Business Categories 2016 Winners

Arts, Business & Brand Identity, sponsored by Great Western Railway

Winner: University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Wales Millennium Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David & Rebecca Evans

Sponsoring Wales Millennium Centre’s year long project that culminated in performances of Lés Miserables School Edition was the perfect method of reaching a target market for the University’s new Welsh language performance degree. Both partners aim to develop young creative talent across the country and the bilingual project engaged almost 250 youngsters. The cast of over 100 performers also took part in the musical’s 30th anniversary celebrations in London alongside Sir Cameron Mackintosh. The extensive branding of UWTSD resulted in a tripling of applications for the BA course in its second year as well as greater brand exposure to the Centre’s visitors and through its marketing channels. 

The University’s involvement also raised its profile in performing arts training to 20 Local Authorities in Wales while strengthening relationships with WMC, S4C and the Urdd and the project’s success for both parties has opened the door for future collaborations.           

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

Winner: United Welsh Housing Association

United Welsh Housing Association & Luke Bailey

The social landlord, which works across 11 South Wales local authorities, partners NoFit State Circus on 2 community projects.  Silver Circus engages older tenants with health and access issues in weekly classes “It keeps your mind active and boosts your confidence” said one 95 year old participant. United Welsh is also supporting BLOCK, NoFit State’s new professional outdoor touring project which will be presented in 4 deprived communities – Tredegar, Aberbargoed, Bryn Aber and Lansbury Park. The tour and its associated workshops will engage over 2,000 people.  NoFit State says it’s found a “business partner that puts its community at the heart of what it does”.  United Welsh believes that working with world class artists from NoFit State gives its tenants access to the highest quality arts wherever they live. The judges agreed this was an outstanding example of a business / arts partnership bringing tangible benefit to the community.   


Arts, Business & Young People, sponsored by Cardiff Metropolitan University

Winner: ScottishPower Foundation

ScottishPower, Theatr Clwyd & Rakie Ayola

The judges were blown away by ScottishPower’s commitment to 2 far-reaching North Wales based projects.  The business’ relationship with Theatr Clwyd has developed over 12 years and successfully addresses a range of difficult issues with young people.  Justice in a Day and its sequel Connor’s Time were targeted at students who are at risk of getting involved in criminal behaviour.  The interactive dramas have had a transformative effect on the young people and have been recognised by specialist bodies in the justice system. The resulting reduction in anti-social behaviour at ScottishPower’s sites is just one of the tangible benefits of the project.  The partnership has also developed closer links with secondary schools, helping the business to recruit apprentices.  ScottishPower also sponsored the new Only Boys Aloud choirs in North Wales addressing that recruitment issue and also supporting and developing the skills and confidence of teenage boys from some of the region’s most disadvantaged areas.  


Arts & Small Business, sponsored by Principality Building Society

Winner: Clwb Ifor Bach

Mei Gwynedd & Hannah Stone

Clwb Ifor Bach has worked with Cardiff’s Welsh language festival Tafwyl since 2012.  The nightclub, which opened in 1983 as the city’s Welsh language music and social venue, sponsors the acoustic stage at the festival and its staff gain valuable experience as stage managers.  In 2015, the partnership grew to include gigs in different venues throughout the year, such as a local church to attract an older audience. The judges were struck by how perfectly matched the partners are and how, by working together, they fulfil their shared objectives.  In 2016, Clwb entered into a new 3 year sponsorship of Tafwyl which encompasses both cash and in-kind support. The partnership successfully brings new audiences to Welsh language music and also provides performing opportunities for 16 emerging bands, ensuring the festival can pay them the appropriate fees.   


Arts, Business & Health, sponsored by Western Power Distribution

Winner: Cartrefi Conwy

Cartrefi Conwy, Oriel Colwyn & Charles Dale

The judges felt that the partnership between Cartrefi Conwy and Oriel Colwyn’s Paul Sampson was incredibly powerful and a clear winner in this category.  In 2014, Paul designed a digital photography course for older people living in sheltered accommodation.  The aim was to develop the skills of the participants and improve their confidence around social media and the internet.  This initial project developed into an established photography club. Of the 12 participants, 8 are men, traditionally more reluctant to engage with group activities. 

The participants were commissioned to document allotment life for the Wales and Britain in Bloom competitions. They are now keen to set up websites to showcase their work and confidently mentor new members of the group. Cartrefi Conwy is delighted to see friendships and a sense of empowerment growing through creativity, proving the benefits to health and well-being that engagement in the arts brings.     


Arts, Business & the Environment, sponsored by The Waterloo Foundation & University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Winner: Jones Bros

Jones Bros & Anna Ryder Richardson 

Civil Engineers Jones Bros wanted to explore ways to reuse and recycle its waste materials while connecting with the community and inspiring young people to work within the industry. The business collaborated with Ruthin Craft Centre on workshops for 115 local school pupils that transformed waste into sculptures.  The sessions demonstrated the importance of re-cycling and culminated in an exhibition at the craft centre.  A professional development day for Jones Bros’ administrative staff highlighted the materials used in civil engineering projects and how they can be transformed into works of art. The 9 employees worked hands on with materials that they had only previously known as an item on an invoice.  The project was so successful that Jones Bros will include this case study when tendering for future work. The judges felt that the project demonstrated how effective the arts can be in creatively addressing environmental issues.     


Arts, Business & Employees, sponsored by Cartrefi Conwy

Winner: Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution, Hijinx & Connie Fisher

When Western Power Distribution wanted its contact centre staff to deal better with vulnerable customers, it turned to Cardiff based Hijinx.   The theatre company has trained 10 learning disabled actors in Role Play techniques.  They delivered workshops to help WPD staff communicate effectively with people who have a learning disability, special needs or suffer from anxiety and stress.  Over 150 staff have been trained so far, with a further 100 to benefit in 2016.  The participants say they have a much better understanding of disability in general and the project has improved how they deliver their service.   WPD aims to give all its front line staff this development opportunity and, thanks to the relationships already established with the learning disabled actors, the business’ employees will volunteer at Hijinx Unity Festival and sponsorship for the Odyssey Christmas show is already confirmed.  The judges unanimously agreed that this was a truly exceptional partnership and the clear winner in this category. 

Images by Glenn Edwards