The Medway Business Awards has come along way since the dramatic closure of the dockyard and other local firms in 1984.
The awards were born in the first instance to celebrate former dockyard workers who had successfully set up their own firms. This year the awards partnered up with The Historic Dockyard, itself a major success story, with entries from the many companies residing within its gates.
This meant a bigger job for the judges and chair Susan Jennings, a partner with Furley Page Solicitors and head of its Medway office said:
“Having judged the Medway Business Awards for the last 11 years, 2019 has been the toughest competition yet. This year our finalists couldn’t be more diverse in terms of size and sectors. From fifth generation businesses to those more recently established; whatever size or sector, the same qualities shone through every business we visited- a gutsy determination to succeed and a steadfast commitment to Medway.
“This year, given it is the 35th Anniversary, we thought we would make life even harder for ourselves and have a special category sponsored by Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust to find the best business in the Dockyard for 2019. From all the judges we would like to say a big thank you to every finalist for allowing us to get an insight into your business and we hope you go from strength to strength.”
This year the winners are in categories split between the dockyard and the actual awards.
Dockyard Large Business of the Year 2019 went to Dovetail Games Limited, a company proud to have grown relentlessly since its formation 10 years ago, launching new simulators powered by state-of-the-art game engine technologies across multiple high definition gaming formats. Today the firm can boast more than 100,000 monthly active players from all over the world enjoying its train and fishing simulators
Dockyard SME Business of the Year 2019 went to Arc-CS Ltd (trading as Arc Creative Solutions). For the past 17 years this firm has provided services: in branding corporate literature including training materials, annual reports, newsletters and magazines. In both print and digital format, the company creates illustration, website design and development, mobile apps, conference and exhibition materials and exhibition stands.
Under the Medway Business Awards banner, Large Business of the Year 2019 was presented to the Strood-based Swain Group. Since 1918, R Swain & Sons has grown to become a national distribution business with vast experience and exceptional capability in general haulage, special projects and dedicated solutions operations.From five operational site hubs in UK, as well a strong presence in key ports, the company is perfectly placed to deliver a wide range of services to clients across many different sectors
SME Business of the Year 2019 went to Classic Filters Ltd. The company designs and manufactures high efficiency filters mainly for gas analysis, in the petro-chemical industry, although it is involved in many other industries, including the automotive one with customers like Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche and V.W the Hadron Collider and aerospace industry.
As well as a standard catalogue of filters, the firm also produce one off's and bespoke products for most industries.
The Product Innovation Award went to VBH (GB) Ltd. Based at Gillingham Business Park, the firm develops and supplies high quality hardware and furniture for window and door manufacture and installation, as well as consumables for the workshop and on site. The company also won the G-Awards Component Supplier of the Year.
Employer of the Year 2019 went to MTS Cleansing Services Ltd, a drainage, waste management and recycling company. With headquarters in Rochester and a network of depots across the South East and the Midlands, the company has a very large presence within the Medway area with its large, bright, yellow vehicles seen regularly servicing the area’s regeneration developments.This is a family owned and run business created in 1986 providing an excellent service to clients including local utility companies such as Southern Water
The Team of the Year Award went to Form Fit Out. Incorporated in 2003, the firm provides refurbishment and fit out services to owner-occupiers within the commercial office, education and industrial Fit sectors in Chatham. The firm based at Revenge Road, Lordswood designs workspaces that are perfect for the individual client’s requirements and delivers projects ranging in size from £50k up to £1.5m across traditional and design and build forms of contract.
Dockyard finalists: Dovetail Games, Arc-CS Ltd, The Circus, Brave Little Tank, MC Modelmaking Ltd and Lustre Consulting.
MBA finalists: The Swain Group, MTS Cleansing Services, Form Fit Out, VBH (GB) Ltd, Classic Filters, Aghabridge Ltd, City Way Health Clinic, Evision, Impreza IT Support, Lukehurst, Oxden Floors and Waterstone Design.
The Mayor’s raffle this year which was for charity Holding on Letting Go raised £1085.