent finalists who made this a very challenging competition for our judges! We look forward to seeing all the businesses involved flourish and grow.”

Steve Glasson, Interim Supply Chain Director, Sellafield Ltd, said:

“The Mitie Business Boost is a great demonstration of alignment to our social impact strategy, co-creating a project and involving multiple tiers within their supply chain. The lift through the donation and support the businesses will receive will make a huge difference to their growth and taking that next step.”

Notes to editors

Other competition finalists:

  • Happy Sprout, a supplier of baked vegan and gluten-free goods
  • Dosa Chaska, a catering business that provides authentic Indian food experiences
  • Cumbrian Baker, a wholesale supplier of artisan cakes, traybakes, and other sweet goods

About Mitie

Founded in 1987, Mitie’s job is to look after places where Britain works, and it is the leading facilities management and transformation company in the UK. We offer a range of services to the public sector through our Central Government & Defence and Communities (Local Government & Education, Healthcare and Care & Custody) divisions. Our Technical Services (Engineering Services) and Business Services (Security, Cleaning, Landscapes, Spain and Waste) divisions serve private sector customers in areas such as Financial & Professional Services, Industrials, Retail and Transport, and increasingly the public sector.  

Mitie employs 65,000 people. We take care of our customers’ people and buildings, through the ‘Science of Service’, and we are transforming facilities to be more flexible, safe, sustainable, and attractive to all. Mitie continues to execute its technology-led strategy and in the past twelve months has received multiple awards and validation for its ambitious near and long-term science-based emissions reduction targets from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Find out more at