Swindon-based construction group Beard and Chippenham green energy pioneer Good Energy are among the six finalists competing for the coveted title of West of England Business of the Year.
Beard missed out on what is widely-regarded as the region’s most-prestigious business accolade last year while, for Good Energy, it is the fast-growing firm’s first time on the shortlist.
Previous winners of the award, now in their 26th year and staged by international accountants PwC, read like a who’s who of the West’s most-respected companies, including Dyson, MITIE and, two years ago, Swindon-based Smiths News.
Beard and Good Energy are competing in the category for businesses turning over more than £25m. Four firms are going head to head in a second category for businesses with turnovers up to £25m.
The coveted awards, staged in association with ITV West and Beacon South West, have gained a reputation built firmly on the thoroughness of the judging panel, which is made up of respected business figures from across the region.
This year’s winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on July 9 in Bristol, which will be hosted by Ian Axton of ITV West.
Family-run Beard has had a busy year in challenging trading conditions and has already won a number of awards. The firm, which also has offices in Oxford and Guildford, is increasingly winning work in Bath and Bristol. In the year to December 31 it achieved a 21% rise in pre-tax profits to £1.4m on revenues up 13% at £77.3m.
Good Energy has also gone from strength to strength, generating a 136% increase in pre-tax profits to £3.3m in the year to December on revenues up 43% at £40.4m.
The firm plans to own more than 110 megawatts of renewable electricity generation by 2016.
PwC West region chairman Matthew Hammond said: “This is my first year hosting these awards as regional chairman for PwC and I am very much looking forward to getting to know the finalists, celebrating their successes with the wider West region business community.
“The independent panel judges are looking for the best in class businesses from the West that are exceptional in all areas of their operation.”
The full list of finalists (£25m-plus category):
Bott, Bude, Cornwall. A leading manufacturer and supplier of workshop equipment, in-vehicle equipment and workplace systems.
Beard, Swindon. A family-run construction company focussed on innovative building solutions and collaborative working styles across the West and Central England.
Good Energy, Chippenham. A renewable electricity supplier, supplying over 40,000 customers and support over 59,000 homes, business and communities generating their own energy.
Loungers, Bristol. A chain of neighbourhood food-led cafe/bars, open all-day, everyday where families, friends and locals can come for a coffee, a drink, or something to eat in a relaxed comfortable environment.
Pendennis Shipyard, Falmouth. One of the world’s leading super-yacht builders with a heritage spanning 24 years.
Vi-Spring, Plymouth. A leader in the market in luxury bed designs and manufacturing, whilst it has a British heritage, international exports are expanding.
The full list of finalists (less than £25m category):
ADEY Professional Heating Solutions, Cheltenham. A market-leading UK manufacturer of innovative products designed to serve the central heating sector.
Aero Stanrew, Barnstaple. A designer and manufacturer of ultra-high quality, highly-technical products for the aerospace industry.
Gro Group International, Ashburton. A global provider of trusted sleep solutions for families, to help settle their children to sleep.
Mubaloo, Bristol. Mobile app developer working with major clients across different phone platforms.