Finalists Revealed: WOBA Class of 2014

The finalists in the 2014 West Oxfordshire Business Awards pictured in the Air Tankers hanger at RAF

The finalists in the 2014 West Oxfordshire Business Awards pictured in the Air Tankers hanger at RAF Brize Norton . Picture: Ric Mellis 4/2/2014 Brize Norton - Credit: Ric Mellis

Entrants to the West Oxfordshire Business Awards 2014 gathered to discover if they had been shortlisted as a WOBA finalist at a vibrant Entrants’ Celebration event hosted at AirTanker in Brize Norton this month. The 33 finalists were selected across 11 award categories and the winners will be announced at an Awards Gala Dinner on 14 March 2014.

STL Communications Employer of the Year Award

Audley Travel


Wise Investments

CETA Insurance Large Business Award


Most Read

Data Plastics


Ridgeway Business Person of the Year Award

Jon Cox - Adventure Plus

Robert Drake - CDO

Topsy Taee - Huffkins

mark-making* Social Media Award

Feathered Nest Inn

Just Fabrics


Heythrop Park Resort Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality Award

Four Pillars Witney


Witney Lakes Resort

Blenheim Palace Rural Business Award

Aston Pottery

Cogges Heritage Trust

Crocodiles of the World

Polythene UK Charity and Community Award

Base 33

ICE Centre


Owen Mumford Innovation Award

Ice Oxford



Witney Business & Innovation Centre New Business Award


Cotswold Tailor

Ross & Ross Food

Strategic Mentors Small Business Award


CQR Consulting

Crocodiles of the World

Hexagon Business Centres Micro Business Award

Community Buying Unlimited

Ross & Ross Food


Commenting on becoming a WOBA finalist, Ross Bearman, Director of Ross & Ross Food said: “It’s amazing to be nominated for two categories. We are only two years old as a business and year one was particularly challenging considering we were starting-up a high end food business during a recession. We hope that recognition from WOBA will provide a platform to build on our success to help ensure Ross & Ross Food works as a growing business.” The number of entries has increased for the fourth consecutive year with the Hexagon Micro Business Award receiving 35 submissions, unprecedented for a new category. The STL Employer of the Year Award is also a new category for 2014, which sees Audley Travel, Torchbox and Wise Investments shortlisted.

Jo Sensecall, spokesperson for the WOBA organising team, said: “Once again, we are thrilled by the number of entries received and have been taken by surprise at the popularity of our new categories. The judging process was extremely challenging this year with strong contenders for each award.

“We would like to congratulate all the finalists and encourage everyone who entered to take advantage of the networking opportunities available through the WOBA community. We would also like to thank AirTanker for hosting a brilliant Entrants’ Celebration event.”

AirTanker was independently shortlisted for the CETA Large Business of the Year Award. The company delivers aircraft, infrastructure and training in support of Voyager, the RAF’s new generation of multi roll tanker transport (MRTT), the UK Armed Forces and their global partners.

Dave Mitchard, Managing Director, AirTanker Services, said: “AirTanker is committed to playing its part within the community and where there are opportunities to work with local businesses, we are committed to taking them.

“It was a pleasure to host WOBA last night at such a well-supported event and we are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Large Business of the Year Award.”

WOBA will host a glamorous Awards Gala Dinner at Heythrop Park (Friday 14 March) where category winners will be announced in addition to the overall winner of the prestigious Coutts Business of the Year Award.

The Coutts trophy, designed by students from Abingdon & Witney College and made by Brian Overton of charity and training centre Synolos, was revealed to all who attended the Entrants’ Celebration event at AirTanker. The WOBA charity for 2014 is Inclusive Care & Education (ICE), winner of the 2013 Polythene UK Charity & Community Award. ICE runs a variety of activities for disabled young people and those with additional needs at its centre in Carterton.