Start-up sets an alarming pace at this year’s awards

Retail Fire, which was founded just over a year ago by Simon Askew, who has a background in fire compliance, provides fire alarms, extinguishers, emergency lighting, sprinklers and risk assessments to retailers and other businesses.

Mr Askew, from Southborough, has been a consultant in the fire protection industry for years, but said he started Retail Fire when it became apparent they had a ‘natural flair’ when working with retailers.

In just over 12 months, the company has become a firm favourite among national companies, with names including Trespass, The Body Shop, Diesel and Hugo Boss among their clients.

The business now employs eleven staff members locally, but few people in the Tunbridge Wells area know who the company is, says Mr Askew.

“We have some excellent national clients, and the feedback we get from them is superb but we do not have much of a presence locally. We want to ensure local businesses know who we are, that’s why we entered the Times Business Awards,” he said.

“We are really good at what we do and we want people to know that we are not just focussed on national accounts or restricted to retail. We are a local company,” he continued.

The company, which operates from Salomons Estate, Tunbridge Wells, has put themselves forward for the Start-Up Business Award as well as the Service Excellence Awards.

Gail Hayes, Business Development Manager who put the company forward explains why.

“We love being based in Tunbridge Wells, and I thought the awards is a great way of raising our profile with local businesses.

“We are looking forward to showing people who we are and what we can do.”

She added that the business includes the Skinner’s School among some of their local clients.

Early entrants to the awards may be featured in the Times.


How to enter the awards

With ten categories to choose from, there’s an award for every business, whether a small family run concern, or a large international company—if you are based in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge or the Seven Oaks district, you are automatically eligible to enter.

Best of all, entry to any of the ten Business Award Categories is completely FREEand takes just minutes to complete.

1) Go to to find out more information and see the range of categories for which you can enter your business.

2) Send an email to your contact details and we will send you an application form.

3) Or you can call simply call award’s organiser, Eileen Sweeney, on 01892 779 583.

The timeframe…

Businesses wanting to get involved have until Wednesday April 24, 2019 to get their entry in.

Each category will be shortlisted to three entries and shortlisted candidates will be notified by email on Monday April 29, 2019.

Winners will be announced at the gala award dinner.

Tickets are available priced at £95 per person or £850 for a table of 10. Numbers are limited and based on the previous four years, the award night will be a sell-out.

The award night will be Salomons Estate on 30 May.


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