CO-FOUNDER of Winnington-based UK Container Maintenance, Emma Elston has been named female entrepreneur of the year 2014 at EN’s north west 'Entrepreneur of the Year' awards.

The glittering awards ceremony was held at The Mere in Knutsford, hosted by impressionist Alistair McGowan and the evening enabled the region’s finest entrepreneurs to be formally recognised for their outstanding contribution to business.

A hotly contested category, Emma was up against six other female entrepreneurs from the north west and was thrilled to hear her name announced as the winner by Professor George Holmes from the University of Bolton.

Emma said: “I am truly humbled to be named Female Entrepreneur of the Year 2014. For my achievements over the past few years to be recognised in this way is such an honour and my award will now take pride of place on my desk in the UKCM office.”

“It’s important that women in business find their voice within their industry - the waste and manufacturing industry has always been male-dominated, so for me I was keen for this to change and speak out about what I passionately believed in and I feel that this has helped me make a name for myself.”

Emma and her husband Julian were determined to go into business and convinced they had spotted a gap in the market but were turned down by the banks and in 1998 they risked everything to get UKCM off the ground.

UKCM now turns over £5.1 million per annum and employs more than 60 people at its Cheshire-based headquarters.