The prestigious award – sponsored by PwC and run in association with Circle2Success, Devon and Cornwall Business Council and Bristol, Bath and Swindon Business News – judges companies not only on profitability and business management but also on their commitment to the communities they work in, the environment and their workforces, with winners picked for under £30m turnover and over £30m categories.
Collecting the award on the night at Aerospace Bristol, St Austell Brewery CEO James Staughton commented, “We are enormously proud to have been picked as winners from such an outstanding group of finalists. The testing criteria for the PwC awards are what make them so prestigious and they also serve to highlight the amazing standard of businesses operating across the South West at all levels. It is a very real honour for all of us at the company to see our efforts recognised and rewarded amongst such great competition.”
Awarding St Austell Brewery with the over £30m accolade, the independent judges hailed the company’s sustainable growth, the bold acquisition of Bath Ales, product diversifications, and continued investment back into the business, including new brewing technologies.
Particularly noted was the Brewery’s investment in product and service innovations, including the launch of a 330ml can of Tribute to be served to British Airways customers – potentially reaching up to 27 million passengers, and the installation of the Small Batch Brewery to help meet the demand for new beer styles and flavours.
Nick Morgan, PwC’s head of tax in the West region and chair of the Judges said “St Austell Brewery has seen turnover increase by 44.5% to over £153m. The Brewery, which employs over 1,400 staff, also impressed award judges with its training facility, planned new Exeter-based chef academy and successful apprenticeship scheme”.
“I would personally like to congratulate St Austell and all the 2017 award finalists. This year’s competition saw a diverse range of businesses, showing the strength and breadth of the businesses here on our doorstep in the West of England”.
The independent judges personally visited St Austell Brewery, a long-established family business that has continued to evolve. The business has invested in a small batch brewery for specialist beers and R&D, diversifying through hotels, food and now a coffee brand and producing half litre bottles and third of a litre cans to open up new markets.