West Lothian winners collectively scoop more than half a dozen prizes
Five companies, one high school and one individual have been honoured by West Lothian Chamber of Commerce in its 2016 Business Excellence Awards.
Dacoll, FlexMedical Solutions, Cappers Group, Five Sisters Zoo, First Scotland East, Broxburn Academy, and Darina Garland, were all recognised for their leadership, ingenuity and positive impact on West Lothian and the wider business community at a Gala Dinner held at the Macdonald Houston House Hotel in Uphall on Friday (25 November).
Bathgate-based IT provider Dacoll, which focuses on long-term managed contracts and supports career-ready projects in local schools, recruiting around 12% of employees through the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme, landed the Best Business Award 2016.
Meanwhile, the Entrepreneur and Business Start-Up Award went to FlexMedical Solutions, a Livingston-based medical technologies specialist which offers bespoke design, development and manufacturing services.
Cappers Group, which offers plant hire and winter maintenance services from its base in Blackridge, won the High Growth and Innovation Award after predicting a turnover of £5 million by 2019.
Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder – which is home to around 180 different species from all over the world, many of which are endangered – scooped the Best Tourism Award in recognition of its customer service and top animal husbandry and rehabilition.
First Group, whose Livingston First Scotland East depot based at Deans provides continual development for its staff via a diverse range of internal and external training courses, received the Excellence in Staff Learning and Development Award.
The Enterprising School Award went to Broxburn Academy for its commitment to enterprise and, in particular, its Youth and Philanthropy initiative – designed to raise awareness of philanthropy within the local community – which saw S5 pupils compete for £3k for their chosen charity. The sum was later given to The Yellow Teapot Club, which supports young people with additional needs in West Lothian.
And finally, Darina Garland was given the Shona Sibbald Women in Business Award in recognition of her hard work and achievement after founding Uuni, which offers portable, affordable options to traditional outdoor wood-fired ovens to cook authentic pizza and other dishes. The company, which is based in Broxburn, currently employs seven and plans to recruit a further six in early 2017. It landed a ScotEdge Award for innovation and growth earlier this year.
Linda Scott, chief executive, West Lothian Chamber, said: “West Lothian Chamber is proud to honour the hard work, innovation and creativity of everyone who participated in this year’s Business Excellence Awards. The awards provide a snapshot of some of the most impressive companies from across the region.
“Many of these business owners are working day in day out to build upon the companies they have built from scratch, creating jobs in their local community, and contributing to the economic of West Lothian and further a-field too. We’re delighted to be able to celebrate the success of these companies through the Business Excellence Awards.
“This annual event is a great opportunity to recognise and reward outstanding performances of business excellence, while continuing to encourage the entrepreneurial and community spirit West Lothian has become renowned for.”
Around 180 people attended this year’s event which featured keynote speaker Dr Peter J Nelson, operations director of The Glenmorangie Company Ltd, who talked about how the internationally recognised brand is trying to build sustainability into its business.
A prize draw helped to raise money on the night for The Chamber’s 2016/17 nominated charity: Bles Training, which focuses on skills development for unemployed 16-24-year olds in West Lothian.
This year’s awards were sponsored by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), which helps to foster collaborative partnerships between industry and education in West Lothian to make sure young people make a successful transition into the world of work.