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Cherwell Business Awards: A Year to Celebrate!

Oxford University Begbroke Science Park were the proud hosts of the prestigious Gala Dinner for the 2016 Cherwell Business Awards.  The event took place on Friday 20 May in a marquee in the picturesque Jacobean walled garden of Begbroke Science Park.  Over 230 guests gathered to celebrate the success of some of the best businesses in our district.  Congratulations must go to all finalists, and of course to the winners.

Special thanks go to all of the wonderful people and businesses who helped to make this event the huge success that it was.  This includes the organising committee, the sponsors, and the various suppliers. Of particular note was the delicious three course meal provided by Thomas Franks Limited.

The awards ceremony itself was hosted by Kirsty Leahy, well known breakfast presenter from Banbury Sound.  Kirsty did a brilliant job of enlivening the evening, and introducing each category and their sponsor, allowing the sponsors themselves to commend the finalists before announcing the winners and presenting them with an elegant, engraved glass trophy plus certificate.

During the evening a raffle was held, with a number of sponsors and organisers generously donating prizes. This year, the raffle raised over £1,180.00 with all the proceeds going to the winner of the Charity & Community Award –Banbury and District Bus Project.

The winners of the awards were:

New Business Award, sponsored by A2Dominion Group
J D’Cruz Ltd

Employer of the Year Award, sponsored by Activate Learning Banbury & Bicester College
Nicholsons Nurseries Ltd

Innovation & Creativity Award, sponsored by Begbroke Science Park
Walraven UK Ltd

Retail Award, sponsored by Bicester Village
Andy’s Barber Shop

Charity & Community Award sponsored by Cherwell District Council
Banbury & District Bus Project

Business Person of the Year Award sponsored by Ellacotts LLP Accountants
Simon Biltcliffe – Webmart Ltd

Micro Business of the Year Award sponsored by Bicester Vision & Bicester Chamber of Commerce
Burgess Reclamation

Small Business of the Year Award sponsored by Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
Butterflies Healthcare

Apprenticeship Award, sponsored by Oxfordshire Apprenticeships
High Spec Composites

Established Business Award, sponsored by Spratt Endicott Solicitors
British Bakels Ltd

Cherwell Business of the Year, sponsored by Norbar Torque Tools
British Bakels Ltd

Greg Woodhead of British Bakels, winner of the Cherwell Business of the Year 2016 and Established Business of the Year 2016 commented:

Bakels celebrated our 25th anniversary in Bicester during 2015 and we also celebrated its most successful year ever, it felt natural for the management team to want to celebrate this and entering the Cherwell Business Awards seemed like a great opportunity.  During the application and judging process, we have had the opportunity to meet with peers from very different businesses in the area and to share interesting perspectives of common factors which affect our very different businesses.  It has been, at every point, a very satisfying journey.  Although I think it’s fair to say that the judges would all make formidable poker players, such was the degree to which winning took us by surprise. 

Winning the Spratt Endicott Established Business of the Year and the Norbar Torque Tools Cherwell Business of the Year Awards are an acknowledgement of the hard work and commitment of the whole Bakels team over the past few years to build a forward-facing and growing company which is a responsible and valued member of the community.  The awards are especially gratifying given the high level of competition shown from the other businesses who were nominated.  Working in such a competitive and fast paced environment as the food industry can often lead to us all overlooking how much we are achieving; to have this recognised by respected peers in other companies is an incredible confirmation that we are following the right path.”

All of the Cherwell Business Awards’ short-listed finalists are automatically entered into the prestigious Oxfordshire Business Awards which is being held on Friday 17th June 2016 at Oxford Thames Four Pillars Hotel.

The awards team will now start preparing for 2017 and already have expressions of interest from potential sponsors. If you would like to sponsor an award in 2017, or an element of the final ceremony then contact the team care of  Michelle Lewis: Telephone 01295 817642, Email:

To view more photo’s from the evening please follow the link