Packaging boss turned drinks pioneer Cross wins lifetime achievement award

Brian Gillan, head of retail & NI at AIB (left), and Business Eye's Brenda Buckley, present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr Terry Cross

THE one-time owner of a west Belfast packaging firm and now the driving force and main investor at Hinch Distillery in Co Down was accorded a special lifetime achievement honour in front of 600 guests at the 2021 AIB Business Eye Awards.

Dr Terry Cross OBE founded Delta Print & Packaging in 1981, which five years ago he sold to Finnish rival Huhtamaki for around £80 million.

No stranger to the drinks industry, having rescued Château de La Ligne, a Bordeaux vineyard, more than 20 years ago and restoring it to its former glory, he has since invested around £15 million to open Northern Ireland's newest distillery, Hinch, which has already won a clutch of business awards.

Belfast- and Derry-based financial services specialist FinTrU claimed the coveted Company of the Year title at the gala ceremony, the second time it has landed that accolade.

And Sam Anderson, the US-based founder of IceMOS Technology, a high performance technology group with an operation on the outskirts of west Belfast. was named Business Personality of the Year.

In other key award categories, the Q Radio Group was named as Small Business of the Year; telecoms company Barclay Communications landed the Family Business of the Year title; Cookstown remote access systems designer AES Global was Manufacturer of the Year; and FD Technologies picked up the Employer of the Year trophy.

The event at ICC Belfast also included a number of awards aimed specifically at corporate and individual achievement and contribution during Covid, with medical equipment specialists Hospital Services, audio visual firm NIAVAC and Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI, all honoured for their roles throughout the pandemic.

“We were delighted to bring the AIB Business Eye Awards back live after so many months of uncertainty and online awards ceremonies,” said Business Eye's Brenda Buckley.

“And we were particularly pleased to have a record-breaking number of entries and to honour some of the real high achievers and pace setters in the world of business in Northern Ireland.”

Brian Gillan, head of retail & NI at headline sponsor AIB, added: “These awards act as a fantastic showcase of best-practice, leadership and innovation and given the challenges of the last year and more, and it is quite inspirational to see the quality of work on display.”

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