Business Categories 2015

Business Categories 2015

Arts, Business & Brand Identity, sponsored by Rightacres Property

Winner: Principality Building Society

Principality & Rebecca Evans 
Image by Glenn Edwards  

The judges were unanimous that the partnership with Only Boys Aloud continues to achieve clear brand recognition for both the Principality and the choir. The building society supported the formation of OBA in 2010, recognising that the initiative to engage teenage boys across South Wales in choral singing perfectly matched its own grassroots focus. Over the past 5 years, the alignment of values has become increasingly clear and the Principality’s reputation as a business committed to communities has grown alongside the success of the choir. Principality is determined to continue its sponsorship and is supporting the development of OBA North Wales in 2015. The judges praised the way in which the partnership continues to resonate with the Principality’s business strategy and felt that its support of OBA is a tangible demonstration of the building society’s desire to improve the lives of Welsh people.

Arts, Business & the Community, sponsored by Wales & West Utilities

Winner: Valero Energy Ltd

Valero & Richard Mylan
Image by Glenn Edwards  

As a major employer in Pembrokeshire, Valero is committed to playing its part in tackling social exclusion. Two of its newest arts partnerships successfully engaged some of the most disadvantaged sectors of the community. Valero sponsored Haverfordwest’s VC Gallery’s workshops which use art as a conduit to build the confidence of vulnerable people, including the elderly, children, young carers, military veterans, mental health groups and disabled adults. The business’ support was also central to the realisation of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama’s Young Actors Studio in West Wales. Valero’s sponsorship of the specialist training included vital bursaries for talented students, allowing them to benefit from this opportunity which is unique in the area. The judges were truly humbled by these far-reaching projects which impacted on the lives of so many people and which would have been impossible without the vision and commitment of Valero.

Arts, Business & Young People, sponsored by First Great Western

Winner: Dragon LNG

Dragon LNG & Anna Ryder Richardson
Image by Glenn Edwards  

Energy company Dragon LNG is committed to the training and development of young people in Pembrokeshire. It sponsored the Torch Theatre’s pilot project, This is Me, which worked with college students and 2 local secondary schools on building confidence and enhancing interviewing and presentation skills through drama. This led to a 3 year commitment from the business which will enable all secondary schools in the county, as well as Pembrokeshire College and young people outside mainstream education, to benefit from the programme. The workshops are focussed on either those applying to university or for jobs in industry. The partnership meets Dragon LNG’s strategic aims of engagement in the community and will also create a larger pool of potential employees with the confidence and skills to achieve their full potential. The judges praised the clear and well thought out approach of both partners in working together to assist young people as they move to the next phase of their lives.

Arts & Small Business, sponsored by Principality Building Society

Winner: Porter’s Cardiff

Porter's Cardiff & Mark Lewis Jones 
Image by Glenn Edwards  

Porter’s, an independent bar in the heart of Cardiff, is run by former artists who welcomed the opportunity to provide a permanent home for a brand new theatre company. The Other Room (TOR) produces exciting new theatre in the back room of the bar. The benefits to both partners are clear as the specially designed theatre venue brings more customers to Porter’s and creates new audiences for drama in a welcoming and unpretentious venue. Porter’s has provided not just financial, but in-kind, operational and business support. TOR has also secured further sponsorship through the business’ existing networks. In its first season, the partnership has already exceeded expectations, creating a buzz around the city, attracting national reviews and selling out for many performances. The judges agreed that this is a very special partnership with the potential to grow and accomplish something quite extraordinary.

Arts, Business & Health, sponsored by Western Power Distribution

Winner: Pendine Park Care Organisation

Pendine Park Care Organisation & Sunetra Sarker 
Image by Glenn Edwards  

The judges were unanimous that Pendine Park was the clear winner in the inaugural year of this category for the outstanding way it uses the arts to benefit the health and wellbeing of its clients and staff. Since 2008, the care organisation has partnered The Halle to enrich through music the experience of people who would otherwise lose their appetite for life. The musicians train Pendine’s staff to facilitate sessions for residents suffering from dementia and other neurological conditions. Sponsorship of the North Wales International Music Festival takes the young professionals from Live Music Now to communities who otherwise wouldn’t have access to high quality performance. In 2014, Pendine doubled its support in order to benefit almost 2,000 disadvantaged children and older people. Residents from Pendine Park participated in workshops as part of Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod’s Children’s Day, enabling the business to promote the power of the arts to heal.

Arts, Business & the Environment, sponsored by Tidal Lagoon Power & University of Wales Trinity St David

Winner: Coastal Housing Group

Coastal Housing Group & Hannah Daniel 
Image by Glenn Edwards  

The judges agreed that the partnership between Coastal Housing and Volcano Theatre Company was a striking example of environmental regeneration. It began in 2010 when the business commissioned a special performance in a disused shop as part of its aim to bring life back to Swansea’s deteriorating High Street. The success of this experiment led to a long term partnership in which the theatre company plays a key role in the regeneration of the troubled area. Volcano has transformed an abandoned shop into a vibrant theatre space, engaging members of the community and developing its audience. The partnership has given Volcano the economic sustainability to tackle larger-scale projects. For Coastal, it has resulted in improved perceptions of High Street and a greater understanding of its heritage. Residents and visitors have begun to care about the street as one of the oldest in Swansea and more businesses have been prompted to become involved in changing the landscape.

Arts, Business & Employees, sponsored by Cartrefi Conwy

Winner: Phoenix Optical Technologies Ltd

Phoenix Optical Technologies & Julian Lewis Jones
Image by Glenn Edwards 

Glass artist Rhian Hâf worked alongside staff at Pheonix Optical Technologies in St Asaph. The residency at the innovative optical glass company gave her the opportunity to use specialist equipment for a new body of work, developing her artistic practice. The business’ staff benefitted from Rhian’s fresh perspective, and had the opportunity to share their skills and knowledge with children from a local Communities First area school who visited the site as part of the project. The workers were challenged to share their expertise with the pupils in a way that would engage and educate them. Rhian’s creative sessions have developed and improved working relationships and the business is keen to welcome her back for further residencies. The judges were impressed by the synergy of this partnership and praised what was clearly a mutually beneficial learning experience.