Business leader Bill Scott has been hailed “a perfect role model for entrepreneurs” after receiving a Teesside Hero Award.
Managing director of Port Clarence-based Wilton Engineering Services, Bill received his award from Teesside Philanthropic Foundation in recognition of the “magnificent but unheralded” charity and community work he has done over many years without publicity.
Bill, whose company recently won an £11m contract to supply the UK’s largest offshore wind project, has taken part in numerous events to raise thousands of pounds for charity, while he gives much of his time to the Clarences community and mentoring local start-up businesses.
Foundation chairman Andy Preston said: “Bill built Wilton Engineering from scratch – and has recently led the business back in the right direction with a hugely impressive breakthrough into the offshore wind sector.
“He’s clearly good at building businesses and making money, but what sets him apart from others is that he’s also so generous with his time, energy and his own money.
“If Bill can help someone, he will. I think that’s a fantastic quality. We should be much more willing to champion those such as Bill who not only create jobs but also support the community too.
“He sets standards in ambition, job creation, compassion and generosity. If only we could clone Bill and create another 50 of him! Teesside would then be the most thriving, positive and energetic city in the whole world.
“To the man on the street Bill Scott isn’t a household name, but he really should be.”
Bill raised a combined £7,000 by sleeping rough at two CEO Sleepout events and raised more than £8,000 for the Philanthropic Foundation when taking part in the Great North Run, which he has also completed to support Butterwick Hospice and the Jo and Mya Fund.
He raised significant funds for the cancer ward at James Cook University Hospital with the Fat Lads on Bikes charity, while he also took part in the Stockton Rat Race for the Jo and Mya Fund.
He also donated £1,000 to the Little Princess Fund, who provide wigs with donated hair to children who have cancer, while he often supports Wilton Engineering’s neighbouring High Clarence School.
Wilton Engineering also built a reindeer sleigh that is a star attraction along with Santa Claus every Christmas in the Clarences.
After receiving his award in a surprise presentation, Bill admitted: “I was really shocked but proud and honoured too. I was literally speechless for the first time in a long time.
“I’ve given out several Teesside Hero awards to other people in my role as a patron of the Foundation, so I know I’m in esteemed company.
“When I sat and thought about it, I realised it was a real honour for my peers – the charity’s trustees – to give me such an accolade.”
Asked why he gives so much of his time for charity and community work when he is running a business, he said: “If it’s in your DNA you just do it. I think I’m naturally a giver. I genuinely get more out of giving than receiving. I know some people say they don’t have time but that’s just an excuse.
“There are so many worthy local charities and people who need help, so I just feel compelled to do something.
“I’m proud to be from Middlesbrough, so it really ticks a lot of boxes for me that all the money the Philanthropic Foundation raises goes to TS postcodes.
“Whether it’s business or charity, I’m all for collaboration and working together. It’s a win-win for everybody.”
But Bill admitted he had a soft spot for helping those in the Clarences in the shadow of his thriving business. “It’s an underprivileged area, but the people epitomise what Teesside is about – they’ve got a really strong community spirit and they stick together to make the best of what they’ve got.”
Having also recently been voted Teesside’s most inspiring business leader in a poll conducted by Tees Business magazine, Bill joked: “I’ve been trying to keep under the radar but it looks like I’ve made a pretty bad job of it!”