Almost 300 guests gathered on the evening of Thursday 9 September 2021 for a very special party – to witness firsthand the winners of the inaugural SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards.
Staged in style at Weston Aviation’s hangar at Gloucestershire Airport, the evening marked the end of a process which saw 421 nominations from 192 different businesses whittled down to 17 winners.
And there was a special award – for Outstanding Contribution to Business in Gloucestershire – met with one of the biggest rounds of applause of the night, for Dr Diane Savory, former chair of GFirst LEP.
Following almost a year of careful planning and work by the SoGlos team, the hugely successful event cemented the SoGlos Gloucestershire Business Awards’ position as Gloucestershire’s definitive business awards from its very first year.
James Fyrne, managing director and co-founder of SoGlos, said: ‘SGGBA was the celebration of Gloucestershire’s business community we dreamt of and so much more. We have been taken aback by the support everyone has shown from the off – from our prestigious sponsors to the number of entries we have received from fantastic businesses across the county.’
Michelle Fyrne, group editor and co-founder of SoGlos, said: ‘It was such a joy to be able to gather together again, and a real pleasure to be able to recognise and celebrate so many diverse businesses and amazing individuals and teams that help make this county so very special.’
Headline sponsors GFirst LEP and The Growth Hub made the event possible, with a host of category sponsors coming together not just to support the awards, but create the judging panel which chose the final winners.
The unique evening was made extra special by partners including Oasis Events, SLX, Neptune Rum, Wild Pizza Co., Fluffy Puffin and Richard Parsons, the Gloucestershire Magician.
Ant Marshall, of Cinderford-based packaging firm Kalex Films, said: ‘Winning this award is absolutely fantastic. It has been hard work setting up what is a brand new manufacturing plant. So to be recognised like this, it is brilliant.’
Bridge Football Academy
Indeloy IT Solutions
Kevin Pope, of Gloucester-based BioStart Security, said: ‘This award could not have come at a better time. We have an important phone call tomorrow, and this will help.
‘National awards are nice, but it is the ones where you are judged by your peers that really count. This feels great.’
The Beeswax Wrap Co.
Daniel O’Neil, founder of Quedgeley-headquartered cookware retailer ProCook, said: ‘We are overjoyed. This is a reflection on how hard all of our staff have worked. This is for them.’
Portman Dental Care
Sam Carter, of Gloucester-headquartered fourth-generation construction firm EG Carter & Co, said: ‘We are delighted. But this is testament to our team. They are the business.’
Hobbs House Bakery
Fran Beer, founder of Nailsworth-based The Beeswax Wrap Co, said: ‘This is fantastic. These awards are so well-timed. We have all come through the pandemic and the world has been focused on that, but it is great to be able to help raise awareness once again about green issues and see people shift their attention back towards how we can help tackle climate change.’
Cotswold Energy Group
Leeways Packaging Services
Daniel Chun, of Cheltenham-based Caring for Communities and People, said: ‘This is really for our staff. They have been through a difficult year, but have been relentless and positive and passionate about delivering and supporting their communities.’
Lucy Beresford, joint managing director of Cheltenham-headquartered SLG Brands, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted. Having to send our 120 staff home to work at the start of the pandemic was terrible, but to have them all coming back, and being so positive, making our workplace so special, has been brilliant.’
Emma Hurrell, of The Long Table Stroud CIC, said: ‘It has been a whirlwind of a year for everyone involved in The Long Table – and for the community as well. I am so pleased they have been recognised for all their hard work.’
Gloucester Rugby Foundation
G-TEKT Europe Manufacturing (G-TEM)
Hobbs House Bakery
The Cotswold Printing Company
Nicki Stevens, of Cheltenham-based Imperial Hearing Limited, said: ‘This is down to the leadership of our two directors, Sam Rossiter and Simon Wendland – and the incredible staff team which has worked so hard and continues to do so.’
QWERTY Beer Box
Smart Home Sounds
The Finance Roome
Mark Stewart, founder and chief executive officer of Quedgeley-headquartered Stewart Golf, said: ‘We were stood at the back and looked at the other finalists – ALS Mechatronic, Dowty Propellers, SLG Brands. Just to be listed with them is special. To win – phenomenal.’
Ian George, director of Cheltenham Festivals, said: ‘I think this has been about the passion and dynamism of the team to work out how to deliver culture, digitally – because that was the only way – during incredibly difficult times. I don’t think we all realised how much we needed it and they delivered.’
Barrington Ayre Shirtmaker & Tailor
The Cheltenham Trust
Andrew Steward, managing director and chief engineer at ALS Mechatronic, said: ‘This is not about me. It is about the team. The whole business is possible because of the great guys that work for it. This is for them.’
Elliott Staton (Parallel Precision)
Kevin Pope (BioStart Security)
Nick & Jo James (Bedfolk)
Sam Bradshaw, support officer at Gloucestershire Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said: ‘I am quite humbled. I have simply worked to support the pharmaceutical committee through the pandemic. So this is for them.’
Ash Hunt (Stewart Golf)
Ben Craig (InfoSec People)
Dean Newman (Smart Computers)
Jen Mockridge (BookCheck)
Davina Jones, business development manager at National Star, said: ‘National Star has 1,100 staff now. Everyone has worked so hard collectively, put all their effort into making what we do possible. They have been incredible.’
AP Air Europe
Louise Woodward, director of Cotteswold Dairy and granddaughter to founder Harry Workman, said: ‘We are very proud to have been recognised with this award. We are a fourth-generation business, but we stand by the core values my grandfather founded the business on all those years ago.’
George Bence & Sons
Hobbs House Bakery
Paul Bence, managing director of builders’ merchant George Bence & Sons, said: ‘We are up for national awards as well, but regional awards like this are the most important. You are judged by people you know and who know you.
‘The last 18 months has been hard on everyone, businesses and families. Being recognised like this is fantastic.’
Aonghus Gordon (Ruskin Mill Trust)
Chris Dunning-Walton (InfoSec People)
Dr Diane Savory, chair of GFirst LEP for 10 years, chair of Cheltenham Festivals and architect of the firm that became Supergroup, said: ‘I feel very proud to be standing her tonight. And very privileged. Proud to be part of the Gloucestershire business community and privileged to have worked with so many great people – most notably everyone at GFirst LEP over the last 10 years.
‘It is fantastic to see you all in this room like this. Gloucestershire has some great businesses and you are vital to this county.’
Sam Carter, director of Gloucester-headquartered construction firm EG Carter & Co, said: ‘This is amazing. I am speechless. We really did not expect to win this one. We are thrilled.’
By Andrew Merrell
Friday 10 September 2021
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