The annual Conwy Business Awards took place on Friday 19th May, returning for its fourth successful year. This ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise the very best of Conwy’s private sector businesses, and award them for their contribution to the local economy and communities.
The ceremony took place at Venue Cymru, the seafront theatre in Llandudno. Over 370 guests from local businesses dressed up for the night, which also included live performances from the youth choir group, Canwy Conwy Choir and dance group, Autonomy.
There were seven award categories, ranging from Business of the Year to the best place for Conwy tourism. Louise Bishop from the Conwy Council led the awards, commenting that the awards program “showcases the talent, dedication and sheer drive of business leaders from across Conwy”, and went on to say that she “would wholeheartedly encourage anyone who excels in their field to nominate themselves next year”.
Over 130 nominees were received for the awards, but only one could win each category. The winner for the Business of the Year award was CAIS, a registered charity which was founded in Llandudno back in 1976.
CAIS is one of the leading providers of personal support services in Wales, helping those who are vulnerable and in need to successfully overcome life challenges.
The Small Business of the Year award was won by 3rd Space at the Great Orme Brewery. This venue is only in its second year of business, but has since grown into one of Llandudno’s go to venues for a variety of comedy events and live music.
The IT/Digital Business of the Year award was won by Livetech, who are entering their 18th year in business. Livetech are a digital creative company who work to provide local businesses with engaging websites, help to improve their social media presence and even create useful apps.
Livetech is the only company in the area to have been accredited as official Google partners, due to their expertise and knowledge within web marketing and SEO. Within their head office, they also offer a co-working facility where remote working can take place for local businesses.
Llandudno Bike Hire took away the award for the New Business of the Year. Initially opened as a business with just six bikes, it has now expanded and offers both visitors and locals a chance to explore the town with a bike – without needing to invest in one of their own.
The Business Person of the Year award was scooped by Andy Ainscough, the managing director of the popular Surf Snowdonia attraction. Surf Snowdonia has created over 120 jobs for local residents, and the local economy has benefited greatly from this unique activity – with over 150,000 visitors to date.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo won the Social Enterprise of the Year award. Being the only zoo in North Wales, it sees around 160,000 visitors and typically generates £2.1 million to the local economy per year.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo is also passionate about the conservation of threatened species, and has seen the birth of a Bactrian camel and rare red panda cubs. It’s also involved within the European Breeding Programme.
In recent months, the development of the Wildlife Inspiring Learning & Discovery Centre has allowed schools, groups and visitors to learn more about the importance of conserving wildlife.
The award for the Apprentice of the Year was given to Ffion Lloyd, for her work within Cartrefi Conwy, a housing association based in Colwyn Bay which works with those who are in need and require a safe residence.
The Attractions and Accommodation award was given to the Imperial Hotel, a Llandudno hotel which has been open since 1872. In 2007, the hotel gained its four star status and is also home to a health and fitness centre.
The Food and Drink award was won by Gwinllan Conwy Ltd, a vineyard within the Conwy County which produces a variety of white, red and rose wines. Gwinllan Conwy also provides vineyard tours which are in very high demand. They plan to extend their vineyard so that they can produce up to 35,000 bottles of wine per year.
Community involvement is an important aspect within any county, and the award was given to Llandudno Football in the Community. This community club began in 2010, and now works in partnership with local schools to encourage a healthy lifestyle amongst other invaluable skills.
With the great turnout and success of this years awards ceremony, it seems that 2018 might see an even bigger awards ceremony taking place.