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Winners Of Innovative Business 2010 - Gazette Write Up

Dig It’s No 1 spot

A YOUNG Teesside business has scooped a major award.

Dig It Projects, run by Richard Smith from Saltburn, is now the Gooroo Innovative Business of the Year following this year’s Startup Awards.

For just over two years, Dig It has designed and installed allotment gardens into schools and community groups to allow them to grow their own fresh fruit and vegetables. It also delivers Growing Workshops to the children and parents to access through after- school clubs.

As part of its rolling expansion, the company offers lesson plans that the teachers can use in the classroom to enhance what they are doing outdoors in the garden, all linked to current curriculum targets and Ofsted standards.

Dig It, which has moved into a new office and workshop at the BHive Centre on Skelton Industrial Estate, beat hundreds of businesses across the UK to the title which is sponsored by a management software company.

Richard said: “We’ve had a good year, but to actually get recognised like this gives the business a lot of credibility. We had entered the green business category and didn’t win, but the judges re-entered us for the innovation award.

“Now we can promote this award, which makes people look at you in a different light. It recognises the good work the staff have done and gives us a big pat on the back.

“This takes us into a different area because we were up against all sorts of businesses from around the country.”

Richard, who employs three full-time members of staff and two part-timers, now has developments at 65 schools, and runs 30 workshops.

Dean Miles, Head of Business Development at Gooroo, said: “Dig It Projects have shown that innovative ideas and flair will always win through. We think they have what it takes to become a potential household name of the future.”