HOVIP - Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme

Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme

delivered by business people for business people

Testimonials

"I have gained techniques for instigating discussion and decision making and will use in future staff meetings."

Gill Clarke, Acting General Manager, Candy Stripes Day Nursery.

HoV Innovation Awards – 26 June 2008

Innovation is turning heads in the Valleys!

It was standing room only when the winners of the 2008 Awards were recently announced.

The winning businesses, pictured outside the Dowlais Engine House, (from left to right): Steve Evans, Rhymney Brewery Ltd.; Vince Price, Cynon Valley Crime Reduction Services Ltd.; Rob Newell and Tony Sheehan (both standing), Joyner PA (Cymru) and Susan Fiander-Woodhouse and Gerry Woodhouse (both seated), Blaenafon Cheddar Compnay and Mountain Tours

More than 170 people attended the joint Awards Ceremony and Marketplace with the Awards hotly contested by double the number of entrants compared to 2007.

The 2008 winners were:

Most Innovative Social Enterprise sponsored by NESTA:
Cynon Valley Crime Reduction Services Ltd. Social enterprise leading crime prevention field
Most Innovative Sole Trader sponsored by HSBC:
Blaenafon Cheddar Company & Mountain Tours Ltd A cheese matured at the bottom of Big Pit (to also launch the business)
Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees sponsored by ngb2b - Newport & Gwent Chamber of Commerce:
Rhymney Brewery Ltd. Only fully integrated microbrewery in Wales (& bottling competitors' product!)
Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees sponsored by BT:
Joyner PA (Cymru) Ltd Developed new vocational qualification for construction sector – all staff trained

"A fantastic trophy, publicity, the chance to exhibit our products but best of all the prize money paid for the MOT and repairs to our refridgerated van."

Susan Fiander Woodhouse, Blaenavon Cheddar Company & Mountain Tours ltd

Background to the 2008 Awards

Let's recognise and celebrate success!

The Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards honour and acknowledge the most innovative businesses in the region.

Closing date: The Awards 2008 are now closed. Awards Ceremony and Marketplace: 26 June 2008 at the Parkway Hotel, Cwmbran.

Award Categories

  1. Most Innovative Sole Trader

    Sponsored by HSBC Bank plcPrize: £500 cash prize

  2. Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees

    Sponsored by ngb2bPrize: £500 cash prize

  3. Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees

    Sponsored by BTPrize: £1000 cash prize

  4. Most Innovative Social Enterprise Business

    Sponsored by NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the ArtsPrize: £500 cash prize

Winners will each receive a trophy to celebrate their success and will also be promoted through the HOVIP programme.

The judges for the 2008 Awards are:

Most Innovative Sole Trader category

  • Jeff Grosvenor, Commercial Manager, HSBC
  • Chris James, MD, Ciotek Ltd.
  • Jeff Harris, Commercial Manager, UGCS Ltd. Merthyr Tydfil College

Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees

  • David Phillips, Chief Executive, Wales Quality Centre
  • David Russ, MD, Newport and Gwent Enterprise
  • Janet Scicluna, Holder Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, Janet Scicluna Associates

Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees

  • Ceri Fitzpatrick, BT Partnership Director for Wales
  • Meirion Thomas, Director, CM International Ltd.
  • Christine Bissex, Head of Enterprise, University of Glamorgan Merthyr Tydfil College

Most Innovative Social Enterprise Business

  • Steve Cranston, MD, Steve Cranston Associates (on behalf of NESTA)
  • Mandy Moore, HoV Voluntary Sector Interface Manager, Welsh Assembly Government
  • Shannon Robinson, Chief Executive, Community Enterprise Wales

Awards 2008 entry is now closed.

2008 Award Entrants

  1. Nominations for Most Innovative Social Enterprise (sponsored by NESTA):

    • Cancer Aid Merthyr Tydfil – Cancer Centre of Excellence built by local charity
    • St David's Foundation Hospice Care – innovative process to capture gift aid on goods donated (income £52k p.a.)
    • Cynon Valley Crime Reduction Services Ltd – social enterprise leading in crime prevention field
    • BRfm Community Radio – "An example of community spirit at its best" (Welsh Assembly First Minister)
    • Cwmaman Community Woodland Trust Ltd – first sculpture trail and woodland created by a social enterprise in South Wales
    • Kidz R Us – renovated an old Chapel to provide multi-functional services
    • Merthyr Tydfil Crossroads – training for care staff in the care sector to generate income and increase standards
    • Candy Stripes Day Nursery – child care facility for working parents in renovated school building
    • Merthyr Tydfil Borough Credit Union Ltd – fair and affordable loans to the financially excluded
    • Gurnos Community Ceramics Workshop – nurturing local skills and promoting regional heritage
    • Aberfan & Merthyr Vale Youth & Community Project – tackling social exclusion through community transport schemes
  2. Nominations for Most Innovative Sole Trader (sponsored by HSBC Bank plc):

    • My Little Angel – domestic services and virtual PA services for businesses
    • Blaenafon Cheddar Company & Mountain Tours Ltd – a cheese matured at the bottom of the Big Pit (to also launch the business)
    • Football Media Ltd – advertising services for clubs and organisations in Welsh football industry
    • The Really Useful Directory – local business offering local A-Z business directory services
    • Spirit of the Valleys Tours – local tours for local people
    • Stay Safe Child Products Ltd – seat belt buckle guard (selling 9,000 p.a.) for young children
    • Regan Construction Services – novel customer feedback process and incentives for referrals
    • Blaengawney Farm Cider – using existing premises to diversify into quality cider production
    • Bandog Media Ltd – 'outsourced creative media department' – your one-stop-shop
    • Rose-Innes Designs – paper tableware designs for major retailers (e.g. John Lewis, Sainsbury's)
    • Curves – franchisee providing one-stop exercise and nutritional information for women
    • Nocardsthanks.com – only charity e-card provider that gives 50+% of gross revenue to charity
  3. Nominations for Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees (sponsored by ngb2b):

    • Perfect Day Cars – unusual vintage cars and quality customer service for weddings
    • Royvon Dog Training Schools – doubled the percentage of repeat business in last year due to new services
    • Out & Out Living Magazine – monthly magazine promoting places, services and businesses in S E Wales / Valleys
    • Rhymney Brewery Ltd – only fully integrated micro brewery in Wales
    • Real Valleys Media – innovative interactive community DVD magazine
    • ITDA (UK) Ltd – Sports Diving Clubs (unusually including under-15s) in HoV providing International Certification for divers
  4. Nominations for Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees (sponsored by BT):

    • Funtazia Day Nursery Ltd – first nursery in Merthyr Tydfil to be registered as an Early Years Education Provider
    • Playworks Childcare Ltd – manage the whole 'out of school' service for schools and support existing clubs
    • Design & Supply Ltd – wood grained effect and patterned steel doors – best fire rating in Wales
    • Wiltan Ltd – 'Step Up' skills training for workforce (saving £100k p.a.)
    • Joyner Group PA (Cymru) Ltd – developed new vocational qualification for construction sector / all staff trained

2008 Award Winners

  1. Most Innovative Social Enterprise (sponsored by NESTA): Cynon Valley Crime Reduction Services Ltd

    • CCTV, burglar and smoke alarms, CO2 detectors, security lighting, lock fitting, safe maintenance
    • NACOSS Gold Standard
    • British Crime Prevention Award winner
    • Engage community groups (P.U.P.I.L. scheme)

    "CVCP adopts an innovative approach to the whole of their business. They are particularly innovative when looking at the potential market place and trading outside the traditional model that social enterprises often adopt. A worthy winner in a hotly contested category."

    Judges' comments

  2. Most Innovative Sole Trader (sponsored by HSBC Bank plc): Blaenavon Cheddar Company & Mountain Tours Ltd

    • Quality hand made cheeses
    • Big Pit launch!
    • Coleg Gwent links : ILM course and students
    • Gold Welsh Food Hygiene Standard
    • High level participation in tourist groups

    "A worthy winner. Truly innovative but focus on the cheese! Good evidence with factual information. Especially regarding robust QA processes. Business is seen as highly sustainable with potential for growth"

    Judges' comments

  3. Most Innovative Business with less than 20 employees (sponsored by ngb2b): Rhymney Brewery Ltd

    • Fully automatic bottling plant – first in UK
    • Integrated micro-brewery cf. Brains!
    • Bottling for competitors!
    • Supply ASDA, Waitrose, Co-op, Tesco
    • Champion Beer of Wales (CAMRA 2008)

    "Excellent example of well run/managed business. Heavy investment into equipment. Utilising JIT and maintaining low down-time of premises, plant and machinery; home grown Welsh product achieving recognition by CAMRA."

    Judges' comments

  4. Most Innovative Business with more than 20 employees (sponsored by BT):Joyner PA (Cymru) Ltd

    • Specialists in external wall insulation
    • New vocational qualification for construction sector
    • Trained 100% workforce
    • 2 Directors NVQ5 in Management – first in Wales
    • 6 – 10yrs relationship with HoV councils e.g. "Joyner's craftsmanship is excellent and their workmanship exemplary" (Chair of Residents Association Moriah and Rhymney Estates)

    "Excellent entry where every member of the business has been trained in relevant NVQ and they worked with CITB to write a new NVQ."

    Judges' comments

June 26 2008 - a hotbed of innovation!

The winners of the second annual Heads of the Valleys Innovation Awards were announced in front of a capacity audience of visitors, exhibitors, Awards entrants and sponsors at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran. Please download our presentation (1.58 MB pdf).

Leighton Andrews, Deputy Minister for Regeneration, said the Innovation Awards were important because they recognised and promoted some of the dynamic businesses that were flourishing in the Heads of the Valleys region.

"There are a large number of highly innovative companies based in the Heads of the Valleys, many of which are recognised globally for their expertise and excellence across a range of sectors.

"These companies - both indigenous and inward investors – are not only playing an important role in the regional economy but their success is helping to change perceptions and sends out a strong message that the Heads of the Valleys is a great location for business."

A wide range of exhibitors from Micaul Solar to Virtually Assist made sure there was something for everyone. Visitors were delighted with the friendly and informal, yet professional atmosphere and the excellent networking opportunities.

Ian Woodall, the keynote speaker, was both inspirational and moving as he urged the audience to Aim High through a look at the challenges he met on his ascents of Everest.

The Awards ceremony represented the highlight of the evening. Category winner Tony Sheehan of Joyner PA (Cymru) summed up the excitement shared by all the winners when he said, "We were so surprised and thrilled to win the award. It means so much to us to have this recognition, particularly from our local business community. Our predecessors in the traditional industries in this area worked hard and were highly innovative. This event proves that the innovative spirit is still very much alive. We are proud to be part of it."

Phil Burkhard, HOVIP Manager, said, "We were thrilled to have received so many entries for this year's Awards – more than double the number we had in 2007. It is an excellent example of how much innovative activity is happening in the Heads of the Valleys and demonstrates the significant contribution businesses, including social enterprises, like these are making to the economy and communities of the area. The calibre of entries was very high and the winners are sector, national or UK market leaders and will act as a beacon for others."

The HOVIP team were delighted with the success of the event and are grateful for the support of the sponsors, Heads of the Valleys Councils and the HoV Regeneration Programme. Thank you.

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Heads of the Valleys Innovation Programme (HOVIP) aims to increase the capacity for innovation in businesses in the region. Phase 1 was KEF ESF Funded and hosted by Merthyr Tydfil College. HOVIP2 and HOVIP3 is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government HoV Regeneration initiative with the 5 HoV local authorities and is hosted by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

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