Daniel Mottram, 29, of White Star Security Services, on the shortlist for Yorkshire Choice Awards

A FORMER soldier who now owns a security firm is vying for votes from the public to be named Yorkshire Businessman of the Year.

Daniel Mottram, 29, is on the shortlist for the Yorkshire Choice Awards Yorkshire Businessman of the Year prize, which will be presented at a ceremony at The Centenary Pavilions, Elland Road, Leeds, on April 1.

Mr Mottram, of Thornton, set up White Star Security Services two years ago after working in security in Iraq on leaving the Army.

His firm supplies security services to businesses and schools across the Bradford district, including Forster Square Retail Park, The Gatehaus and Hanson Academy.

The business, which employs 136 people, is now based in Morley, near Leeds, also has an office in Hull. There are plans to open a site in Manchester next year.

Mr Mottram was a Corporal in The Yorkshire Regiment and served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also part of the sniper division.

He left the Army in 2011 to work in security in Iraq for an American-based company.

Mr Mottram said: “I’m unbelievably proud to have been nominated for Yorkshire’s Businessman of the Year. I am so humbled that this has happened.”

He said his business had quadrupled in size over the last 12 months.

“The majority of our work is in Bradford,” he said. “We don’t just provide security guards and cameras but also advice on security, and maintenance and roofing work as well.

“We care about what we do. We strive to make it different.

“We are changing people’s minds about how they see security firms working.”

He said he had left the Army “on a bit of an impulse and worked for the USA company in Iraq on a bit of an impulse”.

“I was born and raised in Thornton on a council estate,” he said. “I realised I needed to get myself out of my surroundings when I was younger, which were poisonous, and joined the Army. I really enjoyed it.”

Mr Mottram is one of 19 nominees in the category, which also includes Howard Moss, managing director at Bradford-based manufacturer Astonish.

Go to yorkshirechoiceawards.co.uk/votehere to cast a vote.