MONMOUTHSHIRE Building Society, Premier Forest Products and Newport Transport were among the winners at last night’s fifth annual South Wales Argus Business Awards.

This year’s ceremony, at the University of Wales Newport City Campus honoured some of the best companies and businesspeople that Gwent has to offer.

Hosted by broadcaster and journalist Mai Davies, the ceremony, co-sponsored by USW and Newport City Council, featured 14 award categories, including Business of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award.

The first of those prizes went to Monmouthshire Building Society, which scooped the over all title after claiming the Best Place to Work Award earlier in the evening.

Established in 1869, the Newport-based member-led modern mutual is currently in the second year of an ambitious five-year strategy that is already showing excellent results.

In 2021/22, they announced record profits in excess of £7m, with more than £1.4bn of assets and total assets growing by £101m for the period.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, meanwhile, was awarded to Cintec International’s Peter James.

Mr James served in the Royal Naval Reserves as an ordinary seaman, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander 17 years later and founding Cintec in 1984.

Cintec, which specialises in retrofitted patented anchoring and reinforcing systems, has grown internationally and expanded their product range considerably.

Cintec has worked on many of the world’s most iconic heritage buildings, including Buckingham Palace, the White House and even the pyramids in Egypt.

In the individual categories, Peter Lewis took the Businessperson of the Year crown and Anthony Davies was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Mr Lewis set-up Industrial Automation & Control in 1989 and, thanks to his leadership and strong financial management, the firm is still going strong today.

Director and founder of Davies Contractors, Mr Davies is known for centring his recruitment around individuals from backgrounds which are often underrepresented.

The Large Business of the Year went to Premier Forest Products.

Co-founded by Dilwyn Howells, Nigel Williams and Terry Edgell in 1993, Premier Forest Products is one of the top timber companies in the country. It is involved in the importation, distribution, sawmilling and wholesale processing of timber and timber products, run from its head office in Alexandra Dock in Newport.

M4 Property Consultants, Yard Group Ltd and Comet Security Group Ltd picked up the micro, SME and start-up business of the year titles.

Despite having just three employees, Dan Smith’s M4 Property Consultants have achieved a series of significant business achievements in the last year.

Independent food delivery service Yard Group Ltd started with Tin Can Kitchen and swiftly followed that by setting up pizzeria Al Forno.

Comet Security Group Ltd, founded by Claire Smith and Anabela Moreira, has brought a fresh approach to a male-dominated industry.

Other awards went to Beauty Oasis Day Spa & Clinic, Newport Transport, Youthfluencers Academy and Solar Buddies.

Sarah Henson’s Beauty Oasis Day Spa & Clinic has maintained an excellent level of care for clients over the past 12 months, something which helped them pick up the Customer Service Award.

Newport Transport’s both industry and community-leading approach to building a sustainable transport network is paving the way to grow an ethical, responsible and greener city.

Having the highest percentage of electric vehicles per fleet in Wales was behind their win in the Ethical Business of the Year category.

Youthfluencers Academy, Diversity and Inclusivity Award winners, is run by Warren Ryan who teaches young people important life skills across south Wales.

Solar Buddies received the Marketing Campaign of the Year gong thanks to their Summer of Solar Buddies project centred around the company’s children’s sunscreen applicator.

And, finally, Specialist Facade Inspections won the Family Business of the Year.
The business was founded by director Joshua Tedstone and his dad after the Grenfell Tower fire raised awareness of sub-standard practices and increased demand for cladding safety.