A DOCUMENT management firm has beaten competitors including Chester Zoo and Jodrell Bank to be crowned Cheshire's 'most responsible business practice'.

Sharples Group, which is based at Tatton Court, on Kingsland Grange, scooped the accolade at the High Sheriff of Cheshire Enterprise Awards.

After being established in 1977, the company has continued to develop and now offers organisations throughout the north west advice on a range of office equipment.

Managing Director Mark Brocklehurst, 54, who took over the £3.2 million turnover business in a management buyout with fellow director David Griffiths, could not hide his delight.

He said: "I believe winning this award proves that our 'principle before profit' philosophy is having a very positive impact on our business.

"People can tell we are different and appreciate our entirely honest and transparent approach.

"Both David and I are committed to running our business honestly and with respect for our customers and workforce.

"We also believe in supporting positive campaigns, charities and communities. Sharples has raised nearly £500,000 for north west based charities in the last four years and has set up the Sharples charity committee which looks for worthy causes we can support."

Mr Brocklehurst has also authorised the provision of free printers and other equipment to a number of charities who have found themselves desperate for help.

He added: "We talk the talk and walk the walk when it comes down to looking after our planet – that's why we are an accredited carbon zero company committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

"We also have a policy of channelling our efforts into our staff so that they can become the best they can be.

"I am convinced the judges in the High Sheriff's Award team had no trouble recognising that fact and I am grateful and absolutely delighted that they chose us as the winners of the 'most responsible business practice' award."