John Savage

John Savage of Flame Heating Spares receives his award from Atom Bank's Craig Iley

Savage named Entrepreneur of the Year

John Savage, the man behind rapidly growing heating and plumbing merchants Flame Heating Spares, has been named BQ’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017.

Savage faced tough competition from across the UK and was presented with his award at the glistening BQ Emerging Entrepreneur of the year Awards last night (22 Feb).

Hosted by BQ and powered by Atom Bank, the awards bring together established entrepreneurs from across the UK with the challenge of identifying individuals who in their view are a next generation entrepreneur.

Savage quit his management job in the midst of the recession in 2011 to launch Flame Heating Spares despite having a mortgage to pay and a third son, Jack, on the way.  

Today, the company boasts an annual turnover of £6.4m and employs 45 members of staff across its several North East centres.

Speaking shortly after being named entrepreneur of the year, Savage said: "I’m overwhelmed, it feels amazing to win such a prestigious award, I’m very, very happy!

"Going forward, we’re looking to kick on from here and open more branches across the North East and Scotland."

Bryan Hoare, managing director of BQ, added: "We are delighted to crown John BQ's national emerging entrepreneur of the year for 2017.

"We've had so many fantastic entries from across the UK this year and John is a real example to follow for budding entrepreneurs.

"We will continue to cover John's journey in BQ and wish him all the best for the future."

Speaking at the event, Craig Iley, managing director of Atom Bank, added: "It has been a wonderful event and we’re very proud and privileged to have been involved.

"Just to be involved in the entrepreneurial buzz that surrounds this campaign gives you a really good feeling.

"I'd also like to say a huge well done to John Savage of Flame Heating Spares and also to congratulate all of the other companies involved.

"You have all helped make this great campaign happen and have done yourselves and your businesses proud."

BQ’s Brian Nicholls interviewed John back in 2015 to find out more about the company. You can read his story here.

There were also five regional winners announced on the night, which included:

People’s Choice Award powered by Atom Bank

Laura Earnshaw of My Happy Mind


Scottish Entrepreneur of the Year

David Hunter, founder of Shotscope

Yorkshire Entrepreneur of the Year

James Howard of Yorkshire Payments

North West Entrepreneur of the Year

Laura Earnshaw of My Happy Mind

London & the South Entrepreneur of the Year

Bruce Gray, founder of the Left Handed Giant Brewing Company

North East Entrepreneur of the Year in partnership with Gateshead College
John Savage of Flame Heating Spares