The winners of the prestigious Neath Port Talbot Business Awards 2018 have been announced at a glitzy ceremony at the Towers Hotel & Spa where the entertainment was provided by Port Talbot’s resident world renowned opera singer Paul Potts.
The ceremony, which showcases the inspiring success stories of Neath Port Talbot businesses, was hosted by ex-Welsh rugby international turned pundit and businessman Rupert Moon and broadcast journalist Frances Donovan.
The awards were sponsored by Skewen based Low Cost Vans, one of the UK’s leading commercial vehicle leasing companies
Organised by Swansea Bay Radio and supported by Neath Port Talbot Council and a host of other generous sponsors, many of this year’s winners had received support from the Council’s Business Development team in terms of grants or advice while some were, or are, currently located within the Council’s business units.
At the end of the evening Managing Director of Low Cost Vans, Rod Lloyd presented a special ‘Business of the Year’ award to Ian Ross, the founder of Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting, who was also winner of the Young Business Person category.
This year’s winners are:
Low Cost Vans Business of the Year 2018 – Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting
New Business Award (with Business in Focus). B.E.S.T. (Bespoked Education Service Team). Based at the Sandfields Business Centre and run by Stephanie Wood-Gilbert, B.E.S.T. provides specialist education services to schools, local authorities and parents and has a top class reputation. It works closely with the Council’s Workways+ Employment Support project.
Local Independent Business Award (with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council). First Corporate Clothing. Based at Llewellyn’s Quay, Port Talbot, with a staff of 50, the company makes uniforms for transport companies, hotels and many others including the Welsh Government and has just gained a contract to make uniforms for staff at the Albert Hall in London. The company enjoys working in partnership with the Council’s Workways+ project to provide training and employment opportunities for local people.
Customer Service Award (with McDonalds) – The Digital Accessibility Centre. This Not-For-Profit organisation headquartered in the Darcy Business Park, Llandarcy, has many years of experience dealing with clients such as Channel 4 and Nationwide. It works closely with the Council, with Operations Director Gavin Evans himself, an ex pro-golfer, having been the recipient of support from the Workways+ project.
The E-Commerce Award (with The Social Butterfly) – Netalogue. Founded in 2001 by three Swansea University graduates all from Neath Port Talbot, the company which builds e-commerce business websites for manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers is a great success story, its client list including big names like Greene King and Transport for London. In the UK around £1bn a month of sales are processed by software generated by Netalogue at its Baglan Bay Innovation Centre site. All 22 employees live locally. NPTC’s Business Team has given the firm assistance.
Specialist Business of the Year (with United Dental) – Warworld Scenics (WWS). War World Scenics makes and supplies quality products to the modelling world. The company, based at the Lonlas Village Workshops in Skewen, was started by Martyn Rees and Mark Jutsum, and is now the largest producer of “static grass” in the UK. The company, which has been helped by the NPTC Business Team, currently employs 25 staff.
Food, Drink and Hospitality Award (with Celtic Leisure) – Cwm Farm Charcuterie. The food firm began eight years ago when Andrew Davies and wife Ruth began rearing Saddleback and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs at their smallholding in Rhydyfro, Pontardawe. Helped by the Council’s Business Development team, they created their “Salami HQ” on the Pontardawe Industrial Estate. Cwm Farm’s range has since been served at a Downing Street reception to Prime Minister Theresa May, and at the British Embassy in Finland – and its charcuterie is on the menu at Parc y Scarlets.
Business Growth Award (with Castle Bingo) – Pebble Engineering. The structural and civil engineering firm was established at the Sandfields Business Centre in 2015 with help from the Council’s Business Development team. Two Directors, Ken Rogers and Huw Howell, had worked for 25 years at a major structural engineering consultancy, the third Pebble Director, Dave Ollier, having worked with Ken and Huw for 14 years. With another ex-colleague Rhys Williams, the four have over 75 years of experience in the engineering consultancy industry.
Leisure and Tourism Award (with NPTC Group of Colleges) – Sgwd Gwladys. With assistance from the Council’s Business Development team, Sgwd Gwladys, a restaurant, bar and hotel in the heart of Neath Port Talbot’s Waterfall Country has now established itself as one of the County’s most popular new tourism businesses with Glynneath’s Max Boyce recently singing in the sunshine outside the premises joined by delighted customers.
Young Business Person of the Year (with Peter Morgan Sales and Lettings) – Ian Ross of Whitehead-Ross consulting. Ian Ross is the MD of the firm which, operating from Skewen, provides education, youth and social programmes. The firm also won Business of the Year.
Environment & Sustainability Award (with Leftfield Environmental) – Awel Aman Tawe. Established in 1998 the Cwmllynfell based firm is now a leader in the field of community based renewable energy schemes including solar, wind, biomass and hydro.
Councillor Annette Wingrave, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Sustainable Development said:
“It’s fantastic how many inspiring businesses we have in Neath Port Talbot and for them to be recognised for the contribution they make to jobs and the economy on nights like this.”