Our finalists for 2022
Apprentice of the Year
Joining South West Water in 2021, Nathan has demonstrated an outstanding enthusiasm and willingness to go above and beyond to help others. During the pandemic, Nathan was an invaluable member of the team - helping colleagues across the company, filling in for absent technicians and providing outstanding customer service along the way. Nathan has also served as a mentor to new apprentices, giving them advice and guidance wherever needed. This team spirit, along with the excellent quality of his work, led to Nathan securing a permanent position before his apprenticeship had reached its end.
Since her first interview with Eliquo Hydrok, Charley has stood out as an enthusiastic and dedicated apprentice. After their first person meeting with Charley, the team at Eliquo were so impressed by her positive attitude and research that they created an additional apprentice role for Charley on top of their usual intake. Since joining the business, Charley has proven herself to be an extremely capable and valued member of the team - working on projects all across the UK, and even going to the Netherlands to work on a critical water infrastructure project.
Undertaking a multi-trade apprenticeship with housing provider LiveWest, Ellie-May Mangan has shown herself to be a highly motivated apprentice who immerses herself in every part of her work. With a constant willingness to learn, Ellie-May has honed her skills to a high degree - carrying out a range of projects and learning every day. Ellie-May is also an outstanding ambassador for apprentices - taking part in LiveWest’s Trade Forum, which presents the ideas and experiences of apprentices to the director of people services. Ellie-May has continued this work outside LiveWest - speaking at a variety of events with the aim of inspiring other women to join the trades workforce.
Best Place To Work
With offices in Exeter, Plymouth and Torbay, Bigwave Marketing is a marketing agency that works to provide opportunity and support to all of its employees. Throughout and beyond the pandemic, Bigwave worked to support employee wellbeing - with regular check-ins and social events, a flexible working policy, and the introduction of a wellbeing team. The business also provides a range of training opportunities, designed to help employees polish their skills and drive their careers forward - including a personal career ladder for every member of staff.
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Carrying out vital marine research, the Plymouth Marine Laboratory is committed to helping team members feel fulfilled and supported at work. With 165 employees, the marine lab seeks out people who share its ideal of understanding and working to solve global environmental problems. Plymouth Marine Lab works to create a positive work environment, operating a hybrid working system, and investing in mental health and wellbeing training for all employees. The business also operates a sports and social club, with a range of activities designed to boost wellbeing and morale.
Swallowcourt Limited is a business that operates care and residential homes across Cornwall - providing care with the help of a passionate and motivated team of more than 400 people. In recent years, Swallowcourt has engaged in a range of initiatives designed to promote a supportive and inclusive work culture. The business has set up wellbeing boards in each home that provide resources around wellbeing, delivered mental health first aid training across locations, and invested in professional development opportunities for every member of the team. In doing so, it aims to create a work environment driven by passion and care.
Business Person of the Year
Katherine George is the founder of Oh So Social - a company that provides social media support, training and strategy development to businesses. Katherine launched Oh So Social in 2014, taking it from a one-person operation to a business with a highly skilled team that provides impeccable service to clients across the globe. Alongside her accomplishments with Oh So Social, Katherine also set up Oh So Savvy - which provides entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with an online training and resources platform. Katherine’s skill and success have seen her named one of Enterprise Nation’s top 8 marketing advisors in the UK three years running.
Since acquiring Prima Bakeries in 2010, Mark Norton has helped the business go from strength to strength - growing the company significantly and expanding its team from 19 to 90. This growth continued during the pandemic - with Mark’s guidance helping Prima avoid making redundancies or furloughs, with Prima even taking on new team members. Despite the obstacles of the pandemic, Mark was also able to complete the purchase of Cornish Premier Pasties - securing funding during a challenging time and using each companies’ strengths to make both of them more effective and successful.
Joe Turnbull is the founder of video production agency Bull & Wolf - and has helped the business grow significantly since it was set up in 2020. In two years, Joe’s guidance has led to Bull and Wolf tripling both its team and turnover, becoming a well-established Cornwall business in the process. Joe is determined to have Bull & Wolf produce the best work possible for clients - investing in new equipment and training to help the team at Bull & Wolf hone their skills, and creating a positive work environment in which they can thrive.
Corporate Social Responsibility Award
Football Fun Factory (Community 035) Limited
The Football Fun Factory is an organisation that seeks to provide amazing football experiences to children of all ages and abilities. With more than 230 participants aged two to twelve, the Football Fun Factory holds interactive, creative sessions in which children can make friends, have fun and express themselves. Football Fun Factory provides free sessions to local community projects, and also works with schools to engage as many young people as possible. It also encourages families to contribute positively to their communities, through donations and visits to community support centres.
Plymouth Community Homes
Plymouth Community Homes is a housing association that strives to have a positive impact on communities. The not-for-profit maintains more than 16,000 affordable and social rent properties, and works to ensure they are of a high standard for residents - investing £19m in improvements to these properties over the last 12 months. PCH aims to be a sustainable organisation, committing to net zero by 2050, and investing £1m in making its homes more energy efficient. To this end PCH works to support the local supply chain possible, by working with local contractors.
Services Design Solution
Services Design Solution is a sustainability and building services engineering consultancy with a commitment to producing social value. The business works to make its own processes more environmentally friendly, but also works to inspire its clients to do the same. Through its green travel policy, SDS has even managed to become a carbon negative organisation. The business also directs 1% of its turnover every year to community projects and initiatives - with the team at SDS also completing 860 hours of volunteering in the last year.
Environmental & Sustainability Award
Founded in 1971, Bandvulc is a manufacturer of tyres with more than 50 years of experience. Bandvulc works to produce tyres in a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly way - with innovative tech and processes designed to lessen each tyre’s environmental impact. When Bandvulc retreads a tyre, it saves 80% of the material that would be used to make an entirely new one - saving 30kg of rubber, 20kg of steel and 60kg of CO2 per tyre. Bandvulc also has a zero-to-landfill policy, to further reduce the impact of its operations.
Located in the Devon Countryside, Cofton Holidays is a family-run holiday park with a commitment to sustainable business. Cofton has invested in a range of ways to make itself more sustainable. This includes a £17,000 investment in e-bikes, to allow guests to explore without travelling via car - a £200,000 investment in electric vehicles for the housekeeping team, and the creation of 16 electric vehicle charging points across the park. Cofton is also building solar panel systems on site, and has engaged in a rewilding project aimed at replenishing biodiversity in the area.
Services Design Solution
Services Design Solution endeavours to provide building and engineering services that are effective and sustainable. The business works to design in a way that is energy efficient and will have a minimal impact on the environment - and then encourages sustainable and ethical conduct among its suppliers to ensure this ethos carries through to construction. SDS monitors the emissions of each project extensively, working to understand how each project can be more environmentally friendly than the last. Through its green travel policy, the business has also managed to become carbon negative.
City College Plymouth
As an educational institution, City College Plymouth is always looking for ways to innovate in the way it teaches. One of the college’s recent projects saw the development of two virtual environments, designed to be inclusive and accessible ways for students and employers to learn. The first, Ocean City 2069, was designed for students and those interested in construction - providing a glimpse into future living and working environments, and the technologies that would make them sustainable. The second, for employers and students, provided a virtual tour through a house building project - an accessible and immersive look at safety and risks on a construction site.
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Plymouth Marine Laboratory is dedicated to helping maintain the health and sustainability of our oceans. Producing cutting edge marine research, the laboratory is always working to push boundaries and innovate - producing new methods to extract microplastics from marine sediments, using satellite imagery to identify plastics and guide removal efforts, and using a mix of airborne, satellite and in-situ observation to monitor pollution and even predict waterborne disease outbreaks. These are just a few of Plymouth laboratory’s innovations - aimed at building a future in which our oceans are clean and thriving once more.
Skills Launchpad Plymouth
Launched in 2020, Skills Launchpad Plymouth is a service that works to provide employment support to people aged 25+ through its adult hub, and ages 16-24 through its youth hub. Whether someone is facing redundancy, considering a career change, or looking for work, Skills Launchpad works with 80 providers across the city to develop their skills and help them find employment. Providing bespoke, 1-2-1 support and drop-in appointments, Skills Launchpad has helped more than 358 young people and 147 adults find employment since its inception.
Large Business of the Year
Plymouth Community Homes
Plymouth Community Homes is one of the city’s largest social housing associations - overseeing more than 16,000 properties that provide a home to over 35,000 people. PCH endeavours to maintain high quality housing for its residents - carrying out £19m of improvements to its properties over the last couple of years - including £1m of investment in making them more energy efficient. Alongside its housing, the not-for-profit works to contribute to the community in other ways - investing £700,000 in community projects in the last year alone, and working with local contractors and suppliers where possible.
Proper Cornish Pasties Ltd
Founded in 1988, Proper Cornish Ltd is a business that produces authentic Cornish pasties alongside a range of savoury pastries. In the last year alone, Proper Cornish Ltd produced 60,000 pasties a day, and 100,000 savoury pastries - and has tried to support the Cornish economy in its work. Many of Proper Cornish Ltd’s suppliers are based in Cornwall - but the business also sources its packaging, recycling and website design from Cornish companies. Proper Cornish’s authenticity and commitment to quality have helped it thrive, with turnover increasing 23% from 2021 to 2022, and plans to invest and expand further.
Troy (UK) Ltd
Based in Exeter, Troy (UK) Ltd is an engineering tool distributor that has achieved impressive growth over the years. In the last decade alone, Troy has increased its revenue from £30m to £200m - with plans to double that in the next five years. Troy’s growth has been driven in part by its commitment to clients - providing useful deals and extended business support to its members, with membership growing from 80 in 2010 to 403 today.
SME Business of the Year
Cornish Premier Pasties Ltd
Founded in 2008, Cornish Premier Pasties Ltd is one of the largest producers of cornish pasties in the world. With a team of more than 50, the business produces over 40,000 savoury pastries a day. Despite the obstacles of the pandemic, CPP has been able to adapt and thrive - with a growing team and sales increasing by 55% in the last two years. The business is constantly innovating and looking for ways to improve its work - in the last year alone working to standardise case sizes, and improving its packing material to allow for increased shipping numbers.
Feritech Global Ltd is a manufacturing, engineering and design company that works with clients in the marine engineering industries. Since starting in 2012, Feritech has worked to provide impeccable quality in its products and services - and this has helped the business thrive. In the last year, Feritech has grown its turnover by more than 50%, launched several new products and opened an innovation centre in Cornwall. The business is always striving to innovate and become more effective - having also commenced designing an autonomous subsea vehicle to carry out geotechnical surveys.
Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors
Founded in 2021, Ian Walker Family Law and Mediation Solicitors is a family law service working to provide people across the south-west with the legal assistance they need. In the face of the pandemic, Ian Walker embarked on an ambitious recruitment drive - doubling its team across 2021-2022, now comprising 33 full time staff. The business has also continued to expand its services, opening a divorce support club in 2021 that offers free advice and webinars to anyone going through a divorce or separation, and recruiting a child abduction specialist to allow the company to tackle new kinds of cases.
Services Design Solution
Services Design Solution is a sustainable engineering consultancy that works to provide innovative, flexible and sustainable engineering systems. Working with a range of clients including hospitals, universities, public and commercial buildings, SDS has accomplished impressive growth in recent years. The last twelve months has seen the business increase its profits, grow its team by 15%, and open an office in South Wales. Despite this growth, SDS has remained committed to sustainability - becoming net carbon negative over the last year as well. SDS also works to serve the community, donating £56,000 to local
Start-Up Business of the Year
Amanda White Digital
Amanda White Digital provides SEO and digital marketing consultancy services to businesses - helping them make the most of SEO, and increase web traffic and revenue. The business was started and is run by Amanda White, who worked tirelessly during the pandemic to grow the business and make it a success. Despite the variety of obstacles that this period produced - juggling work, childcare, lockdowns, and starting a business - Amanda persevered, achieving impressive results for her first year and never looking back.
Rewind Radio is a radio station dedicated to supporting communities, businesses, and local talent. Since starting in 2021, Rewind Radio has already managed to amass an audience of more than 60,000 listeners a week - with a dedicated team of employees and volunteers that help the station thrive. Rewind Radio offers local businesses reasonable advertising rates to help them promote themselves and support the local economy, while also providing a platform to local charities, and gives a spotlight to local talent. In doing so, the team at Rewind Radio hope to support the area they love so much.
The Barn at Pengelly
Launched in 2022, The Barn at Pengelly is a venue that works to provide people with the perfect wedding day. Situated on Pengelly Farm, The Barn was a significant undertaking - with the team at Pengelly designing, building and launching the venue from scratch. During the uncertainty of the pandemic, the Pengelly team worked to ensure that funding for the barn would remain - securing a farm diversification grant, and in the process providing a range of jobs to the area, and supporting local talent and tradespeople.
Tourism & Hospitality Resilience Award
For nearly 40 years, Cofton Holidays has been a family-run holiday park dedicated to providing people with outstanding experiences. Cofton is always investing in itself, to increase its capacities and become a more future-ready, sustainable holiday destination. In recent years the business has invested in: eight new lodges, a new high-ropes course, a pump track for scooters, skateboards and bikes,and an extension on its indoor leisure complex. Cofton has also invested in electric vehicles and charging stations, and a rewilding project - to increase sustainability and support the environment.
Pathfinder Homes is a manufacturer of residential park homes and holiday lodges, with more than 60 years of experience. Since 1958, the business has worked to innovate and adapt - something that was crucial during the pandemic. Pathfinder created an app for suppliers, designed to help them find any information they needed - while continuing to release new designs and models. The business also created virtual showrooms, giving people the chance to visit and see products close up in a safe way. This innovation helped Pathfinder stay steady during the pandemic, with the business actually growing and taking on new staff.
The Duke of Cornwall
Built in 1863, the Duke of Cornwall Hotel is a historical presence in Plymouth, dedicated to providing people with a stay they’ll never forget. During covid, the hotel and its staff went through significant challenges - as the Duke of Cornwall closed temporarily and made its future uncertain. However, all the while the team at the Duke of Cornwall continued to work at improving and innovating their services, to be ready when it reopened. Eventually, the hotel was able to recover - starting off gradually when lockdowns ended, before building its capacity back up with the same dedication to impeccable service and quality.