Three Gwent-based businesses triumphed at the Welsh Business Awards, organised by the South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce at the National Museum of Wales.

Newport hi-tech firm SPTS Technologies was victorious in the Commitment to Skills and People Development category, while Abergavenny Food Festival topped the Excellence in Environmental Management category and Caldicot-based Pro Steel Engineering was named Growth Business of the Year.

Multiple training opportunities, high staff retention levels, apprenticeships, on-site chiropractic and massage appointments, as well as a profit-related bonus for staff worldwide, all contributed to SPTS Technologies’ victory.

Abergavenny Food Festival’s commitment to being environmentally responsible – it aims to become a zero waste event by 2020 – led to its success in the Excellence in Environmental Management category. In 2015, it diverted 7.4 tonnes of recycling from the Festival’s waste stream – an overall recycling rate of 76 per cent.

Despite being a relatively young company, and commercial construction being a competitive sector, Pro Steel Engineering has been successfully competing against much bigger and more experienced UK-wide engineering companies to secure lucrative contracts. Last night it had similar success at the awards, beating off tough competition to be named Growth Business of the Year thanks to an impressive turnover increase from £3.6m in 2014 to £15.5m in 2015.

The 2016 awards, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and sponsored by the University of South Wales, saw 35 businesses from a variety of sectors nominated for awards across 10 categories. The event was hosted by TV presenter Gethin Jones for the second time.

Heather Myers, director of the South and Mid Wales Chambers of Commerce, said: “Given how challenging 2016 has been for many of our businesses, with continued uncertainty surrounding the impact of Brexit, it was inspiring to celebrate so much success tonight.

“All 35 shortlisted businesses should be immensely proud of what they achieved in 2016, whether they left with a trophy or not. Their entrepreneurial spirit and never-say-die attitude have contributed to a more prosperous Wales and one that remains a firm contender in the global market.”

Siwan Rees, director of USW Exchange at the University of South Wales, which sponsors the event, said: “We’re delighted to again support the Awards, and congratulate all of those who have either been shortlisted or go on to become winners.

“By focusing on increasing the SME contribution to the economy, developing students with relevant skills, and enhancing the status of the university as an institution for business, USW is a centre for collaboration and interaction, which builds links between industry and graduate talent.”

Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns was a spokesperson at the awards. He said: "It's because of the hard work and dedication of dynamic Welsh businesses, like those celebrated at the awards, that Wales has seen the fastest growth outside London since 2010.

"As a Government, we're proud of supporting our job market. I'm delighted to say that there are 117,000 more private sector jobs in Wales than there were in 2010. These jobs have been created by the private sector, by entrepreneurs who take risks and have the drive to build businesses.

"I hope the Welsh business community continue to work together to ensure Wales remains a thriving location to do business.”

The winners of each category have the opportunity to progress to the British Chamber Awards when entries open in the Spring. Welsh businesses have traditionally performed well against UK-wide competition and a number have successfully secured a share of the prize money, which was £10,000 last year.