Beard, the Swindon-based construction group, and Chippenham green energy pioneer Good Energy will find out next week if they have joined the ranks of the West of England’s top companies by winning the region’s most-coveted business award.
The firms are among the six finalists competing for the prestigious title of West of England Business of the Year, sponsored by international accountants PwC.
While it is the first time on the shortlist for fast-growing Good Energy, for Beard it could be second time lucky as the firm missed out last year despite being among the finalists.
This year’s winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Bristol next Wednesday. Previous winners of the award, now in its 26th year include many of the region’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.
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.
Other finalists in the £25m-plus category are Cornwall-based workshop equipment manufacturer Bott, Bristol neighbourhood food-led cafe/bars Loungers, Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth and Plymouth-based luxury bed manufacturer Vi-Spring.
Swindon Business News will carry full details of the winners in next week’s e-bulletin.