JUDGES have selected finalists from businesses and organisations across the county for the 25th Oxfordshire Business Awards.

Hundreds of people will attend the black-tie dinner, taking place for a second year at Oxford Brookes University’s John Henry Brookes Building, on Friday, June 14.

Oxford Mail:

This year’s awards dinner will be organised and sponsored by 14 of the county’s leading organisations from across the business landscape.

Finalists have been announced in 13 award categories, including Employer of the Year, Marketing Excellence and Best Visitor Experience.

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All of the finalists will be in the running to win The Hawkins Business of the Year Award.

Since it began in 1994, the OXBA has recognised the achievements of thousands of the county’s businesses, including accolades for new businesses, small businesses and the county’s larger businesses.

Now – a quarter of a century on – the OXBA chairman hopes the event can continue to have a ‘positive impact’ on Oxfordshire’s business community, as well as helping to ‘promote excellence’ across all sectors.

Oxford Mail:

Oxfordshire Business Awards chairman Paul Lowe said: "We would like to congratulate all of those shortlisted for an award at this year’s OXBAs.

"For 25 years, the awards have championed businesses and those individuals who have made a positive impact in Oxfordshire.

"Winning an OXBA brings genuine recognition and acknowledgment amongst peers, so we wish all of those shortlisted the best of luck."

READ AGAIN: Oxfordshire Business Awards 2018 - the winners

Nigel Tipple, chief executive of OxLEP, sponsor of the New Business Award, said the awards reflected the county’s thriving business community – in particular small businesses, or ‘SMEs’.

Mr Tipple said: “Small businesses are the backbone of any economy and that’s particularly the case in Oxfordshire.

Oxford Mail:

“Across the county, we have seen around 50,000 new jobs created between 2012 and 2017, with small businesses responsible for a considerable number of these – nationally, over 99 per cent of the UK’s 5.7million businesses are classified as ‘small’, employing a total of 16.1 million people.

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“With this in mind, the OXBA is an opportunity to celebrate ‘business’ and the impact it makes, not only to our economy but also the professional opportunities companies create for thousands of people on a daily basis.”

Shortlisted finalists are announced as follows:

The Oxford Science Park Innovation Award

Oxford Biomedica



The Oxfordshire LEP New Business Award

Common Ground

Sensyne Health

SWJ Consulting

The Knights Small Business Award

High Spec Composites


TOAD (The Oxford Artisan Distillery)

The NatWest Large Business Award

Nicholson Nurseries

Ridge and Partners LLP

Planet IT

The Shaw Gibbs Young Business Person of the Year Award

Toby Crawford, Imaginera

Dan Weston, Mathews Comfort Financial Services

Sarah Jaycock, High Spec Composites

The Shaw Gibbs Business Person of the Year Award

Paul Morrow, British Bakels

Paul Drayson, Sensyne Health

Daniel Geoghegan, Bicester Heritage

The Hays Employer of the Year Award

Oodle Car Finance

Abingdon and Witney College


The CIS Technology Excellence Award

Cognitant Group

Brethertons LLP

Royal Cars

The Oxford Times Charity and Community Award

Transition by Design


Witney Music Festival

The Heart Best Visitor Experience Award

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

TOAD (The Oxford Artisan Distillery)

Hook Norton Brewery

The Syndicut Marketing Excellence Award



Aston and James

The Brita Green Award



Oxford Wood Recycling

The Bicester Village Retail Award

William Powell

Coles Books


The Hawkins Business of the Year Award winner will be announced on the night.