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Awards Team Vortex Innovation

Vortex Amongst the Winners of the 2019 Swansea Bay Business Awards

Vortex win the Innovation award to be amongst the best in business and entrepreneurship from across the region

Cameron Kent - 12 February 2020

Awards Celebration

The best businesses and entrepreneurs across the Swansea Bay city region have been revealed.

The 2019 Swansea Bay Business Awards were held at the Brangwyn Hall with an audience of nearly 400 gathered to celebrate business success from start-up firms through to larger corporates.

Presented by Frances Donovan in all there were 16 awards, with the overall sponsor being leading regional accountancy firm Bevan Buckland.

The overall Business of the Year Award winner — chosen from all the category winners — was Swansea-based Cyden, which also took the International Business Award.

Cyden designs and manufactures IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal products for use in the home. The Swansea-based company began its life making devices for professional salons.

Swansea Bay Business Awards Business of the Year Cyden. Pictured are Megan Colbeck and Mark Bolt from the Swansea-based firm. (Image: Jonathan Myers)

From launching the first IPL hair removal device in the UK with the retailer Boots, its products are now distributed to more than 30 firms worldwide.

It recently opened its first overseas offices in Tokyo.

It has also brought manufacturing back to Swansea from the Far East.

Lifetime Achievement Award winner Huw Owen (right) with Paul Gardner from Swansea Bay Business Club(Image: Jonathan Myers)

There was also a special Lifetime Achievement Award to managing director of Llanelli-based transport and logistics firm Owens Road Services, Huw Owen, for his outstanding contribution to business and the regional economy, as well as his huge contribution to charities and good causes.

He set up the business with just one lorry in 1970, before being joined by his brother Eurof, who is the firm’s commercial director.

Now the family-run business is firmly established as one of the UK’s leading players in the UK transport and warehousing sector with a workforce of 800 and 550 trucks and vans. Last year it acquired Manchester-based BTS Haulage. The group now has a turnover of more than £100m.

Alison Vickers at the Swansea Bay Business Awards (Image: Jonathan Myers)

Managing partner of Bevan Buckland, Alison Vickers, said: “This year’s awards clearly demonstrate the quality and strength of business of entrepreneurship, across a wide range of sectors, in the Swansea Bay City Region.

"It was an extremely difficult task selecting the category winners, such was the quality of the entries. We hope that the winners will inspire a new generation of businesses across the region to follow in their footsteps in creating new investment and jobs."

Editor of the South Wales Evening Post, Jonathan Roberts, said: “South Wales continues to enjoy jobs and investment, despite the many headwinds against us.

"We should rightly highlight the innovation, creativity and determination that runs through our business community.

"For many firms, this has been a period of growth and expansion, and their continuing support for local communities has made a real and lasting difference to the lives of many.

"This year's Swansea Bay Business Awards again provided a perfect platform to acknowledge and celebrate that success, by recognising those business brands who prove that rewards do exist for companies with the right vision, and the exceptional leadership to execute it.

The award judging panel consisted of Ms Vickers from Bevan Buckland; Jem Skelding from Naissance, last year’s overall business of the year, Woman of the Year 2018 Karen Hewitt from Character.com; Lisa Cameron, Commercial Managing Director of Media Wales, and Sion Barry, Business Editor for Media Wales.

Swansea Bay Business Awards presenter Frances Donovan with guest speaker Richard Parks (Image: HOOSH)

Guess speaker at the awards was former Welsh rugby international turned explorer Richard Parks, while leader of Swansea Council, Rob Stewart gave an update on the region’s £1.3bn City Deal, in particular the property and leisure investment projects for Swansea.

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