Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

School and Storage Tank Designer Excel at Wales Quality Awards


A Llantrisant-based storage tank business and a school in Flintshire have been recognised by the Wales Quality Centre for their commitment to strengthening processes and developing staff to drive business growth at the 20th Wales Quality Awards.

Balmoral Tanks of Llantrisant, who design and manufacture storage tanks for the European market and Elfed High School in Buckley beat off competition from across the country to be named joint recipients of the Wales Quality Award.

An investment by the tank design and manufacturing company into skills and leadership training, has resulted in a positive working environment and high levels of productivity, leading assessors to give them the top accolade. Assessors also found fellow headline winner Elfed High School to be an exemplary model of a supportive environment, encouraging a progressive culture of learning for its students and staff.

The Wales Quality Award is based on the EFQM European Excellence Model and helps organisations from all sectors in Wales become more competitive and sustainable through a root-and-branch review of structures and operations.   Year-on-year, an increasing number of organisations actively commit to improving their business methods and implement improvement plans by signing up to the highly respected business improvement model. The Wales Quality Awards are sponsored by Lloyds Bank and Sony Technologies of Pencoed and supported by Welsh Government’s Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

Producing one of the most comprehensive range of tank products in Europe, Balmoral Tanks works across a diverse client base, supplying sectors ranging from civil engineering to fire-fighting.  The firm undertook the ‘Journey to Excellence’ with Wales Quality Centre to gain expert independent insight on its business.

Ceri Herbert, Quality Manager at Balmoral Tanks Ltd said:

“The revised single-day format of the ‘Journey to Excellence’ made the opportunity for assessment by the Wales Quality Centre possible. Undergoing the process has been hugely beneficial in helping us identify the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities within our business.   We’re confident the experience will stand us in good stead for sustainable growth.”

Home to 600 students from the Buckley area, Elfed High School aims to support and challenge every student to succeed by instilling the values of respect, honesty, integrity, high aspirations and self-belief.  Last year, Estyn inspectors judged the school to be ‘excellent’, and assessors discovered a progressive, encouraging and transparent atmosphere.

Ray Wells, School Governor at Elfed High School said:

“The journey towards excellence, in whatever sector an organisation operates, challenges every aspect of performance as well as the resilience of the leadership team and staff to persevere and meet those challenges with vigour and enthusiasm.  In a school environment, the focus is on excellent teaching and learning and providing the conditions where every student can succeed. The Excellence Model provides the perfect quality improvement tool in which to frame the strategic plan and map the journey. Wales Quality Centre advice and support is, and will continue to be, a vital ingredient to our success on that journey.”

Other winners in this year’s Wales Quality Awards were:

  • Amcanu Ltd
  • Calsonic Kansei
  • Hi-Mark Automotive Ltd
  • Continental Teves UK
  • NHS Wales Shared Services (both the procurement and primary care divisions)
  • Denis Ferranti Group

David Phillips, Chief Executive of Wales Quality Centre, said of the 20th Awards event:

“Winning a Wales Quality Award is a real seal of approval for any business that’s serious about sustainable improvement and skills development.

“This year’s winners are evidence that organisations in a range of sectors and industries are seeing this successful model as a way to not only grow their business but strengthen it from within.  It’s quite unusual to scoop the overall award in your first year of your ‘Journey to Excellence’ so Elfed High School and Balmoral Tanks should be highly commended for their achievement.”

Wales Quality Centre has spent more than three decades helping small and medium-sized businesses in Wales become more competitive and sustainable, through developing their people and processes to enable them to excel and grow.  Organisations from all sectors see the Award as a fundamental part of their planning process to drive business improvement and see it as key to future company development.

The official entry process is now open for the 2017 Wales Quality Awards. More information can be found at or contact David Phillips Wales Quality Centre on 01656 652063 or email [email protected]