2013 Winners - Quartix on tract to take Powys Business Award

Successful Newtown-based company Quartix Ltd, which specialises in vehicle tracking technology, has been named Powys Business of the Year.

The business, which has grown its workforce from three to 55 in 12 years, received the overall accolade, sponsored by Powys County Council, at the 2013 Powys Business Awards ceremony attended by 250 guests at Hafren entertainment venue in Newtown on Friday night.

Quartix Ltd, which also collected the Growth Award sponsored by Finance Wales and was a finalist for the Innovation Award, has become a leading player in the telematics industry, competing successfully from its head office in Newtown.

Innovative thinking to develop ground-breaking products has helped the business gain 100 new customers a month, including major insurance companies and fleet operators.

“Their growth in the last year has been impressive and continued growth seems assured through good strategic planning and control, new market development and a strong commitment to their staff,” said the judges.

Andy Kirk, managing director of Quartix Ltd, thanked everyone who works for the company for their loyalty and support.

“This award represents all the hard work and effort by every member of our fabulous team of highly skilled and highly motivated employees in Newtown.

To be named Powys Business of the Year is a fantastic achievement especially when you consider the quality of the other winners tonight. The award will contribute to raising our image in the marketplace and heightening our profile within Powys. Most of our business is outside Powys – in the UK, France and the US.”
— Andy Kirk, Quartix Ltd


The awards, organised by MWMG, recognise and celebrate business excellence at all levels in Powys. Thirty-four business from across the county were shortlisted for the 13 awards on offer.

Opening the awards ceremony, deputy minister for skills and technology Ken Skates congratulated the finalists and said companies across Wales were taking steps to innovate and stand out from the crowd despite the challenging economic conditions. By sharing their achievements the finalists would inspire success.

One of the most popular winners was Dawson Shanahan (Wales) Ltd, a Welshpool precision manufacturing business that has risen like a phoenix from the ashes to win the Judges’ Special Award.

Members of the management team at Floform, once one of the area’s biggest employers, refused to accept that they were finished when the business went into administration. They convinced their main competitor to take a chance and invest in them and now the new company, Dawson Shanahan (Wales) Ltd, has a £4.3 million turnover and employs 38 people.

Managing director David Dawson, who remortgaged his house and risked everything to buy the business, paid tribute to his team at Welshpool.

“I have been in manufacturing for 40 years and I have never received anything like this,

“I owe everything to the engineers in our Welshpool factory whose innovation, dedication, hard work and enthusiasm are second to none. They are truly amazing and I’m so proud of this award.”
— David Dawson, Dawson Shanahan (Wales) Ltd


The Small Business Award, sponsored by Turner Peachey Chartered Accountants, went to Castle Ring Oak Frames, Presteigne, which specialises in the design and construction of traditional timber framed structures. “This is a small company doing big things,” said the judges.

The Social Enterprise / Charity Award, sponsored by Mid Wales Housing Association Ltd, went to Beacons Creative Wales Ltd of Brecon, which is in the process of expanding to increase the number of disabled people employed to 63.

Newtown company Zip-Clip Ltd, which makes wire suspension systems for the construction industry, was back in the spotlight for the second year running, as it added the Achievement in International Trade Award, sponsored by NPTC Group, to the small business award that it won in 2012.

A “world class” company, which is the largest employer in Llanwrtyd Wells, won the Manufacturing Award sponsored by Mid Wales Manufacturing Group. Charcroft Electronics Limited, which has a turnover of £8 million, specialises in the distribution and manufacture of electronic components for use in high-end and often life-critical applications, such as the Eurofighter.

Entrepreneur Layla Bennett, of Hawksdrift Falconry, Rhayader, flew away with the

Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by The Cambrian News and Brecon & Radnor Express. The judges said she has turned a passion for falconry into a fast growing business built on good marketing strategies and carefully planned expansion.

Dynamic Newtown marine and safety hardware manufacturer Makefast Ltd continued its run of success by collecting the Innovation Award sponsored by Welsh Government. The company has been rewarded for developing a culture of innovation, creative thinking and thorough market research by capturing worldwide sales for its yacht fittings and systems.

The Green Tourism Award, supported by Sustainable Tourism Powys www.tourismpowys.org, went to The Drovers Rest Restaurant and J & R School of Cooking, Llanwrtyd Wells. The judges were impressed by the attention to detail throughout the business and its involvement in sustainable community events.

Chartered accountants Whittingham Riddell enjoyed the sweet taste of success for the second year running. The business added the Business in the Community Award to the Excellence in People Development Award that it collected in 2012. The judges commented on the company’s “substantial track record of community links”.

Newtown-based civil engineering and construction company, EvaBuild Ltd, which has exceeded its growth expectations since forming in 2011, won the Start-up Business Award sponsored by the County Times. Founder Nick Evans has grown the business rapidly and now employs 10 full time employees and a team of specialised sub-contractors.

The Lion Hotel, Llandinam, winner of the Powys Business Start Up Award last year, followed up with the Excellence in People Development Award sponsored by Leadership & Management Wales. Chef Nick Davies and his wife, Joanna, who are both passionate about developing people, re-opened The Lion Hotel in 2011 and the venture has proved a massive success.

A family who refused to let a major farmhouse fire halt their bid to establish an eco-friendly tourist development was rewarded with the Farm Diversification Award supported by farm diversification grant scheme, www.glasu.org.uk. Judges were impressed with the planning that had gone into constructing Beacons Geo Park Study Centre, Crai, near Brecon.

Compere for the evening was BBC Wales newsreader Jamie Owen and the closing address was by Councillor Rosemarie Harris, Powys County Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration.

The judges commended all the other finalists, who were:

  • Small Business Award: 5c Services Ltd, Builth Wells and Charging Solutions Ltd near Welshpool.
  • Growth Award: EOM (Electrical Contractors) Ltd, Newtown and Plant i Ltd, Machynlleth.
  • The Social Enterprise / Charity Award: Hafren Credit Union Ltd, Newtown and Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre, Newtown.
  • Achievement in International Trade: Compact Orbital Gears Ltd, Rhayader and Dawson Shanahan Wales Ltd, Welshpool.
  • Entrepreneurship Award: Gareth Burns, The Castle Vaults and N-Mac Newtown Martial Arts Centre and Richard Glover-Davies, GloverSure Ltd, Welshpool.
  • Innovation Award: Anderson Apparel Ltd, Llanbrynmair and Quartix Ltd, Newtown.
  • The Green Tourism Award: Gwaenynog Farmhouse, Dolanog, near Welshpool, Lion Hotel, Llanbister and Red Ridge Holidays Ltd, Cefn Coch, near Welshpool.
  • Business in the Community Award: Charcroft Electronics Ltd, Llanwrtyd Wells and World Alternative Games, Llanwrtyd Wells.
  • Start up Business Award: Cycle-Tec, Builth Wells and Vulcan Lodge Ltd, Rhayader.
  • Manufacturing Award: Dawson Shanahan Wales Ltd, Welshpool and Frame Wise Ltd, Presteigne.
  • Farm Diversification Award: Little Cefn Smokehouse, Churchstoke, Penlan Farm, Brecon and The Bluebell Shepperd Huts, Crickhowell.
  • Excellence in People Development Award: EvaBuild Ltd, Newtown and Packaging Co-ordinators Inc (UK), Hay on Wye.
2013 AwardsElwyn Davies