Island Business June 2022

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JUNE 2022


SPECIAL EDITION All the winners and photos from the night Business of the Year: Top Mops Vectis Ventures’ Alec Dabell WightFibre


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Island Business Magazine Published by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Editor Tom Stroud Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Mill Court, Furrlongs, Newport Isle of Wight, PO30 2AA Tel. 01983 520777 Designed & Printed by While every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of Island Business magazine the publishers do not accept any liability or provide any guarantee that the information is accurate, complete or up to date. The publisher and its employees and contractors have used their best efforts in preparing these pages and this publication but make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, with regard to the information supplied. The views of contributors do not necessarily represent those of the IW Chamber of Commerce. The IW Chamber of Commerce and its employees and contractors shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages in connection with, or arising out of, the providing of the information offered here. Contains material sourced from responsibly managed forests, certified in accordance with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council).


FOREWORD WELCOME TO THE JUNE EDITION OF ISLAND BUSINESS MAGAZINE! In this special issue we celebrate the winners of the 2022 IW Chamber Business Awards, held last month at Cowes Yacht Haven. You’ll see the photos of the event and hear from all of our award recipients. On the night the atmosphere was charged and what struck me most was how the audience supported each other. Of course the evening was competitive – anyone who enters for an award is hoping to win – but when the golden envelopes were opened, the applause was loud. There were moving moments and standing ovations, not least for Top Mops, named Business of the Year. It felt like a collective moment; with the awards

being presented for the first time since 2019, it also felt like another step back towards post-pandemic normality. As the business community came together to celebrate success, it also dressed up in black tie and a ballgown, probably for the first time in several years. In this edition we feature all of the winners of 2022, including Top Mops (Business of the Year) and Alec Dabell (President’s Cup for Outstanding Contribution). As ever, I hope you enjoy the magazine.





Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce

Please recycle this magazine

JUNE 2022

08 BUSINESS AWARDS 02 08 09 12 14 15 16 18 19 20 22 24 27 38


News IW Chamber Business Awards IW Chamber Business of the Year | Customer Service Award IW Chamber President’s Cup for Outstanding Contribution | Made on the Isle of Wight Award Small Business of the Year | Micro Business of the Year Start Up Business of the Year | Launched in 2021 Award Business in the Community Award | Entrepreneurship Award Environment and Sustainability Award | Technology and Innovation Award Hospitality and Tourism Business of the Year | Manufacturing and Export Business of the Year Training and Development Award | Workplace Health and Well-being Award Growth Business of the Year | IW Chamber Member of the Year

WightFibre is going green Events & Training IW Chamber President: John Allen



Isle of Wight shoppers choose local produce

Council distributes over £4.3 million of COVID funding

Island businesses in the hospitality and leisure industries, including accommodation, have received more than £4.3 million in COVID Business support funding. The package combines the government’s Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant, plus the Additional Restrictions Grant. The funding was handed out by the Isle of Wight Council, to more than 1650 local businesses. Julie Jones-Evans, cabinet member for regeneration, explained: “Dealing with these COVID-19 grants, and funding previous rounds, has been a huge and unexpected job for the council, with well over £100 million pounds given out in more than 23,000 payments to businesses in the last two years. “With new stringent government anti-fraud measures in place, the new grant schemes needed businesses to apply directly to the council and give a range of details to support their application. I’d like to thank the business owners and workers for their patience and support over that time, and of course to those council staff who have been taken away from their normal work to get this essential job done so effectively.“

Customers at Southern Co-op stores are buying 40% more local products than five years ago. Eight convenience stores on the Island stock the Local Flavours range, which was first launched here 15 years ago. The brand supports farmers and producers, bringing the best local food and drink from across southern England to its convenience stores. It currently includes around 2,000 products from more than 200 suppliers. Paul Griffin, from Briddlesford Farm Dairy, says: “Working with Southern Co-op has meant a lot to us. Southern Co-op could see the quality and provenance of our products and were able to offer us access to a much wider customer base, through

Wightlink wins sustainability award

Captain Patrycja Jaromirska (front) and some of the crew of Victoria of Wight celebrate winning The News Business Excellence Sustainable Business Award 2022. (L-R Andy Pullen, Mark Charles, Tracy Ford, Lauren Potter, Jim Kelleher, Sue Prince, Charlie Goes and Mihovil Pedsic) 2


their many stores. “This was a big step up for Briddlesford, and eventually enabled us to significantly expand this aspect of our business. It gave us confidence to work with larger customers and in turn, this has helped to preserve our family farm, and our iconic dairy herd on the Isle of Wight.” Samantha Blake, Sales Account Manager at The Tomato Stall, said: “The Tomato Stall is privileged to be a long-term partner and not only are we able to supply our produce through the branches, but have had first-hand experience of the positive impact Southern Co-op has in supporting the communities around its branches.”

Wightlink is celebrating winning The News Business Excellence Award for Sustainability 2022. The achievement recognises the successful introduction of Wightlink’s new flagship Victoria of Wight, England’s first large ferry powered by hybrid energy, and the ferry company’s campaigns to cut carbon emissions and operate as sustainably as possible. Initiatives include improving recycling, installing EV charging points for electric vehicles, buying from local suppliers and promoting a range of environmental projects. Wightlink supports partners to re-establish oysters in the Solent, support crucial seagrass beds in Ryde and re-introduce white-tailed eagles to the Isle of Wight. Chief Executive Keith Greenfield says: “Wightlink is proud to sail through some of the most beautiful coastal waters in the UK, if not the world. As we cross the Solent 364 days a year, we are always conscious of our responsibility to protect the land, sea and air around us. Our next ambition is to commission and operate an all-electric ferry.”


Best in business celebrated at IW Chamber Awards The Island’s most prestigious awards night came back with a bang. Presented for the first time since 2019, the IW Chamber Business Awards in association with WightFibre were handed out at Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday May 6th. Contract cleaning firm Top Mops was named Business of the Year and received a standing ovation from the capacity audience. The President’s Cup for Outstanding Contribution was awarded to Alec Dabell from Vectis Ventures. IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook

The night was hosted in energetic fashion by comic magicians Griffin and Jones who

Sustainable investment at Betapak

thrilled the room with tricks and surprises. With 52 Island businesses nominated, it was a real night of celebration. “It was a spectacular, triumphant night for the business community,” says IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook. “The Chamber’s Business Awards are the pinnacle of our year and I’d like to thank all of sponsors and supporters for helping us to make it happen.” See pictures and full coverage of all the winners in our special feature starting on page 8.

Betapak’s Jon Carter

Island businesses can now choose packaging that saves money and protects the environment. Betapak has invested in new technology to provide a locally manufactured, sustainable packaging solution. The Rookley based packaging and supply company is now producing its own biodegradable loose fill packaging. The new EcoFillPak is an extremely eco-friendly product made completely from starch. It’s lighter, water-soluble and 100% compostable. The new machine is powered from 77 solar panels on the roof, and orders are delivered from Betapak’s growing number of electric vans which includes the latest e-Dispatch from Citroen. “EcoFillPak is a highly practical solution for loose fill,” says Betapak’s managing director Jon Carter. “It is lighter, reducing weight and delivery cost, saving businesses money whilst also reducing their carbon footprint. Buying from us as a local manufacturer further reduces transport cost and delivery miles in addition to supporting the islands economy. This investment has been made specifically with the aim of eliminating all plastics from our extensive packing lines, making a positive impact on the planet while still providing the best packing experience for customers to ensure their products arrive safely.”

University boost for Island businesses The University of Portsmouth is offering Island businesses free support, training and mentoring. IW Business Boost is a partnership with the Island’s multi-awardwinning design studio, Brightbulb Design. Pete Hooley, Director of Business Development at the University of Portsmouth said: “We have some outstanding courses for businesses at the University of Portsmouth, however we have found that the stretch of water between Portsmouth and the Island has become a barrier to entry. So, for the first time we JUNE 2022

have decided to bring the University to the Island, so that Isle of Wight businesses can benefit from what we have to offer.” The course, funded by the Isle of Wight Council, HM Government and the European Regional Development Fund will see up to 120 businesses benefit from tailored support. Each business will receive 12 hours of dedicated support through 4, 2-hour workshops and regular one to one mentoring sessions.






Woodland Sessions return to Robin Hill Live music and comedy are back at Robin Hill this summer, with the return of the Woodland Sessions, a five night series of outdoor concerts in July and August. Robin Hill Park Manager James Crofts said “We’re over the moon that we’re able to bring The Woodland Sessions back for a second year to further enhance Robin Hill’s, and indeed the Island’s, exciting summer season of events. To attract talent such as Russell Watson to The Woodland Sessions in only our second year is a huge coup. There’s truly something

for everyone at the Woodland Sessions and we can’t wait to welcome old friends and new to these unique shows.” Keith Penny, owner of islandbased events production company ....with a difference said “As Bestival proved for many years, Robin Hill is an unrivalled venue for first class outdoor entertainment and that’s exactly what we’re striving for. We’re truly bringing exceptional talent to an exceptional setting. 97% of last year’s ticket buyers said they would return – can we make it 100% this year?!”

Cherry Godfrey backs Market Days CIC Island finance firm Cherry Godfrey is helping independent traders find their feet. Market Days CIC aims to bring back market trading to Newport and Cherry Godfrey are helping small traders to spread the cost of a market gazebo with easy interest free monthly payments. Claire Kennard from Market Days CIC said “Sometimes it’s really hard to cover all the costs of getting set up. This initiative with Cherry Godfrey is a fantastic opportunity to buy a gazebo and other equipment for those looking to grow into a retail empire.”

Sustainable quarry plans lodged by Wight Building Materials

Andrew Tapsell of Cherry Godfrey said “This really takes the burden off people who are just starting out and gives entrepreneurs a way to reduce initial set-up costs. I always believe in supporting local businesses. By doing so, you’re directly putting money back into our own community. You’re funding great ideas and there’s a feeling of shared responsibility when you support an independent business.”

Plans for a sustainably managed quarry in Wootton that will protect at least 36 local jobs and ensure the Island can source its own sand and gravel to make construction materials for the next decade have been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council. The application by Wight Building Materials (WBM) for tenyear use of land at Palmers Farm, off Brocks Copse Road, also includes measures to alleviate local concerns over site traffic and protect and enhance the local environment. Just two employees using three vehicles (a dozer, a digger and a dump truck) will carry out quarrying work and there will be no quarrying at the weekends nor bank holidays. No processing will be undertaken on site. Steve Burton, WBM general manager, said: “While this is an application of Island-wide significance, we have taken great care to listen to - and minimise the impact on - nearby residents. But our business – and the Island – needs sand and gravel and we can only source that where it exists. The Palmers Farm deposit is unique as it’s the last known significant resource capable of meeting the Island’s over the next decade in a tightly-controlled and highly sustainable way.” JUNE 2022



Top award for Courtyard Clinic The Courtyard Aesthetic Clinic has been named the Most Outstanding Aesthetic Clinic 2022 by Global Health and Pharma Magazine. The prestigious awards recognise companies, teams and individuals who excel in the ever-growing industry of human and environmental health — those who set the highest standards by pushing boundaries and creating cutting-edge medical solutions. The Courtyard Aesthetic Clinic was established in October 2021 by Dr Hayley Elsmore. It specialises in modern cosmetic procedures to reduce the signs of ageing and improve the skin, such as anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers. It is the only Isle of Wight clinic to offer the latest popular Morpheus8 and Hydrafacial Elite treatments, which are a favourite of celebrities. “We are thrilled to receive this award,” Dr Elsmore said. “It’s fantastic for the clinic to have this recognition and we are so grateful to the many talented people who have contributed to its success. We hope this is the first of many awards as we have lots of developments in the pipeline.”

NFU Mutual team expands to support hospitality industry NFU Mutual’s New Forest, Isle of Wight and Bournemouth Agency has appointed Darren Seward as Associate Partner. Darren will be supporting the hospitality sector, with 36 years’ experience in the commercial and corporate insurance world. With strong roots in the food, drink, hospitality and tourism industries, Darren will be supporting initiatives to develop a clear, inspiring and structured career path in hospitality. Darren Seward explained “From my regular discussions with businesses and trade associations, I’m aware how the hospitality and food & drink sectors continue to face key challenges in areas as diverse as changing consumers’ tastes, developing appropriate ecommerce solutions and building resilience into their

business models. I’m excited about using my expertise to leverage our partnerships to really get behind this critical part of the local economy. As someone who grew up on the island, I’m also particularly delighted to be able to support an area I regard as my family home.” Senior Agent John Heather said: “We are delighted to welcome Darren to our Agency. We are fortunate to already enjoy close and lasting relationships with many food and drink businesses and business partners. Darren is a highly regarded expert in the sector, and we are very fortunate that we can provide local organisations, partners and trade associations with support to help their business to navigate the opportunities and challenges that they face.”

STRUCTeam expands automotive capabilities Independent composite engineering consultancy STRUCTeam continues its expansion into the automotive sector with the appointment of Tom Cowan as Senior Engineer and Automotive Sector Technical Lead. Tom joins from Williams Racing, the British Formula 1 motor racing team and constructor, where he held the position of Head of Structural Engineering. “Securing talent from the top echelons of the motor racing industry strengthens our position within the automotive market,” comments Roman Hillermeier, Transportation Market Sector Leader. “Tom will be a vital part of the work we undertake supporting OEMs and Tiers make the best technological decisions in vehicle design and manufacture.” Tom adds, “This is an exciting time to join the company and I look forward to applying my experiences in Formula 1 to a range of commercial and automotive projects. STRUCTeam offers an independent and agile approach to the application of multimaterials and this unique service offering enables our customers to meet the requirements of this demanding sector.” 6



Wasps! Are you waging war against wicked winged invaders? By Sandra Knowles, Hillbans Pest Control Known for their seemingly unprovoked attacks and nasty stings, wasps are one of the most common and feared groups of insects. A wasp nest may produce 3,000 to 8,000 wasps in a year. Wasps are natural pest controller and tend to eat other insects, however in August and September wasps turn to sweet foods and become a nuisance. Wasps nests come in all different shapes and sizes and are built using chewed wood and saliva to make a paper mâché material. Every nest is unique, lightweight, durable and waterproof. You are likely to find nests in sheltered spots like under trees, in bushes, in wall cavities, under eaves and in sheds and garages.

Top tips to prevent wasps:

• Keep your premises secure • Keep bins shut, ensure lids are on properly and store away from your home. • Check for nests in spring to treat before they become large and the wasps more aggressive. Wasps become very aggressive when they feel threatened and treating them on your own can be quite dangerous. Wasps are able to sting multiple times causing painful welts and possible severe allergic reactions. It is important to keep yourself, family and your business safe which is why it is recommended to seek out professionals to treat wasps nests. Professionals have access to insecticides not available to the public and have access to the appropriate protective equipment required to safely treat a wasp nest. Contact Hillbans Pest Control our experienced technicians are just a phone call away at 01983 406 999 or visit our website for more information at for a complete list of our wide range of services.

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The Island’s biggest and most prestigious awards have been presented – for the first time since 2019. A capacity audience filled Cowes Yacht Haven on Friday 6th May for the Isle of Wight Chamber Business Awards, in association with WightFibre.

With 52 nominations from 39 Island businesses, it was a huge night for the Island’s business community. The ceremony was hosted by comic magicians Griffin & Jones, who thrilled the audience with tricks, ad libs and a high energy performance. With an act honed at venues across the UK, including the Edinburgh Fringe, they brought a professional, easy charm to the ceremony, as well as an air of unpredictability! DJ Archie Easton, formerly of the Cuban Brothers, provided the After Show Party, whilst Platform One’s Beth Brookfield opened the show. An auction raised more than £3,500 for Island charity WightAID. “The feedback has been incredible,” says the IW Chamber Chief Executive Steven Holbrook. “Every year we work hard to deliver an event that is different from the last one. This year’s event was a long time in the planning. Work started at the end of 2019 so it was a genuine thrill to be able to get back in the room and celebrate the incredible success of the Island’s business community, despite the challenges of the pandemic. “This year’s ceremony was emotionally charged, with several standing ovations and a genuine sense of community. Businesses were competitive of course – that’s the nature of an awards show – but they were also generous and celebrated in each other’s successes. I’d like to thank everyone who took part, to once again congratulate all of our winners and nominees, as well as thank our amazing supporters and sponsors, including our overall sponsor WightFibre. Griffin and Jones were superb hosts. It was a truly magic evening.”

Event and ceremony produced by Tom Stroud and Kathryn Morey at IW Chamber Thanks to Cowes Yacht Haven and All About Catering Entertainment sponsored by Isle of Wight County Press Staging by Spyder UK Video by TVMI Programme, banners and tickets by All Things Printed Photographs by Robin Crossley




IW Chamber Business of the Year WINNER:

Top Mops

Customer Service Award Sponsored by Hovertravel



NOMINATED: The Royal Hotel

The judges said: Congratulations to Top Mops! A business that clearly puts customer service at the heart of their business – seeing significant growth in a highly competitive sector, at a time when cleanliness and sanitising has never been more important. Sarah Ford, relationship manager, Top Mops said: Top Mops was founded by Mark Tutty back in 1998. Mark is managing director of the business today, and he’s on his honeymoon so he couldn’t attend the Chamber Awards this year. Top Mops started as a contract cleaning company. In our sector, training conditions were horrific, with horrible hours and low pay. As a company we’re changing all that. We now have almost 300 staff, doing over 176,000 hours a year. Our business has grown exponentially, in the last three years and in the past decade. When the lockdowns first happened, we didn’t know if we would have a business to come back to. It was scary. We were very quickly approached by the IW NHS Trust, where they had opened newly created wards specifically for Covid patients. They didn’t have the staff to clean them. I’m grateful for the staff we have working for us, because they stepped up and responded to the call to help the NHS. They were all fitted with specific PPE to ensure their safety and within two weeks were fully staffed, helping to protect the public going into hospital. It was humbling and I was so proud. Coming out of the pandemic it was a

real time for reflection. We’ve seen a noticeable change in people’s opinions of cleaning. They’re taking it seriously now and we’re not having to beg for extra time. It’s a real privilege to say that we are busier now than before Covid. Our growth over the last year is 11 times our industry average. The sector grew by 3.4% last year, but as a company we were over 38% growth just in 2021. It makes us proud. We’re clearly doing something very right but without passion without love for our jobs, we wouldn’t be able to achieve that. Winning the Customer Service Award was more than we could imagine. We were so pleased for BeCalmed to win Highly Commended. Being in the same category as the Royal Hotel we didn’t believe we’d win. We’ve never really been recognised for our efforts, so seeing the logo appear on the screen and hearing “and the winner is… Top Mops” was just mind-blowing. It was a sudden immense feeling of pride and joy that our out of hours, behind the scenes work was being recognised. I was speechless and shaking. I was so happy for everyone, myself and the management team, through the office team, supervisors, mobile operatives and all our operatives out on sites, every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We really felt on top of the world. We were not prepared for what happened next. When Steven Holbrook introduced the Business Of The Year, remember him saying “you’ve seen them up here already”, but there were just so many fantastic businesses that

“Speechless and shaking”:The Top Mops team collect their award for Business of the Year




night, any one of them deserving. As the video started, I didn’t even recognise my own voice. The whole team erupted into celebration and I think personally it took a good 10 seconds if not more to realise that we’d won, that it was my face and my voice on the screen. I sobbed. Never within my wildest dreams, simply doing our jobs could I have dreamt that we’d be named Business of The Year. I was so emotional, but more than that, I was watching the rest of the team, seeing the tears, joy and pride on their faces before looking around the room to see people welling up. As we were invited to the stage, the room erupted in applause, a standing ovation. It felt so surreal. We haven’t stopped over the last two years. We were just doing our job. I don’t think prior to the night, any of us actually stopped and considered just what we’d been working through.

It really felt as though the world stopped for us, it really was - as a whole company - our moment. After the ceremony, the amount of people who approached us with well wishes and gratitude has been humbling, because it isn’t just down to one person. We’re one team. In 2023 we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary as a business. We feel like we’ve been given an early present to be recognised with these awards. So thank you, to IW Chamber and to the whole island business community. We’re proud of our roots here, and to have been so widely celebrated, it really was the best feeling in the world.

Sarah Ford with Top Mops founder Mark Tutty

JUNE 2022



IW Chamber President’s Cup for Outstanding Contribution WINNER:

Alec Dabell, Vectis Ventures IW Chamber President John Allen presents the Outstanding Contribution award to Alec Dabell

Made on the Isle of Wight Award Sponsored by Red Funnel


Blackgang Chine’s Terror Island HIGHLY COMMENDED: Something Blue


Isle of Wight Cocktail Co. Tomato Stall



The judges praised the way that Terror Island created a new audience for the park, as well as adding something new to the Island’s general offering, helping to extend the season. Alec Dabell, owner and managing director, Vectis Ventures said: We’re delighted. Blackgang Chine was originally made on the Isle of Wight 179 years ago, so to win for our Terror Island is a great honour. It is something that I will treasure. Our members of staff have all worked very hard and we’ve helped the Island through this difficult time. The award goes out to each and every one of those people who have been seasonal full time with us that because without them we wouldn’t be here. Thank you all. Winning the President’s Cup for Outstanding Contribution was a total surprise. Time is a funny thing. I was delighted to see that my father won the same prize in 1993. My cousin Simon won it in 2003, so I do feel there’s a little bit of a family history there, but the thing is, that it’s not – and never will be - about me. It’s about the team because no single person does these things. We work as part of a team that’s pulling together, galvanised recently by difficult circumstances.

Sometimes the mark of who you are, is how you meet a challenge and how you come through it. I believe our business is actually stronger having gone through the pandemic because we had to look at what we did and how we communicated. There were a lot of worried members of staff, as well as a quite worried business owner as well! The board were all brilliant at bringing these things together and really being very supportive. And because we’ve been through a tricky time all together and we pulled through, I think we’re a much stronger, tighter knit group of people. Of our seasonal staff, we’ve got a 95% return rate. And in these particularly difficult times, I think that is a reflection on what we have achieved. We’ve been here for 179 years now and I’ve always been completely proIsle of Wight. Our competition isn’t the other people sat around the room. Our competition is the mainland, and for tourism, places like the West Country. At Vectis Ventures we try to be an asset for the other industries and business organisations that are on the Island because we want the whole island to be successful. We want the Island to succeed. We have to try new things and challenge ourselves. Blackgang Chine wasn’t really for little people when it opened. It was for adults. I do hear people these days say “I haven’t been to Blackgang Chine for years because I’m just too old for that”. Well, I’m a great believer that you’re never too old to be young. One of the mistakes that we make as people growing through life is to think “oh I can’t do that. That’s childish.” But actually, what’s wrong with being childish, to free your mind? Freeing yourself from some of the burdens actually enables you to look at things differently. You can let your imagination run wild, and then actually, you’re a better entrepreneur. You’re a better business person. It frees you to see new opportunities.


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Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) provides environmental training for businesses and grants of up to £10,000 for both energy efficiency improvements and the development of low carbon products and services. Grants can cover everything from solar panels to energy efficient IT equipment and the marketing of new environmental services. Further details at or email Environmental projects for your business brought to you by the Isle of Wight Council

JUNE 2022

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Small Business of the Year Sponsored by Wightlink


Diametric NOMINATED:

Datum Electronics Medina Publishing Richardson’s Yacht Services

Micro Business of the Year Sponsored by Gurit


William Eikos NOMINATED:

The judges said: Congratulations to this Precision Industrial Branding business, based in Newport. With exceptional success and a 2021 that returned them to pre-pandemic levels of performance, this is an outstanding Small Business. This is the first time we have entered the Chamber awards and, knowing the high calibre of businesses based on the island, we were elated to even be shortlisted for ‘Small Business of the Year’. The other three companies we were up against are all excellent contenders and we feel absolutely thrilled and honoured to be selected as the winners in our category. 2021 brought so many challenges, but this enabled us to take a broader look

The judges said: This high-end audio manufacturer is producing revolutionary loudspeaker technology. Their team of five is based in Ryde and Whitwell and has made major in-roads into the luxury audio sector, despite the pandemic’s impact on spending. We are thrilled to win this award after years of hard work. The award represents recognition for many things. My lifetime’s passion for searching for perfect sound, and over four years of hard work with my wife Lori who designed the look and green credentials of the speakers.

at the business and focus on how we needed to develop our approach to overcome each obstacle. We have also seen our amazing team respond proactively and adapt, and their unwavering support has ensured we have been able to continually offer a first-class service to our loyal customers. This award will mean so much to all our staff and the look on the teams’ faces on the night when Diametric was announced was just priceless. IW Chamber put on a fantastic event, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and we’re sure there were a few sore heads the following morning! Stacey Steele, operations manager, Diametric

Anthony Atkinson sailed us through some difficult times as a competent business manager and Ian Jenkins was always there with indispensable business advice. We have worked closely with eight other Island companies who have bestowed on us their creativity and skills. What an island for talent! Seeing our company name on screen four times in one evening will be one of my lasting memories. Bill Funnel-Pilcher, William Eikos

Isle of Wight Jobs J&B Wholesale




Start Up Business of the Year Sponsored by PC Consultants


J&B Wholesale NOMINATED:

The judges said: Congratulations on rapid growth since the business was founded in 2019, with inventive partnerships and impressive sales figures.

We are so proud of our team that has worked so hard to ensure we consistently deliver a fantastic product and service levels that our mainland competitors can only envy.

Thank you, we are truly humbled and so proud. We can’t believe we’ve received this prestigious award. It’s been a real challenge for every Island business, so to launch a new company during the Covid pandemic and the economic uncertainty and to receive this award was the icing on the cake.

We would like to thank our customers for supporting J&B Wholesale, backing a unique Island business and helping support the Island’s economy. Please continue to support the Island fishermen and their families by buying local.

Skates Roller Rink on Newport Quay strives to bring fitness, fun and retro vibes to the Island community and its visitors. The concept is simple - make the sport of rollerskating, affordable and accessible to everyone.

like I’ve unlocked the puzzle of business. We worked incredibly hard and we pivoted during the pandemic to open Skates Roller Rink. 4D Sports adapted, otherwise all our work so far in restoring the building and opening up, would have been wasted. We had a sound footing and with government bounce back grants and the support of a loan from the Isle of Wight Lottery I was able to reshape the business and open the rollerskating rink six days a week.

Martin and Tracy Mowlam, J&B Wholesale ltd

Island Holiday Company We Go Local Solutions William Eikos

Launched in 2021 Award Sponsored by IFPL


Skates Roller Rink NOMINATED: Meridian3 William Eikos

Winning this award was a defining moment for me. The best night of my life! My table were tearful and I was too. It was a huge recognition for me and to receive the warmth and an ovation from my peers was amazing. When I started the business I told my mentor Fiona that I had my heart set on winning a Chamber Business Award. When I submitted my entry, and looked back at our success and the growth we’ve enjoyed, I actually felt like a grown up for the first time. I’m 55. I’ve been in business before, I’ve failed so many times in the past and I’ve learnt so much. It really feels to me now

JUNE 2022

We opened for eight weeks before we got locked down for six months. I knew we were onto something. We’re still learning, but we’ve been welcomed by the community and we bring people together. I’m so proud of what we have achieved. Mark Rooney, Skates Roller Rink



Business in the Community Award Sponsored by WightFibre


Island Roads HIGHLY COMMENDED: Storeroom 2010 Vectis Radio

Entrepreneurship Award Sponsored by Liz Earle


Isle of Wight Cocktail Co

The judges said: Island Roads is a business that gives back, through grants from the Isle of Wight Foundation as well as paying their staff to volunteer to help the community – a rare, if not unique scheme on the Island.

Covid has of course brought some additional challenges and we were pleased to continue our work through the foundation – also working closely with groups like WightAID and the crisis appeal – through what was an especially difficult time for a great many people.

Right from the start of the Highways PFI, Island Roads was determined not just to be a provider of highway services but to be very much a part of the Isle of Wight community as well. We have around 200 Isle of Wight employees so there is a strong will throughout the company to support projects and initiatives that make the Island an even better place in which to live and work.

We look forward to continuing our work in the community and would like to thank the Chamber for giving the foundation and the volunteering scheme additional profile which will hopefully bring it to the attention of other groups and organisations that we can assist in the future.

The judges were impressed by this new business, which was founded in lockdown in 2020. The Isle of Wight Cocktail Co launched a new brand and enjoyed rapid growth, opening up a niche in the marketplace, selling online and in Island pubs.

my 4 year old and newborn, allowing me to get the job done. It’s great to be recognised by my peers, people who are also businesspeople and who understand what it takes to make it work. 2022 is a very exciting year indeed. We have lots of new accounts and collaborations coming up as well as the festivals and weddings.

It’s wonderful to win. It’s been an amazing year and I’ve really pushed myself, with the support of my wife looking after

Samantha O’Rourke, Island Roads’ IW Foundation co-ordinator

Adam Towner, Isle of Wight Cocktail Co


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Environment and Sustainability Award Sponsored by NFU Mutual



Eat Street Isle of Wight Deer Farm Vikoma Wightlink

Technology and Innovation Award Sponsored by Lifeline Alarms


Datum Electronics NOMINATED:

William Eikos Innovative Physics



As a beauty business with the environment and sustainability at our heart, to be recognised by the Isle of Wight Chamber Awards for the work we do in this sphere is a great accolade. We’re passionate about responsible sourcing and are committed to building relationships with our growers and farmers, not only to ensure the quality of our precious ingredients, but also to monitor our impact on the environment, the community and fair working conditions. Our formulation and sourcing experts balance factors such as performance, sustainability, and continuity of supply to determine the best source for us to use. We recognise our environmental impact and strive

The judges said: A business that innovates and evolves using technology to drive sustainability efforts across marine, civil engineering and automotive industries. This business reacted effectively to the pandemic with strong success in 2021 due to innovative new products. It feels great to win! Our team have worked very hard through Covid and we have essentially created a new company here at Datum. Building on core values and delivering high quality innovative products, this is the culmination of their hard work and passion to see the company improve and grow. Winning shows that we are moving in the right direction, that we can continue to produce high-technology products that not only benefit our customers in

to reduce this wherever possible, considering everything from our packaging to the impact of our island HQ. We are proud to support the economy of the Island through providing employment and training opportunities and despite the challenging global context, 2021 was a year of growth and success for Liz Earle. To be able to get together with so many fantastic Island based businesses at the IW Chamber Business Awards and celebrate the best that the Isle of Wight has to offer was tremendous and we look forward to another successful year ahead. Helen Curel, Head of Isle of Wight Operations – Liz Earle

the Marine and large torque monitoring industries, but also serve to benefit our climate in reducing fuel usage, CO2 emissions and wasted power. All whilst ensuring the profitable sustainability for our company and our people. It also represents 4 years of hard work, innovation, R&D and dedication to a common goal. It was a great event, very well organised by the Chamber. It was really nice to network with other businesses and it showed the calibre and quality of business we have here on the Island. Congratulations to all the nominees and the winners, we hope to be back next year! James Lees, Datum’s managing director


Hospitality and Tourism Business of the Year Sponsored by Visit Isle of Wight


Adgestone Vineyard NOMINATED: Seaview Hotel Tapnell Farm

Manufacturing and Export Business of the Year Sponsored by GKN



The judges said: Adgestone Vineyard isn’t just a 10 acre winery – it’s also a popular tourist destination, offering tours and winetasting, as well as live music and even some self-catering accommodation. They have enjoyed rapid growth, even being named the second best vineyard in the UK to visit.

The weather was not as accommodating as we hoped, but we were able to hit the right note with daily live music throughout the summer, cheerful staff and a great setting; creating an all-round feelgood vibe. Even on the wet days people were happy to sit outside and enjoyed everything we could offer.

The Covid19 pandemic rocked all areas of hospitality and tourism. Businesses in this sector faced difficult challenges and had to diversify quickly or risk failing. For us it meant taking some big gambles, one of which was moving all internal seating to outside so that we could ensure responsible social distancing. In doing so we had to cross our fingers and hope for a dry summer.

The hundreds of positive reviews we received and being voted one of the best UK vineyards to visit was superb feedback for the effort our whole team put in. To now receive the Tourism Business of the Year award is just the perfect way to end last year and begin the new season. Here’s to a successful 2022 for all Isle of Wight businesses.

The judges said: Vikoma has long been a leader in its field. Based in East Cowes, this business has overcome obstacles of Brexit, Covid, supply chain and oil prices. Vikoma has won contracts in new territories, delivering huge overseas sales and hugely impressive potential for the future.

our carbon footprint. We’ve also won business from new countries we haven’t worked with before. Hard work by the entire team and adapting to different ways of working has been key to our success.

I feel very proud and excited. It’s been a tough couple of years trading internationally dealing with lockdowns, no sales travel as well as supply chain and shipping challenges, but we have come out stronger. We’ve invested in new factory equipment which increases our productivity as well as reducing

Russ and Philippa Broughton

The award night marked the start of being back towards normal. It felt really good to get dressed up, meet up with people we’ve not seen for some time and have some well-deserved fun. The Chamber put a lot of effort into ensuring the event went well and they smashed it. Very professional. Karen Lucas, managing director Vikoma


Innovative Physics Vikoma

JUNE 2022



Training and Development Award Sponsored by Hillbans Pest Control


Lifeline Security Systems HIGHLY COMMENDED: Nosy


Becalmed Red Squirrel Property Shop

Workplace Health and Well-being Award

The judges said: Training and staff progression is at the heart of this family led business. Their highly skilled team is constantly being re-assessed and regularly retrained. For a very male sector, the Lifeline team has an impressive gender balance too. We are so pleased and very grateful to receive this award. Winning an award is a fantastic acknowledgement and recognition for the genuine efforts of our team to do their absolute best, and this one, at this time, is such a fantastic morale booster for everyone. The team feel justifiably proud, both of themselves but also being part of Lifeline. For a few years we have hired for attitude, rather than skills, as we believe we are able to teach the skillset required to people who already have a good work ethic or excellent attitude towards work, colleagues and customers. We continue to provide the best level of training possible, across the board. Our employees are our best asset and we consistently receive really great complimentary comments about the fantastic level of customer service delivered by the team. Fire & Security is an ever-evolving industry, with no

specific, relatable, training available on the Island. Our apprentice Liam’s training at Chichester College was severely interrupted due to Covid, with the three-year course changed to four years, with an increasing reliance on senior colleagues for practical training. In our industry, whatever our role, we are all constantly learning and developing further our knowledge of the required standards, regulations and technology, so this win makes it all feel so much more worthwhile and inspires us to keep going. Cindy Newnham, general manager We were absolutely delighted to win and in such a fiercely competed category, we were proud to be pushed all the way by our fellow nominees. The 2022 Awards were an outstanding success and really represent the best of Isle of Wight business. We were so proud to see the many high quality businesses attending, with many of the nominees and eventual winners being our customers. Those that were not, we hope soon will be. It just shows we are all mixing in the right company. This award is all about the team and its continuous development. Savannah Lee, marketing manager

The judges said: Congratulations to Gurit UK, clearly putting employee well-being at the heart of their business, with a culture that promotes safety, employee voice and engagement. A strong well-being strategy, backed up by positive feedback from staff.

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Gurit UK HIGHLY COMMENDED: Yokogawa Marex





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Growth Business of the Year Sponsored by WRS Systems


The Garlic Farm NOMINATED:

Briddlesford Farm Top Mops Wheeler & Lai

IW Chamber Member of the Year WINNER:

All Things Printed



What an incredible bash! The evening was delivered with such panache. It felt like a collective confidence booster. Something magical and energetic was created by the care attention that had gone into every detail. We felt privileged to be there and come together to celebrate with others. And then we won our award, turning a great scene into an overwhelming riot of joy and surprise. We are close to nominees Briddlesford Farm in geography as well as sector and have unending respect for the quality of their produce and the way they operate. Top Mops were also in our category and

Steven Holbrook, IW Chamber CEO said: This award goes to a Chamber member that has gone above and beyond in their support for the Chamber this year. They’ve been a mainstay of our events – they’re regular faces at our monthly meetings and they were a sponsor at our Expo last year. This business are friendly, helpful and have supported my own team in many ways. Winning the award was an amazing and very pleasant surprise which capped off a fantastic evening. We are often told that we deserve the nice comments that All

the transformational growth they have experienced is phenomenal. Business doesn’t exist without numbers, but it is people who generate the results and pretty much every winning business on the night mentioned their teams front and centre. We are no different. We wouldn’t be here without our incredible team and we wouldn’t have been able to trade out of recent challenges with such vigour without their courage, resilience and commitment. It’s all about people and the Chamber did an amazing job of reminding us of that. Barnaby Edwards, director, The Garlic Farm

Things Printed Ltd receives for our work, from professional bodies, charities and individuals, so our award just reinforced that. It was also for me recognition of how hard we work as a team and that Stuart Murray and Pete Gandy are a hugely integral part of our success, since they joined my company. The evening itself was a joy to be at because I felt I was sharing the night with lots of friends not just other Chamber members. Pete Robins, All Things Printed



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JUNE 2022




WightFibre plans to become Carbon Neutral by 2025. The three principles at the heart of the company’s environmental policy are Measure, Reduce, Offset. To meet this pledge WightFibre has invested in a raft of measures to reduce emissions and operate with sustainability at the heart of their business. Since 2000 WightFibre has provided broadband, telephone and tv services to Isle of Wight homes and businesses. WightFibre is currently enjoying a period of rapid growth as the Gigabit Island project will see the rollout of full-fibre ultrafast broadband to 80,000 homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight.



WightFibre is going green Whilst full-fibre broadband will provide tremendous environmental and social benefits – through reduced commuting and improving digital connectivity - as a company we want to ensure our growth is achieved in line with best practice on environmental impact and sustainability. WightFibre’s “because we care” ethos extends beyond caring about our customers to include caring about our employees and, more broadly, the Island on which we live and work as we seek to give back to our Island community. The company is committed to digital inclusion so that all sections of our Island community can participate in the increasing digitisation of society.

New vehicles, lower emissions WightFibre’s vehicle fleet has grown significantly in the last few years as the company has grown. In 2021 WightFibre initiated a programme to phase out petrol/diesel vehicles and replace with electric vehicles where possible and hybrid vehicles where not. The aim is to achieve an allelectric fleet by 2026. We have already taken delivery of our 2 fully electric pool cars and 5 Hybrid Vans for our Engineers.

Energy upgrades at Cowes HQ As part of WightFibre’s Gigabit Island project, the WightFibre primary data centre in Cowes has been upgraded to use latest generation power and cooling systems. These are much quieter and much more energy efficient compared to previous systems.

Power consumption in the data centre has been reduced by over 30% since 2018 despite growth in the size of the network. Further, WightFibre’s new full-fibre network consumes significantly less power than the


legacy cable network. Implementation of an improved waste management system in association with BIFFA has seen an increase in reuse and recycling to reduce landfill. This includes reuse of small items of electronic equipment and use of cardboard rather than plastic and polystyrene in packaging. Further improvements will be ongoing and will become business as usual. External areas around our office and data centre have been landscaped, much improving the visual appearance for our neighbours. Partially in response to the COVID pandemic, WightFibre has adopted a hybrid working approach for office based workers and will continue post pandemic – reducing commuting based emissions. WightFibre has joined the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife as a corporate member with a view to engaging, via the Trust, in a number of environmental initiatives on the Island.

New roles and new standards WightFibre has appointed a dedicated ESG manager to drive the development of our ESG programme. WightFibre is developing an environmental management system based on the international standard, ISO 14001.

John Irvine, CEO comments: “WightFibre is a local Island company and we care passionately about our Island community. Our Gigabit Island project is delivering a world class digital infrastructure for the Island. This will set the Island apart in terms of digital connectivity which will benefit the Island for decades to come. We want to do this sustainably and with care for our environment. We also wish to give back to our Island community where we can.”

WightFibre is a great place to work WightFibre is spending £100M to build full-fibre broadband across the island with the aim of reaching over 80,000 homes and business on the Island. The project is more than halfway complete with the aim of reaching 60,000 homes by the end of 2022. Investors in People believe that the success of your organisation begins and ends with people. If we make work better for everyone, we make work better for every organisation. And if we do that… we make society stronger, healthier and happier.

WightFibre awarded Investors in People Silver Award WightFibre is celebrating being awarded the “We invest in people”, silver accreditation from Investors in People. Only 15% of the organisations assessed by Investors in People achieve the Silver accreditation. Investors in People found that WightFibre “as an organisation has one single value ‘Because We Care’. This single value is at the core of everything you do and is branded across the organisation. There is robust evidence that you truly care for your people through the employee benefits package you offer and additional unexpected extras like helping staff with fuel bills over the next six months”. Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate WightFibre. Silver accreditation on We invest in people is a remarkable effort for any organisation, and places WightFibre in fine company with a host of organisations that understand the value of people.” Commenting on the award, John Irvine, CEO, said: “WightFibre’s company ethos is ‘because we care’; we care about our customers, our people and the island community we serve. WightFibre invests in its people through the provision of ongoing training to achieve qualifications and industry accreditations, providing competitive salaries and benefits and an enjoyable team working environment. “WightFibre’s aim is to make WightFibre a good place to work and make that work enjoyable and rewarding. The Investors in People Silver Award is external validation that WightFibre is, indeed, a good place to work”. JUNE 2022



Join the


Being a member of the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce is a great business decision! Membership starts at less than £3 a week and entitles you to a huge range of business support, exclusive events and member discounts.

IW Chamber members have access to these four essential services:

ChamberHealth & Safety ChamberHR ChamberTax ChamberLegal

These services give you unlimited access to no less than five business advice lines and a website which features over 750 free downloadable template documents. Not only that but you are protected by £1,000,000 of legal expenses insurance which includes employment cover and tax enquiry cover.

All these services are included in your membership fee.

Don’t delay…join today!




EVENTS & TRAINING SOUTH EAST CHAMBER NETWORKING Wednesday 15th June, 10.30am-12pm Online Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, Kent Invicta and IW Chamber are delighted to present our fourth South East virtual networking session, connecting businesses of the southern counties. We understand the importance of networking and promoting your business far and wide and we aim to offer you the opportunity to network virtually on a large scale by connecting with our neighbouring Chambers to present this event with an abundance of business and networking opportunities to be made.

BUSINESS START UP COURSE Thursday 23rd June, 9.30am-4.30pm IW Chamber Office, Newport Available to Members and Non Members - £5 admin fee We offer new businesses the opportunity to take their ideas from paper into practise. We offer a business seminar aimed at people who are starting a business. Get the tools you need to take your idea from the drawing board to the real world. This course is designed for those with a business idea through to those who have been in business for six months.

IW CHAMBER BUSINESS BREAKFAST Friday 1st July, 7.30am-9am Bluebells Café, Briddlesford Farm IW Chamber Members - £16 per person Join us at Bluebells Café, Briddlesford Farm for a delicious hot breakfast and the opportunity to network with other members.

AFTERNOON TEA AT QUARR ABBEY Thursday 7th July, 2.30pm-4.30pm

EMERGENCY FIRST AID AT WORK COURSE Delivered by Good Skills Training Tuesday 12th July, 9am-4pm, YMCA, Shanklin IW Chamber Members - £65 + VAT per person This one-day course is designed to give delegates the knowledge, skills, and confidence to help those that have become unconscious, and those with minor injuries. The Emergency First Aid at Work Course also looks at the responsibilities of the Emergency First Aider. On successfully completing this course, attendees will be a confident, safe, prompt, and effective emergency first aider.

IW CHAMBER MEETING WITH BOB SEELY MP Friday 15th July, 1pm-2pm Online IW Chamber Members Join us for our next members session with Bob Seely MP. This will be an interactive session allowing attendees to give feedback of your recent business experiences and what your business/industry needs moving forward. Spaces will be limited to ensure that everyone gets a chance to speak.

IW CHAMBER COWES WEEK BBQ & DRINKS WITH RED SQUIRREL PROPERTY SHOP Wednesday 3rd August, 1pm-4pm Island Sailing Club £65 + VAT per person Join IW Chamber and our sponsors Red Squirrel Property Shop for fun, informal networking at our annual Cowes Week Summer Barbecue. We’re at the Island Sailing Club, overlooking the action on the water, where you can soak up the atmosphere with a locally sourced barbecue and unlimited drinks, including Mermaid Gin.

IW Chamber Members and their guests - £5 admin fee We are delighted to invite you to a fabulous afternoon tea at Quarr Abbey. This is a unique chance to be networking while enjoying peaceful surroundings and an enjoyable cream tea in the garden. Plus this is a chance to find out more about the Abbey. We would recommend that every member brings a non member/client to this event.

JUNE 2022

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As this special edition of Island Business celebrates our IW Chamber Business Awards event last month, I want to look back on what was a very successful evening.


It is two and a half years since the last awards and much has changed. The pandemic has meant that the Chamber was able to look with fresh eyes at the whole process and it seems to me that the new look has been a great success. This time the categories were realigned and the judges were roughly a third from the Island, a third from the rest of the UK and a third international.

There were more entries than previous years with judges saying it was a tough job to distinguish between entries as submissions were of a much higher quality than in previous years. All this has cemented the IW Chamber Business Awards as the event of the year in the Island’s business calendar. To me, one of the big take-outs from the awards was the huge range of businesses on the Isle of Wight, some of which are in the traditional expected sectors, but there are some surprising enterprises operating in niche segments on the world stage. All of this bodes well for our ambition to see the Island move towards being a high-wage high-skill economy. Having said that the top overall awards went to two traditional businesses. I was pleased to give my Presidents Award to Alec Dabell who runs the family firm Vectis Ventures, the owner of Robin Hill and Blackgang Chine. Blackgang is the oldest amusement park in the UK, opening in 1843, yet, along with Robin Hill, it continues to inspire with innovative ideas and creativity year by year and they are both firm favourites with our holiday visitors. Of course it was really good to see Top Mops awarded business of the year. Top Mops are active across the Island not just doing cleaning but overall facilities management for many of their clients. When the pandemic struck it looked like their clients were closing and their work would dry up but their resourcefulness led to a partnership with St Mary’s Hospital performing that most vital of services during Covid – keeping the hospital clean. A business firmly embedded in the Island community and well deserving being named as business of the year. Sadly I have to end on a more pessimistic note. It is clear that a perfect storm is rapidly approaching the UK’s economy, along with much of the rest of the world. Many businesses on the Isle of Wight are unlikely to be sheltered from this and will see many stresses and strains. Remember that through any problems you are navigating, the Chamber is at its best at times of adversity. Don’t hesitate to use any of our services to help – there are full details on our website, attend any of our networking events to explore shared solutions and, if lobbying is needed, get in touch and we will use our network to put your case.




JUNE 2022



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