Seven stars from North Wales

Following on from the recent inaugural FSB Wales Celebrating Small Business awards held on the 22nd March 2019.  BeTheSpark wanted to collate a short article which highlights the winners and showcase the breadth of entrepreneurial talent acknowledged at the event, specifically from North Wales.

FSB Award Winners 2019

The region scooped seven of the 11 awards up for grabs during the event – beating a large number of companies to win the titles.

These businesses ranged from award-winning multimedia creative agencies to the largest independent aquarium in Wales.

The North Wales winners at the event were:


International Business of the Year - Ruth Lee Ltd, Corwen

Ruth Lee is a world-leading provider of life-like manikins and training aids to rescue training experts worldwide: Fire & Rescue Services, Paramedics, Ministry of Defence, Airports, National Lifeboat Institutions & Coastguards, Offshore operators and a multitude of International Search & Rescue organisations

They have been manufacturing rescue training manikins for a quarter of a century and specialise in bringing training to life; making it as realistic as it can be. Ruth Lee’s experience and knowledge is unrivalled and are today recognised as the clear market leader within the UK and Europe.


Micro Business of the Year – Animated Technologies, Denbighshire

An Animated and Video Marketing Agency, adaptable, creative, driven and expansive. They specialise in animated marketing videos, technical product launches and proof of concept animations for technology, science, medical and engineering companies. They create engaging and audience focussed campaigns and animations that deliver clear messages to the right audience.

They are technical marketing and product launch specialists; utilising high quality animation and video to make engineering technology or scientific products stand out. They help companies bridge the gap of understanding between themselves and their customers using animation and video, utilising marketing expertise and sales tools.


Ethical-Green Business of the Year – Anglesey Sea Zoo

Anglesey Sea Zoo is an entirely independent aquarium and the largest in Wales, owned and managed by Director Ms Frankie Hobro. It’s a unique aquarium with over 40 tanks displaying the best of British marine wildlife. All the seawater used is drawn directly from the Manai Strait, so the marine life we support experiences natural seasonal temperature fluctuations, as they do in the wild. This enables footprint whilst supporting our fundamental principles of sustainability, recycling and environmental issues. It has 80,000 visitors a year with a further 50,000 followers with Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. The core stand for their business is the support of environmental concerns through marine research and conversation, as well as education and visitor engagement within the aquarium.

They have reached over 4 million British viewers since September 2018 with their conversation message and advertising the beauty of North Wales, Anglesey and the Menai Strait when they were a major contributor to The Island Strait series which went out in 4 episodes on ITV nationwide.


Scale-up Businesses of the Year – RA & CE Platt Limited, Llay

Platts Animal Bedding is a family-owned business with over 45 years’ experience in delivering animal bedding to the agricultural industry. Established in 1973 by husband and wife team, Robert and Christine Platt, now employing 58 staff.

Platts specialise in the manufacturing and supply of specialist animal bedding throughout the UK and Ireland. They provide an environmentally responsible way for manufactures to meet legal/environmental obligations surrounding disposal of waste-wood residues. Each year Platts prevent thousands of tonnes from being burned or sent to landfill.


Family Business of the Year – Henllan Bread (UK) Ltd, Denbigh

A craft bakery which is deeply woven into the fabric of North Wales. Henllan Bread Ltd now employ over 90 staff and have 18 vans delivering 6 days a week throughout North and Mid Wales, Liverpool, Wirral and the Shropshire Borders.

Being a craft bakery is paramount to success, the tide is changing in the UK and more consumers are looking for quality, local products rather than the cheap, mess produced ‘bread’ that has dominated the shelves the last fifty years or so. Skill is needed to produce their products and they feel that their customers appreciate that and respect them for it. Made by hands, not just machines.


Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Simon Evans, Monopoly Buy Sell Rent, Wrexham

Monopoly Buy Sell Rent is a hybrid estate agents based in Wrexham, North Wales. The business model provides house sellers and landlords with the service of a high street estate agent but with the fees of an online agent.

They also only charge a fee if there is a sale – no sale, no fee which shows the client commitment that they may not get from an online agent charging upfront. Phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they aim to get back to clients as quickly, in particular emailing late into the evening. So much of their work now comes from referrals which is something they are extremely proud of.

Having successfully trialled the model in Wrexham, they have now franchised the model and have 7 branches.


Community Business of the Year – Enbarr Enterprises Limited

Managing Director, Victoria Roskams has created a high-quality genre which is helping organisations become more ‘Disability Confident’ and to support the ‘Armed Forces Covenant’ as well delivering an outstanding business model to support those cohorts most at risk, as well as those who are in need of extra support within our local communities.

Vicki places the success of Enbarr Enterprises on the passion of the whole team behind the brand, identifying their commitment to understanding the needs of the local community wellbeing and regeneration plans.