2011 Winners - A Newtown firm which manufactures boat fittings named Powys Business of the Year.
In this year's Powys Business Awards, the top accolade went to Makefast Ltd, which impressed judges with its innovative skills, its strategies in a tough market, its new products and its staff development.
A total of ten awards were handed out at a glittering black tie dinner in Theatr Hafren in Newtown on Tuesday night (27th September).
So popular are the awards - now in their third year, and organised by MWMG, Powys County Council and the Cambrian News - that entries this year had doubled from last year.
Other winners were:
Social Enterprise/Charity Award(sponsored by Mid-Wales Housing Association Ltd) – winner Beacon Creative, Brecon. Judges said Beacon Creative provided disadvantaged people with opportunities to contribute to a thriving business ; they had also diversified into running a popular and successful cafe. Runners-up - Barnadoes, Newtown, and Family Crisis Centre, Newtown.
Manufacturing Award (sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group) – winner Makefast, Newtown. Judges said they were particularly impressed with the strategies employed by the company to meet the challenges of a tough market, which had seen Makefast Ltd invest in new markets and products, and staff development. Runners-up - Welsh Oak Frame, Caersws, and Caerbont Automotive, Abercrave.
Growth Award (sponsored by Finance Wales) – winner Castalum, Welshpool. Judges said Castalum Ltd was able to recover from the brink of disaster after its original US parent went bankrupt, followed closely by their single largest customer. Castalum's recovery and growth, with the help of loyal staff, was described as outstanding, leading to a doubling of the original 2009 workforce. Runners-up - Plant i, Machynlleth; Cellpath, Newtown, and Brecon Pharmaceuticals, Hay-on-Wye.
Young Entrepreneur Award(sponsored by Cambrian News and Brecon and Radnor Express) – winner Gloversure, Welshpool. Judges gave this award to Gloversure for a second time because they felt Richard Glover Davies was an exceptional individual who in a few short years in business has achieved more than many who have been in business for decades. Runners-up - Active 8, Newtown, and Select Security, Crickhowell.
Start Up Award (sponsored by County Times) – winner The Knighton Hotel, Knighton. Judges said the formidable husband and wife team of Paul and Rowena Williams had, despite numerous setbacks, created a showcase hotel with excellent facilities, including a soon-to-be-opened cinema and health spa. Runners-up - Select Security, Crickhowell; Skye Energy, Llanymynech, and Checkers, Montgomery.
Training Award (sponsored by Coleg Powys) – winner Broadcrown, Newtown. Judges were impressed by a comprehensive training regime for the company's staff. Runners-up - Cantref, Brecon, and Traditional Building Co, Llanigon.
Small Business Award(sponsored by Turner Peachey, Chartered Accountants) – winner Plant i, Machynlleth. Judges noted a growing portfolio of customers and a reputation for innovative solutions, an impressive growth rate, strong leadership and inclusion of all the team in the decision-making process. Runners-up - Gloversure, Welshpool; and Skye Instruments, Llandrindod Wells.
Leadership Award (sponsored by Leadership & Management Wales) – winner Victoria Humpherston of Abbey Cwm Hir, Llandrindod Wells. Judges felt Victoria had persuaded others to do extraordinary things, by acquiring a large mansion and converting it into an unusual tourist attraction. The restoration project took 13 years and the end result is testimony to the hidden talents of people of the surrounding area and the ability of Victoria to harness the skills. Runners-up - Tim Gudgeon of Ontrac, Newtown, and Andrew Barker of Mangar International, Presteigne.
Tourism Award(sponsored by Tourism Partnership Mid Wales) – winner The Metropole, Llandrindod Wells. Judges said this great hotel had been open for over 100 years and for much of this period had been in the ownership of the Baird-Murray family who still run the hotel today. Owners have recently upgraded and added a superb health spa. What impressed was the way the business sought to keep reinventing itself to meet a changing client profile, whilst never losing individual attention. Runners-up - Cross Foxes, Dolgellau; Gwesty Cymru, Aberystwyth, and Cantref, Brecon.
Overall Business of the Year Award (sponsored by Powys County Council) – winner Makefast Ltd, Newtown
Judges' Award (sponsored by Themes Restaurant) – winner Welsh Oak Frame, Caersws. The judges were impressed with this company because it stood out in the way the whole team of staff worked seamlessly together. It was like a good family, supporting each other, yet having a clear understanding of the particular importance of their contribution to the whole business. The team won the admiration of the judges as being “rather special”.
The Powys Business Awards celebrate excellence in business in the county and bring recognition in the local and regional business communities.