4th March 2024

FSB Southwest Awards Yields Local Winners. A Trowbridge based business has won FSB’s Start Up Award in the South West. Parade House is a Grade 1 Georgian property rescued from dereliction. And it’s now become a thriving Wiltshire business. Fully restored with:

  • Beautiful meeting rooms
  • An original sweeping staircase
  • A grand ballroom and a luxury cinema

It’s available to hire for public and private events. It received the Town Enhancement Award from the Mayor of Trowbridge in 2023.

Parade House is amongst a host of winners from across the region declared ‘the best in the West’. They’ve achieved that by winning regional titles in the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards.

FSB Southwest Awards Yields Local Winners - FSB awards logo

Invitations issued

The FSB has invited twelve companies and individuals from the region to receive their awards at the FSB South West Bootcamp in Exeter on March 13. They’ll now go forward to represent the South West at a glittering national final in Blackpool in May.

Ruth Lambert, the FSB Development Manager for Wiltshire and Somerset said how thrilled she was to see so many local successes.

‘I was fortunate enough to see a lot of the entries as they came in. And the variety and quality across every sector I looked at staggered me.

‘It was clear that any business that emerged with a title from such a super strong field of candidates must have something special about them. And I’m so pleased to see a Wiltshire winner. Fingers crossed they also add a national title to their regional one as well.’

The full list of winners of FSB South West award winners are:

Innovation Award

The winner: BioStart, Gloucester

BioStart, from Protrack Solutions Limited, is a family run business. It specialises in fleet GPS tracking products and fleet management systems. Building their own platform, they have both patented and designed the world’s first “remote” biometric anti-theft and engine immobilisation device. It’s suitable for vehicles ranging from fork lift trucks to plant and road vehicles. BioStart is the first biometric immobilisation device to have Thatcham Research approval. It’s also insurance recognised to:

  • Reduce theft,
  • Claims and …
  • … Emergency service responses

All while improving on driver performance and health and safety.

Expansion and growth award

The winner: Firestarter Business Solutions Ltd., Cheltenham

Established in 2012 by co-founders Chris O’Riordan and Matt Wheeler, Firestarter Business Solutions has helped hundreds of businesses of all sizes. Across multiple sectors, they’ve helped busineses to sell more of whatever it is they sell. The twelve-strong team has more than doubled in the last twelve months. It has a broad skillset that includes high-level sales, marketing and business development expertise. All leading to impressive business growth and client base.

Sustainability Award

The winner: Cofton Country Holidays Ltd., Exeter

Set within 80 acres of glorious Devon countryside, Cofton Country Holidays Ltd. is a sustainable and eco-friendly site which provides award-winning accommodation and facilities. Operating in a sustainable way and using local suppliers Cofton Country Holidays Ltd. have full commitment to protecting the environment. They do it with a wide range of sustainable initiatives and practices. They range from renewable power through to electric bikes and a biomass hub and district water system.

Family business of the year

The winner: Authentic Bread Company, Longhope

The Authentic Bread Company are an artisan organic bakery. Their vision was to return to traditional methods of bread making, with no additives or preservatives. Based in rural Gloucestershire and established in 1995 the Davis family have grown their artisan bakery from modest beginnings in the family garage. The business started by supplying local farm shops and health food stores with organic bread. The company has grown into the biggest dedicated organic bakery in the UK. They supply organic box schemes Riverford Organic, Abel and Cole as well as Daylesford.

Microbusiness of the year

The winner: Essential 6 Ltd., Torquay

As a mere seventeen-year old, Alan Foster embarked on a life-changing journey with the Royal Navy. But a near-death experience altered his path forever. This tenacious individual founded Essential 6, a thriving first aid training and safety company. It now serves prominent clients such as:

  • The NHS
  • Virgin
  • Great Western Railway
  • Ministry of Justice and many more great businesses of all sizes across the UK.

Self-employed / Freelancer Award

The winner: HR Vitals, St Austell

As a pioneering entrepreneur, Jen Webb took a bold step and introduced the concept of an independent HR consultancy to the automotive industry in 2018. Breaking new ground, she elevated the professionalism of businesses in the sector in a new and refreshing way. Today, with a dedicated team of five, they’re proud to serve over 160 businesses, driving tangible improvements in organizational culture and legal compliance.

Start-up Business of the Year

The winner: Parade House, Trowbridge

Parade House is a Grade 1 property rescued from dereliction and turned into a thriving business in the county of Wiltshire. With beautiful meeting rooms, an original sweeping staircase and a grand ballroom, it’s available to hire for events. It received the Town Enhancement Award from the Mayor of Wiltshire in 2023.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

The winner: Natasha Mortimer, Imagineerium, Bristol

Natasha Mortimer is the managing creative director of Bristol- based experiential design agency, Imagineerium. In three short years, Natasha has established the business on the global stage. She’s defined its reputation as a powerhouse of innovation and creativity. Natasha advocates for equality within the creative industry, leading an all-female workforce. And that’s the driving force behind Imagineerium’s transformative projects. Her portfolio includes work with major stages and areas for Boomtown and Glastonbury. And she’s working with brands such as Formula 1, Clarks Originals and Redbull.

Franchise Business Award

The winner: Your Man With A Van, Poole

Your Man With A Van started as a single-man trading business. After a few years expanding the customer base, the business moved to a franchise operation and saw tremendous business growth. It’s now sharing professionalism and customer care within the brand across the UK.

Community Business Award

The winner: Bath Philharmonia

Bath Philharmonia and its work with local residents , local communities and young people across the region has found recognition in recent years. It’s come through local creative industries awards and national music sector bodies. Yet it’s never considered itself a small business. So what better time than in FSB’s 50th anniversary year to recognise the important and effective work being undertaken with and for their local community. Work carried out by a small and beautifully formed small business, charity and social enterprise with joy at its heart.

Diversity and Inclusion Award

The winner: Craddys, Poole

Craddys have been providing civil and structural engineering services for over forty-five years. They’ve grown sustainably to a current, steadily increasing total of sixtyeight staff over four offices. With a head office in Bristol and satellite offices in Cardiff, Exeter and Wakefield, they provide engineering consultancy services to a wide range of clients across the UK. Diversity at Craddys has been testament to their success with a wide range of initiatives and processes implemented.

Service Excellence Award

The winner: Next Steps Education, Bideford

Next Steps Education has a mission to raise the aspiration of every child in the South West. From supporting Ukrainian children now living in the UK to providing bespoke learning packages supporting children across the South West, Next Steps Education have service excellence at the very core of their organisation for those who need their services the most.

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