2012 Winners - Wynnstay named Powys Business of the Year at Awards Ceremony

Dynamic agricultural supplies and specialist retail business Wynnstay Group has been named the Powys Business of the Year.

The business, which is based in the village of Llansantffraid, received the overall accolade, together with the growth award, at the 2012 Powys Business Awards ceremony attended by 31 other finalists and around 200 guests at Hafren entertainment venue in Newtown on Friday night.

A huge success story for rural Wales, Wynnstay Group is approaching its centenary in 2018 and employs around 900 people across Mid and North Wales, the Midlands, North West England and Yorkshire.

In addition to its agricultural division, which manufactures and supplies products to both livestock and arable farms, the company’s specialist retail division comprises a chain of 30 country stores and 21 Just For Pets stores and equine and pet feeds wholesaler Youngs Animal Feeds based in Staffordshire.

To win one award is fantastic but to also win the overall award, when you think of all the companies we were up against, is far more than we ever expected.

It’s a tremendous feeling and it’s all down to our staff past and present at Llansantffraid and across the group. It’s a reward for the staff who work so hard. We operate in a very tough industry but we still have a lot to do, including further expansion into the arable sector in England.
— Gareth Owen, Wynnstay Group chairman

The company, which continues to expand through strategic acquisitions, recently announced its half-year results, which showed revenues up 18% to £193.67 million and operating profit up 14% to £4.75m. Agricultural division revenues were up 19% to £154.97m and specialist retailing revenues rose 12% to £38.68m

Wynnstay Group’s chairman Gareth Owen was delighted by the double success.

“The array of category winners demonstrates the wide and exciting diversity of business activities we have within Powys,”

“The record number of entrants this year confirms that the Powys business community appreciates the powerful opportunity they have to showcase the people, skills, products and services they have to a wider audience.”
— Councillor Graham Brown, Powys County Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration.

The awards, organised by MWMG, recognise and celebrate business excellence at all levels in Powys.

Zip-Clip Ltd, a Newtown company that supplies innovative wire suspension systems to many prestigious projects, including the London 2012 Olympics, won the Small Business Award, sponsored by Chartered Accountants Turner Peachey.

Dan -Yr-Ogof, The National Showcases Centre for Wales, Abercrave, had an extra reason to celebrate its centenary when the business won the Tourism Visitor Experience Award, sponsored by Cambrian News and Brecon and Radnor Express. Judges were impressed by the company’s considerable investment to upgrade the attraction, including animatronics and a £300,000 hydroelectric scheme, making it the only energy self sufficient tourist attraction in Britain.

Dragonwood of Newtown, an innovative partnership between Coed Cymru and local sheltered workshops to provide training and employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities, won the Social Enterprise / Charity Award sponsored by Mid Wales Housing Association Ltd.

The Entrepreneurship Award, sponsored by Welsh Government, went to eXwavia, of Berriew, a business established in 2010 by Managing Director Annette Burgess to provide fast, quality broadband to rural communities using the latest technology.

Winner of the Farm Diversification Award, supported by Farm Diversification Grant Scheme, www.glasu.org.uk, was Welsh Farmhouse Apple Juice of Crickhowell, a business formed by John and Margaret Morris to utilise apples in local orchards that were no longer being used.

Pharmaceutical packaging and clinical trials services specialist AndersonBrecon (UK) Ltd of Hay on Wye won the Achievement in International Trade Award, sponsored by HSBC. Judges were impressed that the company has made significant inroads into global markets after launching two significant capital expansion projects to meet the needs of a growing customer base.

The Manufacturing Award, sponsored by MWMG, went to Makefast Ltd of Newtown, who employ 42 staff manufacturing marine and safety hardware. Despite the difficult economic environment, the company has continued to grow and prosper within existing markets as well as expanding into new ones.

The Excellence in People Development Award, sponsored by Leadership and Management Wales (LMW), went to chartered accountancy practice Whittingham Riddell LLP, Newtown, who have developed a culture of continuous and effective learning for its employees. Having achieved the Investors in People bronze award, the company is aiming for the gold standard next year.

Welsh international chef Nick Davies and his wife Joanne received the Start up Business Award, sponsored by the County Times, after successfully reopening The Lion Hotel, Llandinam. The business employs 19 full and part-time staff and has developed a reputation for quality food and drink, having gained entry to the CAMRA real beer guide.

Colin and Mandy Powell, of Luxury Lodges Wales, Trefeglwys, were rewarded for their investment in six luxury lodges and green energy production by winning the Tourism Holiday Business Award, sponsored by Coleg Powys. Holder of a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for the past two years, the lodges have also been awarded gold star rating from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.

Other award finalists, who were all commended by the judges, were:

  • Hilltop Honey, Newtown;
  • TAG-Z Welding and Fabrication, Llandrindod Wells;
  • Ty Morgan’s Bar, Bistro, Rooms, Rhayader;
  • Lon Lodges, Rhayader;
  • The Hall at Abbey-Cwm-Hir;
  • Cantref Adventure Farm and Riding Centre, Brecon;
  • Brecon and District Disabled Club;
  • Felin Talgarth Mill Trading Ltd;
  • Gloversure, Welshpool;
  • Welsh Road Trips, Llanwrtyd Wells;
  • Shakespeare Link, Llandrindod Wells;
  • Bedw Barn Wedding Venue, Luxury Accommodation and Spa, Newtown;
  • CastAlum, Welshpool;
  • Monty’s Brewery Ltd, Montgomery;
  • Newmor Wallcoverings, Welshpool;
  • Frame Wise Ltd, Presteigne;
  • Ty Mawr Lime Ltd, Brecon;
  • Ten Green Bottles Powys CIC, Presteigne;
  • GWR Fasteners, Llanfyllin;
  • Plant I, Machynlleth and NatSol Ltd, Llanidloes.

    Cllr Brown thanked MWMG, sponsors, judges and all the award applicants. He also praised members of Builth Wells Young Farmers Club, Footloose dance group from Newtown and students from Coleg Powys and Llanfair Caereinion High School, who cooked and served the meal and provided entertainment

    2012 AwardsElwyn Davies