Meet the winners of this year’s Powys Business Awards
The Powys Business Awards made for an event with a difference in Newtown on Friday night.
But while the awards took the form a Covid-friendly drive-thru ceremony, they still captured the spirit of celebration of business success in Powys as in previous years.
Here are the winners of this year’s awards, which were organised by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group.
Cellpath, Newtown, won the Technology and Innovation Award, sponsored by Industry Wales
Investment in research and development (R&D) capabilities has paid dividends for CellPath which is on target to increase turnover by around 25% this year.
The company, which has 110 employees, was rewarded for its investment, innovations and continued success when it added another Powys Business Awards accolade to its bulging trophy cabinet last Friday.
Dr Neil Haine, CellPath’s head of research and development, said: “This award is testament to the hard work of CellPath’s employees. It means everything to be recognised by our peers.
“We have invested a lot in automation to keep up with demand. We must thank the Welsh Government and Business Wales for their support to help us acquire new equipment to take our business to the next level.”
Co-operative robots are now being integrated into the production process along with image recognition systems for packing and quality control to increase productivity by up to 165% and reduce waste by up to 95%. Sales of existing and new products packed using robotic cells are forecasted to increase by 80% this year.
Cherry Build Ltd, Llandrindod, won the Start-up Business Award, sponsored by the NPTC Group of Colleges
A growing Llandrindod Wells-based company set up last year to turn uninhabitable buildings into good quality, affordable housing was a winner at the Powys Business Awards.
Heather Gorringe, a director of Cherry Build Ltd, said: “We are absolutely delighted and very surprised to win the award because the other finalists in our category were fantastic. Win or lose, we were just thrilled to be recognised as finalists. Hopefully the award will open more doors for the business.”
Cherry Build Ltd was launched in February, 2020 to fill a gap in the market for building refurbishments. The company is focused on investing in training, adopting new technology and using marketing and communications to build its brand.
Gloversure, Welshpool, won the Small Business Award, sponsored by the Powys County Times
Ambitious Welshpool-based web developers, designers and digital marketers gloversure added another accolade to its list at the Powys Business Awards.
The company, which has 18 employees across its Welshpool and Chester offices, collected the Small Business Award, for businesses with under 30 employees, at the drive-in ceremony in Newtown last Friday. The award was sponsored by the Powys County Times.
Richard Glover-Davies, gloversure’s managing director, said: “I have won entrepreneurship awards in the past, but this is the award that I have wanted to win. It means a lot to me and to my staff, without whom this would not have been possible. It’s recognition for the amount of work that the team puts in.”
When customers paused projects during the pandemic, the management team at gloversure kept busy by focusing on developing mobile apps and software to sell as a future service, which is expected to boost the company’s profit.
The company’s team of creative, digital marketing experts offers a range of bespoke services tailored to meet a business’ needs, delivering the skills and know-how to turn customers’ ideas into reality.
Over the past 17 years, gloversure has worked with organisations of all shapes and sizes across the UK and overseas. After 12 years of annual turnover and profit growth, the company saw a large fall in 2016-17 caused by the Brexit vote and small businesses developing their own websites.
Cellar Drinks Company, Crickhowell, won the Micro Business Award, sponsored by Welshpool Printing Group
Buying a drinks wholesale business in the middle of a pandemic, whilst all licensed trade was shut, would definitely seem a risky move.
But Rhys and Chyrelle Anstee did just that and have made their new venture, Cellar Drinks Company in Crickhowell, a success by launching online sales, opening new accounts, securing partnerships with large brewers and moving to larger premises.
“This award means everything,” said Rhys. “Obviously, we have had an awful period with Covid, which has been tough on the hospitality industry as well, but I think we have a bright future, and this award is going to give us a platform to build on.”
Rhys has a wealth of experience in leading a drinks wholesale company, having formerly been a director of Glamorgan Brewing Company, the largest independent brewer in Wales.
He and his wife bought LH Cellar Supplies in January this year and set about renaming and rebranding the business, which supplies beers, ciders, wines, spirits and soft drinks to pubs, bars, hotels and restaurants within a 50 mile radius of Crickhowell.
Team Elite, Caersws, won the Small Business Growth Award sponsored by EDF Renewables
From a business idea hatched on a rainy afternoon in their father’s shed, brothers Scott and Luke Williams could never have imagined that they would be manufacturing and installing their own unique retaining wall products to customers nationwide within seven years.
But that’s what their company, Team Elite Ltd, based at Caersws, has achieved. The company now has six employees together with sub-contractors working nationally and, in its sixth year, has quadrupled annual turnover.
During their first few years in the construction sector, Scott and Luke undertook a variety of concrete based work, which included replacing rotten timber walls, the longevity of which was always in question.
This inspired the brothers to develop wood and slate effect concrete retaining wall products that are durable, aesthetically pleasing and affordable.
The company now supplies some of the largest national housebuilders, including Barratt Homes, Redrow and Jones Homes, as well as other prestigious clients.
Red Kite Health Solutions, south Powys, won a Judges’ Special Award sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG)
An innovative community interest company that works with GP practices across South Powys to provide cost-effective and innovative health solutions was recognised at the Powys Business Awards.
Red Kite Health Solutions CIC, which has multiple offices across South Powys, won a Judges’ Special Award, sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG), at the drive-in awards ceremony in Newtown on Friday night.
Organised by MWMG, Powys Business Awards showcase business excellence across the county.
Sian Jones, business development manager for Red Kite Health Solutions CIC, said: “We are totally shocked to win this award but absolutely thrilled for the team. It makes all the hard work worthwhile in our aim to improve the health and wellbeing of the population of South Powys and doing things a little bit differently.
“It’s great to see the range of businesses here tonight representing Powys.”
SWG Group, Welshpool, won a Judges’ Special Award sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group (MWMG)
SWG Group, which has a workforce of 48, launched The SWG Construction Academy in partnership with Ysgol Llanfyllin in September last year to encourage more young people to consider a career in the construction industry, which has lost workers due to a combination of the pandemic and Brexit.
The academy delivers a GCSE in Construction and the Built Environment to students who receive tuition from industry experts in a range of different construction skills. Some students gain hands-on experience working on SWG Group’s construction sites.
During lockdown, lessons were taught online and students were helped with writing CVs and mock interviews.
Jacqui Gough, a director of SWG Group, said: “We couldn’t me more pleased to win the Judges’ Special Award. It’s great to be recognised for developing the next generation of construction workers in our home county.”
The Severn Wye, Llandrindod, won the Social Enterprise/Charity Award sponsored by Myrick Training Services
Severn Wye partnered with Llandrindod Wells Town Council and Trawsnewid Llandrindod Transition to secure more than £300,000 from the Welsh Government’s Green Recovery Circular Economy Fund to buy and renovate a disused town centre building and establish The Hive.
The Hive has become home to a range of community-led sustainability projects aimed at supporting the local circular economy and meeting the needs of families experiencing in-work poverty.
The aim of the hub, in South Crescent, is to give residents the freedom and resources to support themselves, take ownership of community projects and develop and grow them to fit evolving local needs.
Dave Gittins, Severn Wye’s head of climate change and sustainability, said: “We are stunned to win this award which is really nice for the staff who have worked so hard over the last couple of years to make The Hive a reality. The award raises the profile of what we are doing and hopefully it will allow us to grow in the future.”
Trax JH Ltd, Newtown, won the Growth Award, sponsored by Development Bank of Wales
Despite the challenges caused by the global pandemic, Trax JH Ltd has enjoyed a very successful past year, acquiring tyre sealant company Tyre Protector, investing £2 million in plant expansion and new processing equipment and growing its export market from 25 to 42 countries.
The company, which has a turnover of £6.4 million, specialises in the design and manufacture of weights and sealants to Original Equipment specifications, ensuring high performance and consistent quality.
Customers include Jaguar Land Rover, Renault, Nissan, PSA Group, McLaren, Lotus, LEVC and Caterham.
The acquisition of Tyre Protector has enabled Trax JH Ltd to strengthen its domestic and export markets and create new business opportunities by increasing its product range to supply up to 80% of consumables used in workshops.
Adam Watkin, managing director of Trax JH, said: “We are really pleased to win this award, which is recognition for the whole team. We completed the acquisition of Tyre Protector on the first day of the pandemic lockdown in 2020 and it has taken the business from strength to strength.
“We had such a good time filming for these awards which brought the whole team together. We have such a loyal team and long may that continue.”
AL Technical and 23 Social Newtown, Newtown, won the Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by sponsored by the Welsh Government
AL Technical Services has grown stronger under 26-year-old Aled Woosnam’s leadership during the pandemic, and he achieved a dream by opening 23 Social, having always had a passion for hospitality.
Established in 2017, AL Technical employs 17 people and achieved record turnover in 2020, with further growth expected this year. Spotting a gap in the market for rural internet solutions, he introduced 4G Broadband and provided modern and progressive business solutions to his clients, using his favourite saying: “Bringing tomorrow’s technology today”.
He has plans to open a new base and stores to enable more growth and diversification and has launched a new arm to the business that undertakes website design, marketing and branding consultancy.
Aled opened 23 Social, which has 30 employees, during the pandemic. The venue has a rooftop bar, disability access, TV and state of the art sound systems and utilises social media throughout the premises with talk points, live counters and a greenery wall.
“It’s a big honour to win this award after a very busy year,” said Aled. “It’s a nice reward for all the hard work of everybody employed in the businesses. I wouldn’t be here without my team.”