Welcome to the
Neath Port Talbot Business Awards 2018!
Businesses from across the County Borough were recognised and rewarded on Thursday June 7th at Swansea Bay Radio’s inaugural Neath Port Talbot Business Awards. The event took place at The Towers Hotel & Spa, Jersey Marine and was sponsored by Skewen based Low Cost Vans, one of the UK’s leading commercial vehicle leasing companies. From software developers with blue-chip clients to producers of high quality delicatessen products, the evening was a celebration of the diverse range of successful homegrown companies based across Neath Port Talbot.
Former Wales rugby international Rupert Moon and TV presenter Frances Donovan hosted the evening and entertainment was provided by Port Talbot’s own global singing star Paul Potts. Three finalists were profiled in ten award categories before each winner was revealed. At the end of the evening Managing Director of Low Cost Vans, Rod Lloyd presented a special ‘Business of the Year’ award to Ian Ross, the founder of Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting, who was also winner of the Young Business Person category.
Rod Lloyd said: “The quality and range of businesses within Neath Port Talbot is incredible. It was an extremely tough task, but after much deliberation, we decided to present Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting with the Business of the Year award. Ian has created a superb business which transforms the lives of people who engage in his training and support programmes locally. We were also impressed by how Whitehead-Ross are now expanding and winning contracts in England too”.
Finally, we raised over £1000 for Dewis through the raffle and generous donations from the businesses attending the evening.
Neath Port Talbot Business Awards 2018 Winners
New Business Award with Business in Focus
Bespoke Education Service Team Ltd.
Bespoke Education Service Team also known as B.E.S.T., provides a valuable service to schools. This includes: teachers, teaching assistants and exam invigilators. The company also provides education services for pupils who are unable to attend school for a variety of reasons including medical conditions and anxiety. Without this service these pupils would not have access to an education. B.E.S.T. teachers travel to their homes, thus offering them the same life chances as those children who are able to attend school regularly.
Under Managing Director, Stephanie Wood-Gilbert, Bespoke Education Service Team now employs 48 local people and the company continues to expand within the Neath Port Talbot area.
Local Independent Business Award with Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
First Corporate Clothing Ltd.
First Corporate Clothing is a local success story. From humble beginnings in the late nineties to a 33,000 square foot Manufacturing and Warehousing site at Llewellyn’s Quay, Port Talbot …the company employs over 50 members of staff. First Corporate Clothing manufacture their own range of both ladies and men’s tailored suiting. Their customer base includes: The Principality Building Society, Cardiff Bus, Costa, Great Ormond Street Hospital and The Royal Albert Hall.
Customer Service Award with McDonalds
Digital Accessibility Centre
Social enterprise, the Digital Accessibility Centre provides specialist digital accessibility testing services. They work with clients to ensure their digital media outputs are accessible to individuals with challenges such as visual and mobility impairments and dyslexia. Based at Darcy Business Park, they employ 33 staff and every member of their testing team represents the groups they seek to support.
The Digital Accessibility Centre boasts many blue-chip clients including HMRC, Santander and Lloyds …the BBC and Channel 4. Customer service is central to the company’s success and they’ve developed innovative ways of making sure they deliver on this. Such as… their real time video testing and support service which enables web-developers to request testing of the website as it develops.
The E-Commerce Award with The Social Butterfly
Based at Baglan Bay Innovation Centre, Netalogue employs 22 people and develops and supplies software solutions for building e-commerce websites for large and small businesses. The three Port Talbot born IT graduates that formed the company back in 2001 …funded their start-up by raising venture capital on one of the alternative stock market exchanges.
One of its first clients was Transport for London. Customers now include the pub chain Greene King, paint manufacturer Farrow & Ball, and security specialists Chubb. More than £1bn of sales are processed by companies using Netalogue’s software every month. Managing Director, Andrew Robathan is rightfully proud of their achievements and says the next step is to expand into the international marketplace.
Specialist Business of the Year with United Dental
War World Scenics
As businesses go …they don’t come much more specialist than servicing the gamer and model railway market. But, that’s what War World Scenics is all about! Owners Martyn Rees and Mark Jutsum have built not only models, but a superb business that now employs 25 people in Skewen.
Food, Drink and Hospitality Award with Celtic Leisure
Cwm Farm Charcuterie’s salami and cured meats are gaining a worldwide reputation for flavour and innovation. Eight years ago Andrew & Ruth Davies began rearing Saddleback and Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs at their smallholding in Rhydyfro, Pontardawe. Initially, they intended to produce pork and sausages for themselves, but such was the positive response from friends and family they decided to expand production and sell to the public.
After seeing salami being made in Denmark …they went on to add 3 varieties of salami to their product line up. Through assistance from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council’s Business Development team, the couple set about creating their ‘Salami HQ’ on Pontardawe Industrial Estate. Their growing client base is particularly strong in London where customers include top restaurants and Selfridges. Cwm Farm’s range has also been served at a Downing Street and at the British Embassy in Finland!
Business Growth Award with Castle Bingo
Pebble Engineering is a Port Talbot based design consultancy that specialises in civil and structural engineering projects. After working for an engineering consultancy that closed its Swansea office 4 years ago, Ken Rogers and Huw Howell together with Dave Ollier and Rhys Williams got together to set up Pebble Engineering. Pebble are a team of Chartered Structural and Civil Engineers who are ambitious to expand and build upon many years of design experience. Their project experience ranges from small building schemes for local clients to multi-million-pound construction developments in excess of £100m for large companies and public bodies.
Current Pebble projects include: new housing developments in Aldershot and the Isle of Wight; a £5.5 Million water treatment works in North Wales … they’re also close to completing the design of a new adventure theme park in East Anglia.
Leisure and Tourism Award with NPTC Group of Colleges
Sgwd Gwladys Coffee House, Bar & Lodge at Pontneddfechan opened in March this year and is already making a name for itself among the many walkers and visitors to the nearby waterfalls. The restored building was a former Tourist Information Point a service that’s been retained for visitors. As well as the coffee shop, Sgwd Gwladys serves high quality food all day and has four en-suite bedrooms providing lodge accommodation. Check out their reviews on Trip Advisor to hear how people are just loving Sgwd Gwladys!
Young Business Person of the Year with Peter Morgan Sales and Lettings
Ian Ross – Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting
Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting is an education and social welfare business based in Skewen. Launched in April 2012 by Ian Ross and supported by the Welsh Government’s Graduate Business Start Up Programme, the company delivers a range of programmes including support for unemployed individuals to re-enter the labour force, alternative curriculum programmes for young people in statutory education, vocational training programmes, apprenticeships and social services, such as support for Young Carers and behavioural support for young people with challenging behaviour. Whitehead-Ross opened an office in Swindon last year after winning new contracts with the Department for Work and Pensions, Sussex Coast College and Swindon Borough Council. In April this year they created a base too in Dorchester after winning a fostering recruitment service contract from Dorset County Council.
Sustainability Award with Leftfield Environmental
Awel Co-op commissioned its 4.7 Mega Watt community wind farm in January last year in the Upper Amman and Swansea Valley. Awel is a Community Benefit Society and its 2 turbines produce enough clean, low carbon energy to supply over 2,500 homes. Awel have over 1000 owners in their co-op. Members are made up of local people and local groups who together own over £100,000 in shares.
A catalyst in the community, Awel welcome many groups and schools for eductional trips the Wind turbines. They’ve also agreed to buy the former Cwmgors Primary School to develop it as a centre for environmental projects. …and they’re planning a 10k charity run from Pontardawe up to the wind farm in October!
Low Cost Vans Business of the Year 2018
Whitehead-Ross Education and Consulting
(see earlier nomination for more details)