sponsored once again by

The Fairford & Lechlade Business Club (FLBClub) were thrilled to be celebrating their 11th year of the prestigious Business Awards, which are designed to recognise local businesses’ excellence and achievements during the previous year up to January 2018.

Our headline sponsor once again was The Lakes by yoo, who have an 850 acre prestigious private estate between Fairford and Lechlade and have long been a member and supporter of the Fairford & Lechlade Business Club.

Our compere for the evening was Mark Cummings, Breakfast Show presenter for BBC Radio Glos. He has done a wonderful job for us each year and the Club was very happy to welcome him back.

Mark Cummings, BBC Radio Glos presenter

The Fairford & Lechlade Business Club Business Awards Dinner was held at the end of January at Cotswold Hoburne in South Cerney. Once again, there were a record number of entries this year – 59 in total – as the event becomes more and more popular with businesses from all over the Cotswolds, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

Around 120 business people attended the Awards night hosted by BBC Radio Gloucestershire breakfast show presenter, Mark Cummings.

The judges were extremely impressed by the number and quality of the entries, which showed passion and enthusiasm. The great range of businesses taking part made the judging process even more difficult in selecting both finalists and eventual winners. So difficult that, this year, there were four runners up as well as a winner in each category!



The Winners
Darren Weeks, Lisa Weeks, Giuseppe Miliano, Becky Ackary,
Maxine Hastings, Georgia Bayliss, Andy Cole, Amy Bedford


Sponsored by: The RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises (Air Tattoo)
Presented by: Helen Webb

The entries for this award were from Y10 Business Students from Farmor’s School and each of the three students had written a business case for a new business. The runners up were Lilly Chambers with her idea for phone covers and Jessica Ponting with her idea for a smoothie shop.Helen Webb, Lizzie Dawson, Lilly Chambers, Jessica Ponting

The winning entry was from Lizzie Dawson, who impressed the judges by identifying a gap in the market for soft dog biscuits for ageing dogs that have trouble with their teeth. With so many people in the UK owning dogs, this is a unique idea and there is potentially a huge market for this.


Sponsored by: Wrag Barn Golf Club
Presented by: Verity Manners

Business of the Year is the premier award and is open to any business that can demonstrate a successful track record of excellence and achievement. There were 14 entries for this Award.

Bulldog Websites
Fairford Roof Tiles
The Coffee Post
The New Inn Hotel, Lechlade

Green Hills Cleaning

Verity Manners, Amy Bedford, Les Bedford

The judges were again impressed with all the businesses. However, they agreed that Green Hills Cleaning Ltd is a special business. Created with a standard of ethics that is central to the running of the business, encompassed by the strapline: Ethical Cleaning Without Compromise.

As Ethical employers, all 12 team members benefit from contracted hours, great rates of pay, holiday pay, mileage allowance, bonus scheme, workplace pension scheme, free DBS checks, free uniform, and free NVQ training.

This is ethical cleaning to the highest standards using plant-based detergents from renewable sources to minimise the impact on the environment. And ethical profit: supporting local community group, Highworth Community Clean Up, which organises volunteer groups to litter-pick in and around Highworth from March-October. Green Hills donate a percentage of profits to help them maintain this service and the donations go towards much needed equipment and promotion of the group to raise awareness. A very worthy winner of Business of the Year 2018.


Sponsored by: Cotswold Boat Hire
Presented by: Greg Wheeler

Business acumen should be recognised and encouraged and this Award highlights the skills and ability of a business owner or employee. There were 15 entries for this Award.

Anthony Clarke of Lechlade K9
Alice Douglass of Grosvenor Consultancy
Allison Murray of Allison Murray Design
Kayla Williams of KJ Accounts

Andy Cole of Andy Cole Magic


Greg Wheeler with Andy Cole

What a fantastic selection of business people we have in this area of the Cotswolds! However, Andy Cole was selected as the winner by the judges for his determination to make his hobby and life-long dream a viable business. And you can’t just become a magician over night! Particularly impressive was Andy’s recent achievement which was explained in his Award submission:

“It took a while to be accepted among the world’s most elite working magicians, gaining entry into the Magic Circle definitely helped with this. Many apply, but few make the grade. It took me over three years to be awarded the degree of ‘Andrew Cole MMC’ (Member of the Magic Circle). I cannot put into words what this means to me – one of only 1500 people in the world are good enough, and I am blessed to be one of them.”


Sponsored by: Voneus Broadband
Presented by: Steve Leighton

This category is open to all new ventures started within the last two years with those entering showing how their business has progressed from an idea to a trading business. There were 15 entries for this Award this year.

Every Which Way
Lazy Slippers
Morton Strong
Revitalise with Lucy

The Cotswold Chippy


Steve Leighton with Lisa and Darren Weeks

Wow! That was the response from the judges on reading all the 15 entries for New Business award that have started in the last two years. Again, they are all worthy winners, taking the plunge and starting a business from scratch is not easy. However, they were unanimous about the winner and that The Cotswold Chippy was a great idea, executed well with a great brand, vehicle livery and, most importantly, good quality tasty food delivered to local villages on a regular basis. And not without challenges with regard to the Council trading licence but, now this is resolved, the judges thought that The Cotswold Chippy was well on the road to success!


Sponsored by: Bluestone Insurance Services
Presented by: Pauline Rushton

All businesses are innovative in some way, so entrants had to illustrate how they have managed successfully to introduce new ideas, products, customers, techniques or technology to help grow their business. This category was a very, very close run thing, so all the finalists should take comfort from that! There were 15 entries for this Award this year.

Fairford Therapy Centre
Jesse Smith
Wrag Barn Golf Club

Sweetness & Pea

Becky Ackary of Sweetness & Pea

The judges thought that all 15 entries in this category were innovative, so it was very difficult to choose the winner, but Sweetness & Pea edged ahead as they are innovative in lots of ways. Especially the original idea of a cloth nappy online shop and then expanding into other ethical and eco-friendly products to suit the whole family including organic toiletries and wooden toys. Continued product research and innovation is key to this business keeping its uniqueness and the judges really appreciated this approach.


This was a new award for last year, which was set up in memory of Bob Warren, former landlord of the Trout Inn, Lechlade, and long-time supporter of the FLBClub.

Thirty nominated venues were asked to encourage their customers, friends and family to vote for the hospitality venue (café, pub, restaurant, B&B or hotel etc) that best demonstrated the spirit of Bob Warren – offering great hospitality, excellent customer service, a warm and friendly atmosphere and provided a fantastic all round experience. There were nearly 600 votes for the nominated businesses. These have been counted and the top five venues are:

Runners up:
Colosseo Italian Ristorante, Fairford
Lynwood’s Café in Fairford and Lechlade
The New Inn Hotel, Lechlade
The Railway Inn, Fairford

The Coffee Post, Fairford with nearly one third of all votes.

Penny Warren, Maxine Hastings & Georgia Bayliss


In memory of Howard Dowler, one of the founding members of the Business Club, this is a special Award made by the Chair to the person or business that has made an outstanding contribution to the local community. Howard’s son, Neil, was attending to present the Award.

Zeus and Giuseppe from Colosseo, Fairford.

Neil Dowler, Giuseppe Miliano, Helen Webb