2009 Winners - Brecon Pharmaceuticals named Powys Business of the Year

Winner of the Export Award (sponsored by HSBC):
Brecon Pharmaceuticals, Hay-on-Wye.

It would be hard anywhere in the current economic climate to find a UK based company that is consistently winning major overseas contracts and expanding its market share. The endeavours of the whole team at Brecon Pharmaceuticals coupled with their investment in the latest packaging technology is bringing increased opportunities for employment and a deserved worldwide recognition.

Winner of the Innovation Award (sponsored by Welsh Assembly Government):
Wipak, Welshpool.

Wipak identified a specialist market need for food packaging for which at the time there was no technical solution. Working as a team the staff amalgamated a number of new and existing production technologies and the innovative solution has provided Wipak with a quantum leap in the art of labelling and food packaging. Over £3 million pounds worth of investment has already secured over 65 per cent of the cheese packaging market and is continuing to offer new worldwide business opportunities.

Winner of the Growth Award (sponsored by Finance Wales):
Dulas, Machynlleth.

Dulas are a co-operative company sharing their success with their employees. The company are a market leader both at home and abroad in renewable energy technology and in line with their company culture sell their products in a socially responsible manner. The sales turnover of Dulas has virtually trebled in the last few years and the judges were suitably impressed that this had been achieved profitably in difficult world market conditions. This is another world leading specialist company based here in Powys.

Winner of the Manufacturing Award (sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group):
GSM, Brecon.

GSM know the problems in the automotive industry better than most. Not content to accept a downturn in their business, the strong management team took a bold decision to secure the business of a major player. Aggressive marketing plus a calculated risk of investing in new production machinery gave them the opportunity to impress. When an established competitor failed, GSM seized the moment. Seamlessly manufacturing delivered a quality product, on time and within budget. The result - the Ford worldwide contract for labelling and today GSM are actively employing the same strategy to secure others such contracts.

Winner of the Small Business Award (sponsored by Federation of Small Businesses):
UK Foodhall, Welshpool.

Like Jamie Oliver, Karen McQuade of Welshpool has a similar passion for ensuring that school meals provide quality British food. She created UK Foodhall just two years ago and the company works exclusively with British farmers and manufacturers, producing natural ingredients for the school meal market. Today UK Foodhall is already the UK's largest providers in this category. This is all the more surprising as the company has just three members of staff. The judge's decision recognises the energy and professionalism that this small team has invested into their business and pays tribute to the extraordinary level of success and industry recognition achieved in such a short time.

Winner of the Social Enterprise/Charity Award:
Ponthafren Association, Newtown.

The judges agreed that this was probably one of the hardest categories to review. Ponthafren is a mental health charity operating in Newtown, Llanidloes and soon in Welshpool. The membership is currently well over 300 and the centres provide an incredible array of support services and activities. The small staff team is supplemented with dedicated volunteers who collectively exhibit a passionate commitment and give unselfishly of their time. Despite a constant inadequacy of funding the judges were impressed by the fact that the needs of the members were consistently given priority.

Winner of the Start-up Award (sponsored by TGAL - Tattum Guest Associate Ltd):
Pure Beauty, Welshpool.

In reality, starting a new business up on a high street in the middle of a recession is regarded as risky, but this has not deterred young entrepreneur Sarah Rowlands. The judges noted the professionalism of her research and business strategy, including identifying an organic market niche before opening for business earlier this year. By paying strict attention to her business model, management control, and providing outstanding customer care, Pure Beauty is consistently exceeding target and profitably growing. Plans to further expand are already receiving the same degree of meticulous scrutiny.

Winner of the Training & Development Award (sponsored by Coleg Powys):
Caleb Roberts, Welshpool.

This was a difficult category for the judges who witnessed some outstanding examples of in house training. In the opinion of the judges however Caleb Roberts have provided something different. In the last two years Tony Succamore has pioneered an online training scheme that has not only benefitted their own staff in terms of service provision and professionalism, but is now being provided unselfishly to other insurance brokers in Mid Wales.

Winner of the Young Entrepreneur Award (sponsored by Cambrian News and Brecon & Radnor Express):
Layla Bennett, Hawksdrift, Builth Wells.

Layla Bennett has turned a hobby into a remarkably thriving and professionally run business. Hawksdrift are involved in local tourism as well as providing free flying displays throughout the UK. They have developed a significant environmental pest control operation; a Harry Potter inspired use of owls to deliver wedding rings; and invested in a comprehensive breeding programme to conserve birds of prey.

Business of the Year (sponsored by Powys County Council): 1st place - Brecon Pharmaceuticals; 2nd place - Wipak; 3rd place - GSM.

Winner - Brecon Pharmaceuticals.

The judges were unanimous in their decision for the winner of the main prize of Business of the Year. They felt Brecon Pharmaceuticals not only meets every judging criteria but it is an exemplar of all that is brilliant in a professionally managed business. They found it functions under strong leadership, invests heavily in training, and it creates opportunity for local employment, and ensures that staff can fulfil their aspirations. It believes in providing products that embrace the benefits of cutting edge technology and it provides a culture that is designed to always give more than its customers expect. On a world stage our winner has amassed a reputation that command respect from both competitors and clients and yet here in its home town it is more fondly referred to as the 'Pill Factory'.