THE shortlist for the county’s top business competition has been unveiled revealing the strength in depth of the local economy.

A total of 42 companies and individuals have made the shortlist in the Oxfordshire Business Awards, across 15 categories, with the winners being named at a ceremony next month.

And it promises to be an even more special occasion with the awards celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Oxford Mail:

Awards chairman Paul Lowe

Awards chairman Paul Lowe said: “The 20th anniversary year of the awards has produced one of the strongest list of finalists in the competition’s history.

“It reflects the vast diversity of the Oxfordshire economy with companies of all shapes and sizes combined with some incredibly innovative individuals.

“The awards ceremony will be a real celebration of the success of Oxfordshire business. It promises to be a fantastic occasion.”

The list of finalists ranges from traditional businesses such as Hook Norton Brewery in the Heart FM Marketing Excellence Award, and Kidlington-based electrical contractor Darke & Taylor, to fast-growing firms including Ardley Travel in Witney and hi-tech companies such as Harwell-based Oxford Space Systems.

Barry Ingleton, director of training organisation Synolos which was shortlisted in the The Oxford Times Charity and Community category, said: “I am really excited. It is brilliant news.

Oxford Mail:

Director of Synolos, Barry Ingleton

“We have a great concept and have grown a lot this year. This will really help us move forward.”

The winners will be revealed at the ceremony at the Four Pillars Hotel, Sandford-on-Thames, on June 20, and one company will be unveiled as the Owen Mumford Oxfordshire Business of the Year.

About 500 people are expected to attend the sell-out event which will have former England rugby union international Martin Bayfield as guest speaker and compere.


  • The Oxfordshire County Council Energy & Environment Award: Oxford Cryosystems, Long Hanborough; WMP Creative, Tubney; Zircotec, Abingdon.
  • The Oxford Brookes University Innovation Award: Sigmavision,
  • Weston-on-the-Green; Ice Oxford,
  • Witney; Adlens, Oxford.
  • The Oxford Times Charity and Community Award: Acre Training and Consultancy, Kidlington; the Response Organisation, Littlemore; Synolos, Witney.
  • The Ridgeway Digital Innovation Award: ABRS, Henley; Jack FM, Oxford; Greenredeem, Benson.
  • The Four Pillars Cultural Events and Tourism Award: Aston Pottery, Aston; Chipping Norton Literary Festival; Mill and Old Swan, Minster Lovell.
  • The Heart Marketing Excellence Award: ADS, Combe; Malory Band, Chipping Norton; Hook Norton Brewery, Hook Norton.
  • The Hays Customer Care Award: Brethertons, Banbury; Shawcity, Watchfield; STL Communications, Witney.
  • The Carter Jonas Export Award: WMP Creative, Tubney; Zircotec, Abingdon; Oxford Cryosystems, Long Hanborough.
  • The Oxfordshire LEP New Business Award: Earthwise Products, Didcot; Oxford Space Systems, Harwell; Hexagon Business Centres, Witney.
  • The Milton Park Small Business Award: CQR Consulting, Cassington; Oxford Cryosystems, Long Hanborough; Shawcity, Watchfield.
  • The NatWest Large Business Award: Air Tanker, Brize Norton; Nicholson’s Nurseries, North Aston; Darke & Taylor, Kidlington.
  • The Blue Law by Darbys Employer of the Year Award: Audley Travel, Witney; Oxford Products, Witney; Hawkins Group, Banbury.
  • The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship of the Year Award: Oxford Knowledge Company, Oxford; Maylarch Environmental, Stanton Harcourt; Airbus Helicopters, Kidlington.
  • The Shaw Gibbs Young Business Person of the Year Award: Robert Drake, CDO, Witney; Dave Fletcher, White October; Oxford; Alex Minchin, Zest Digital, Launton.
  • The Shaw Gibbs Business Person of the Year Award: Shaun Jardine, Brethertons, Banbury; Andrew Hammond, Oxford Products, Witney; Timon Colegrove, Hunts Paper and Pixels, Kidlington.