North Devon Business, Leisure and Tourism Awards 2019: Profiles of our first finalists

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Excitement is building for the 2019 North Devon Business, Leisure and Tourism Awards.

The prestigious event, held at Highbullen Hotel, Golf and Country Club on Thursday, September 26, recognise those companies and individuals who have gone that extra mile to create growth and success.

In the first of three series of online profiles, we take a closer look at the finalists in our first five categories – Apprentice Employer, Best Accommodation Provider, Best Business Growth, Best Start-Up and Best Digital or Tech Business.

Here’s everything you need to know about the shortlisted businesses.

Apprentice Employer – sponsored by Petroc

TCi (GB) Ltd



Over the course of the past 3-4 years, TCi has experienced remarkable growth, catalysed by involvement with site-setup and several construction/fit-out packages at a nearby Nuclear New Build project.

This has created employment for highly skilled staff in numerous disciplines as well as apprenticeship and training opportunities throughout the business.

By working in partnership with North Devon’s Petroc College, TCi has established a successful apprenticeship programme which is proving instrumental in developing the next generation of TCi employees and closing an acknowledged skills gap in the area.

SWM & Waste Recycling Ltd



SWM believes in investing in its people and providing opportunities for individuals to develop their careers. During 2017/18 five new starters joined their supported learning environment to develop skills and knowledge.

In partnership with Petroc, SWM gave placements working towards an Apprenticeship in Business and Administration Level 2 to Maria Dart, a Trainee Transport/Sales Administrator; Roxanne Murdoch a Trainee HR & Finance Administrator, Joe Wilson-Palmer a Trainee Customer Service Administrator and Kate Westcott Trainee Transport Coordinator.

Further placements went to Connor Dean & Alex Graham, Waste Recycling Envoys based on a customer’s site on the South Coast and have been working towards an Apprenticeship in Warehousing and Storage Level 2.

Alex has now completed his qualification and been offered full time employment.

Best Accommodation Provider

North Hayne Farm Cottages Ltd



North Hayne farm cottage holidays offer their visitors something that little bit extra special.

Their inclusive approach means that all family groups are especially welcome including those with additional needs (and in particular Autism) who are not just welcomed but supported, enabling everyone who visits the opportunity to holiday in a special part of Devon.

Excellence for them means always exceeding their visitor’s expectations. Attention to detail, anticipating needs, engaging, investing and maintaining standards and always trying to deliver a ‘wow’ has resulted in over 55% return business and 5 star reviews across all their review sites.

Millbrook Estate



 

Multi Award winning Millbrook Estate is a 32 acre estate featuring five self-catering properties accredited 5 star Gold by Visit England.

Each property combines rural charm with all the latest gadgets and modern luxuries.

By combining luxury accommodation with a fabulous rural setting and their amazing Geoff Ram inspired celebrity customer service policies they help guests create memories that last a lifetime!

Woolacombe Bay Hotel



 

Woolacombe Bay Hotel is an inviting coastal retreat. Guests set the pace – relaxing in the newly renovated Alchemist Spa, smashing their goals in SALT Gymnasia, or enjoying the latest blockbusters in the 30-seater Neo Cinema.

Outdoors, there’s the Bay Lido with heated pool, firepit, and wind breaking walls, plus pitch & putt, and tennis courts. Nearly all 58 bedrooms and all luxury suites offer stunning seascapes – as do the hotel’s restaurants – Doyle’s and The Bay Brasserie.

The hotel is home to 31 beach-chic self-catering apartments (Beach Retreats).

Watersmeet Hotel



 

The Watersmeet Hotel offers one of the finest coastal locations in the West Country. They are a luxury four-star, twenty-eight-bedroom hotel with spectacular sea views overlooking Combesgate Beach and North Devon’s rugged coastline.

They have an array of facilities such as their award winning two-AA rosette restaurant, informal Bistro restaurant and both an indoor and outdoor pool with spa facilities.

Formally an Edwardian gentleman’s residence each room at the Watersmeet is individually decorated to a high standard with luxury furnishings and amenities.

Their accommodation ranges from non-sea view rooms to their most spectacular Lundy Suite which was recently refurbished and boasts incredible sunsets over Lundy Island and a beautiful large en suite with walk in wardrobe.

Best Business Growth – sponsored by TCi

Cooper Golding Recruitment



 

Cooper Golding Recruitment is a consultative recruitment company, specialising in temporary, contract and permanent vacancies within predominantly, Manufacturing, Sales and Marketing and Business Support across North Devon the wider South West and beyond!

Based in Barnstaple with a Somerset location, we link talented individuals with employers of choice from SME’s looking to acquire talent for growth, to large blue chip companies. 

We started the company 7 years ago with just an idea to add value to the recruitment process for both candidates and clients alike and with just a rented desk at the back of a warehouse, laptop and mobile phone.

Pickwell Manor



 

Pickwell Manor is a Grade 2 listed manor house that dates back over 1000 years and is listed in the Domesday book. It provides 10 luxury holiday apartments of between 1 and 4 bedrooms and currently two bespoke treehouses.

Over £1 million has been invested in recent years into the property, transforming it into one of the most impressive 5-star, family-holiday destinations in North Devon.

The business takes its environmental responsibility seriously and has invested £50,000 into a biomass boiler, £15,000 into a bore hole and water treatment plant and 40% of electricity is supplied by its own solar panels with the balance coming from 100% renewable sources.

Essential Training



From a potting shed in the back garden in June 2011, with a cheap mobile phone and a laptop purchased with money given by a friend, Essential Training was established to provide real practical advice from experienced people, no matter how big or small the enquiry.

Working predominantly in the care and education sectors, they deliver training throughout the South West on Fire, Health & Safety, Food Hygiene, and other legislative and occupational training.

Five months from opening the doors in the potting shed, the first employee who is still with the company was hired.  Over the last eight years, they have moved out of the potting shed, ironically to the ‘Pottington’ Industrial Estate in Barnstaple.

They have 16 direct members of staff, and a further 50+ employed indirectly.

The Bucket List Company



Over the few years that The Bucket List Company has been in operation, they have  heard one comment over and over: “a year ago I’d never heard of “The Bucket List Company”… now you’re everywhere!”

It’s true – The Bucket List Company was founded by one adventurous traveller in 2017 – in North Devon – and now it is quickly becoming one of the most exciting adventure travel companies in the UK.

Today, they are still a small team of 6 staff plus trip leaders, but are taking hundreds of people on life-changing adventures every year, to destinations all around the globe – and all from little old South Molton!

Best Start-Up – sponsored by Anyweld

AYKA Rum Bar



 

AYKA Rum Bar, takes inspiration in the name from Bart Simpson’s famous Spanish catchphrase when surprised, and from the plethora of fine rums from around the world.

Their goal is to bring the surprising diversity of rum flavours, and culture to Devon, and in doing so aim to take a lead in re-establishing one of the oldest, interesting, and most widely distilled spirit at the forefront of drinking culture in the South-West.

An independent business venture between two childhood friends, AYKA opened in June 2019 with 80 varieties of rum, and over 30 gins and other spirit; a collection that is ever growing.

Eclipse care (southwest) Ltd



 

Eclipse Care established in 2017 by Emma Dennis (a Registered Social Worker for 18 years) and Will McDonald after recognising the need for high quality, reliable and affordable care for people living in the outlying rural areas.

Will has a degree in Psychology and between them have over 30 years’ experience in care. Immediately, they wanted to do things differently so introduced Contracted Hours no one to be employed on a Zero Hours Contracts – a rarity in the world of Home care ensuring guaranteed income and a greater degree of financial stability.

Their outlook is “if you invest in the people; they will strive to deliver the business objectives and maintain the outstanding reputation of the Company.

Victory Digital



 

Victory Digital is a small digital marketing agency from Barnstaple with massive aspirations. They offer a full service which includes, SEO, Social Media, PPC and premium content marketing.

The company is just over a year old and is attracting some of the largest companies in the country because of their ethical and transparent nature and knowledge of digital marketing that is constantly upgraded to be among the best.

The reason behind this setup was a desire to ‘go it alone’ and set up a boutique agency in an area greatly loved by its creator (North Devon). For them, bringing digital jobs to the area was key as there is a lot of great talent.

New Coast Events



 

New Coast Events are a food and drinks events company focused around providing top quality services to their clients.

They started in 2016 with 2 oak barrels and 24 bottles of beer and today are a part of over 40 events a year, employ 20 + staff on part time events basis, own a double decker bus bar/restaurant and are growing each day. 

Their culture is unique and the goal is to create something that helps and benefits as many local people as possible. The job market is tricky in Devon and the aim is to offer jobs and prospects to those involved in New Coast.

The Bucket List Company



The Bucket List Company was just an idea in 2015; they wanted to provide exciting adventure trips around the world, helping people to tick items off their Bucket List. They finally launched in January 2017 in North Devon. 

Global plans, local roots. North Devon is the perfect place to attract adventurous staff members – they need adventurous trailblazers who want to see the world, and North Devon attracts a lot of those people! The business started with a website and the expertise of Managing Director Keith.

As well as being an expert in Adventure Travel, Keith is a Facebook expert, which is exactly how he launched the company and built the brand. They currently have 56k Facebook Likes.

Best Digital or Tech Business – sponsored by Simpkins Edwards LLP

Victory Digital



 

Victory Digital is a small digital marketing agency from Barnstaple with massive aspirations. They offer a full service which includes, SEO, Social Media, PPC and premium content marketing.

They are a small limited company of two people (and an amazing freelance writer) who have just turned over £100k due to our hard work, excellent knowledge and eager to drive results for clients. 

The company was set up by Cai Simpson, who had a desire to provide top quality digital marketing and soon landed large clients such as TrustedCare.co.uk and TrustATrader.com.

They landed these clients because of their previous experience and results and since then, they have never looked back! 

Helitune Ltd



 

Helitune Ltd. is a world class provider of innovative aircraft monitoring solutions, and is the market leader in design and manufacture of rotor track and balance equipment for helicopters, specialising in application of the resulting measurements via state-of-the-art algorithms to provide optimum balance of rotors, enabling them to run reliably, smoothly and safely.

In particular, the Helitune ‘Rotortuner’ products are recognised world-wide as being synonymous with innovation, quality and service.

Firethought



 

Firethought is an Ilfracombe based business that designs, consults and creates animated solutions for those breaking new ground.

With humble beginnings originating from adolescent naivety and a piece-meal illustrated as scribbles on the back of a pizza ticket during the 2014 festival season; Firethought promptly built its reputation supporting Government (Exmoor National Park Authority), SMEs (Philip Dennis Foodservice) as well as numerous International Clients with their endeavours into a digital frontier through film and animation.

LimeCloud Limited



 

As cloud integrators specialising in Xero & its Marketplace of nearly 800 Apps, LimeCloud build business management systems, increasing productivity and, through access to live business data, enable more robust business growth for Clients across the UK.

Earlier this year LimeCloud was selected by Xero to become part of their trusted Xero App Integrator program, along with four other companies across the UK.

They were invited to attend their UK & Ireland tour earlier this year, attending 16 out of the 19 events.

Accord Marketing



 

Founded in 1988, Accord is an award-winning digital marketing agency.  A company of creative thinkers, strategists and problem-solvers, they deliver brilliantly joined-up campaigns that build brands, maximise sales and drive growth. 

From ideas and inspiration, through to tracking and analysis, it’s their job to think flexibly, respond swiftly, collaborate widely and nurture technology.  Tried, tested and trusted, their approach delivers outstanding results.

For every client they start by gaining a clear understanding of what success looks like for their business and which KPIs matter.  

TDK-Lambda UK



 

TDK-Lambda UK designs and manufactures a wide range of AC-DC Power Supplies for Industrial, Medical, Broadcast, Telecom, Datacom, and Test & Measurement applications worldwide. 

Employing over 300 people, it has been based in Ilfracombe for over 50 years.  The company celebrated its 50th Anniversary in during 2019.

The company has achieved strong sales growth, with FY ending March 2019 turning out to be a record year, with sales growth of over 11%. 

The previous year had also been a record.  Over 75% of the company’s sales are exported to Europe, USA and the rest of the world.

BUY TICKETS TO THE AWARDS HERE

About the 2019 Awards

The North Devon Business, Leisure and Tourism Awards 2019 take place at the Highbullen Hotel Golf and Country Club on Thursday, September 26.

You can buy tickets for the glittering ceremony here, which includes a three-course meal.

The event partners for the event are Wollens solicitors and category sponsors already confirmed include Simpkins Edwards, Petroc, Anyweld, Essential Training, DS Electrical, SWM, Philip Dennis Foodservice and TCi.




The North Devon Business Awards are to recognise those companies and individuals who have gone that extra mile to create growth and success.

For Wollens, that ethos could not be better timed or placed, especially with its North Devon business and operations. It has only recently successfully completed one of the busiest 12 months in its long history.

A merger with Morgan and Pope, giving the company its first Exeter base in Cathedral Yard, was followed by a merger with Toller Beattie in Barnstaple to expand its North Devon base.

Wollens is now one of the largest independent law firms in the Westcountry with an annual turnover approaching £10million, with almost 200 staff.

Its new name – the company was formerly Wollen Michelmore – and rebrand has given it a new look, image and key ‘Full Spectrum Law’ message, showcasing its comprehensive array of services, further improved by the North Devon merger and the expertise it has been able to add from its new colleagues.  

For more information please visit www.wollens.co.uk or https://wollens.co.uk/events/business-employment-club/

BUY TICKETS TO THE AWARDS HERE







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