Six of the best: Swindon firms take their place among UK’s most inspiring businesses

May 24, 2018

Six very different Swindon companies have been named among 1,000 of the UK’s most inspiring small and medium-sized businesses.

Appsbroker, Beard, Excalibur Communications, Outsource Recruitment, RFS and Wasdell Group appear in the London Stock Exchange Group’s latest 1000 Companies list, which celebrates the most dynamic SMEs in the UK. 

The respected annual report, now in its fifth edition, examines in detail the opportunities and challenges facing SMEs and looks at the sectors and trends that will shape the future of the British and economy.

To be included in the list, companies need to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years and a significant outperformance of their industry peers.

Old Town-based Appsbroker describes itself as a ‘born in the cloud’ Google Premier partner with more time spent on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) projects than any other consultancy.

It works with clients such as Carphone Warehouse, Jaguar Land Rover, Morrisons and Santander to turn great ideas into commercial realities.

Swindon-headquartered construction firm Beard appears regularly in business growth tables, having expanded rapidly in recent years.

The family-owned firm celebrated its 125th anniversary last year achieving turnover growth of 5.6% to £144.5m, high levels of repeat business and appointments to four major regional construction frameworks, as well as officially opening its new Bristol office.

The firm, which also has offices in Oxford and Guildford, also completed the showpiece £7.2m Being Brunel national museum alongside Bristol’s Floating Harbour for the SS Great Britain Trust.

Excalibur’s inclusion among the 1000 Companies report came following a successful year for the IT and communications firm which culminated in its management buyout earlier this week.

CEO Peter Boucher said: “It’s fantastic that Excalibur has been recognised in this report, which focuses on inspiring and successful SMEs. Excalibur is a great example of a dynamic business that is continually evolving as market conditions change and technology advances.

“Over 20 years we have moved from mobile phone shops to providing full telecom and IT services, supporting over 4,000 SMEs and organisations. The commitment of Excalibur staff and our close relationship with customers, provide daily sources of inspiration.”

Excalibur is also a Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For (2017 and 2018) and holds the South West Federation of Small Business Award for Employer of the Year 2018. 

Outsource UK also appears in the list at a pivotal time for the business. The firm’s founder Paul Jameson stepped down as CEO in January after 26 years at the helm of the fast-growing business.

Outsource UK has grown rapidly in recent years by specialising in providing skilled IT and technical candidates to the highly-regulated markets of finance, engineering, cyber, defence and public sector, and logistics and supply chain. 

From its headquarters in Churchward House it has expanded to open offices in Manchester, the City of London, Birmingham and Newcastle-under-Lyme through a string of acquisitions as well as organic growth.

It now employs more than 70 people and has a turnover of £75m, having achieved 90% growth in revenues over the past three years.

Specialist management consultancy Regulatory Finance Solutions (RFS) appears in the last after achieiving annual sales growth of 55% over the past three years. The firm, which employs 54 people and specialises in regulatory and compliance issues for clients such as banks and telecoms firms, had sales of £44.8m in the year to December 31.

Earlier this year it appeared in the annual Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 league table for the second time and also in the FT1000 European list of Europe’s fastest-growing companies.

Chief executive John Turner said “Our success represents over 10 years of hard work from a big team of people and starts to demonstrate that what we’re doing is sustainable.

“We’re continuing to grow our business through delivering a high-quality service to our clients and bringing new offerings to the market. The future of RFS is looking very positive.”

Wasdell is the UK’s largest independent pharmaceutical packaging contractor. From its headquarters on Swindon’s Euroway Industrial Park, it packages and distributes all types of pharmaceutical products – from natural remedies to prescription drugs – for companies across the globe.

Last year it invested around £1m in a new blister packaging machine will enable it to increase production speeds by 10%. The firm also has plants in Burnley and Newcastle and in total employs more than 500 people across the UK.

London Stock Exchange CEO Nikhil Rathi said: “We warmly congratulate all of the companies identified in this year’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain report. Five years on, the report continues to demonstrate the strength and diversity of British businesses across the country.

“These dynamic companies are the backbone of our economy, playing an important role in the UK’s ability to innovate, export and grow. This report is a significant part of London Stock Exchange Group’s broader campaign to support UK high growth companies. We are committed to championing British businesses and Britain’s dynamic entrepreneurial spirit.”



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