The “crème de la crème” of local businesses were celebrated at the finale of the 2014 Monmouthshire Business Awards (MBAs) last week.
In total, 25 companies, ranging from start-ups and sole traders to major organisations, were shortlisted for honours in what host Hwyel James, the former ITV Wales presenter, described as the “biggest and best” MBAs yet.
Almost 210 guests, including Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science & Transport, Welsh Government, Simon Gibson OBE, Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Corporation, Bob Greenland, Deputy Leader at Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox, Leader at Monmouthshire County Council, and Celtic Manor Resort CEO Dylan Matthews attended the Gala Dinner at the Marriot St Pierre Hotel & Country Club, Chepstow, last Friday (October 10).
This year’s guest judges Gurpareet Bains, the TV personality and international bestselling author, and David Jamilly, the business guru and star of Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire, also attended.
Now into its third year, the Awards – dubbed the ‘Oscars’ of the Welsh business industry and backed by title sponsor Monmouthshire County Council – recognise innovation, talent and enterprise in the wider local community.
Abergavenny Food Festival walked away with the Social Responsible Business Award, Best Green Business went to Usk Garden Centre, while the Most Promising Start-Up Award was presented to Home Glow Products, the celebrated Usk-based firm which also took Innovation in Business.
Kevin Mansell-Abell, the 28-year-old founder of That Media Group, which is based in Chepstow, took Young Entrepreneur, and the Angel Hotel in Abergavenny won Hospitality, Travel and Tourism.
Other winners included Mabey Bridge for Excellence in Marketing, Hicks Logistics for Company Demonstrating Sustained Growth, Victoria Valentine Bridal for Excellence in Retailing, and Pocket Mariner, who were presented with the Excellence in Digital Technology Innovation award by Economy Minister Edwina Hart.
The Company of the Year title went to Caldicot-based firm Hicks Logistics.
The final award of the evening, the Judges Choice award – presented to one of the shortlisted finalists deemed to be the best entrant overall – went to Mabey Bridge.
The Chepstow-based manufacturer – one of the world’s leading specialist suppliers of steel bridging infrastructure, wind turbine towers and heavy-plated structural steelwork – was praised for “demonstrating excellence in all areas”, including a “firm commitment” to innovation and enterprise, high-quality apprenticeship schemes, strong community outreach and excellent corporate social responsibility (CSR).
The firm, which has an annual turnover of £80 million and more than 550 employees, was said by judges David Jamilly and Gurpareet Bains to “fly the flag for Monmouthshire and British industry across the world”.
Speaking about this year’s MBA Awards, founder Janet Harris said: “This year’s MBAs were bigger and better than ever, and were the culmination of 12 months’ hard work by our small, dedicated and talented team.
“I would like to congratulate all entrants and all winners – the crème de la crème of local enterprise – and also give special thanks to our wonderful sponsors, without whom the MBAs would not be possible.”