International business competes with local stars at Vale 4 Business Awards


Oxford Space Systems and CIS Ltd. were the big winners at first ever Vale4Business Awards.

They both scooped two awards each during a fast-moving evening at Williams F1 Conference Centre in Grove.

New business, Childrey Stores and business space of the year, Boston House Business Centre also came away with an award each at the ceremony hosted by British Olympic skier, adventurer and journalist Graham Bell.

The award sponsors announced all ten winners, including Immunocore Ltd. as the Royds Withy King Large Business of the Year (read our interview with Andrew Hotchkiss CEO of Immunocore, in the May 2018 issue of Business & Innovation Magazine.

Simon Bassett, lead partner from Oxfordshire based law firm and lead sponsors, Royds Withy King, said: “Our firm has been a long-time supporter of the Vale4Business team and we were delighted to present Immunocore with Large Business of the Year Award.

“As a Sunday Times Top 100 firm with pride in supporting our communities and helping businesses to get ahead, we were impressed by Immunocore’s growth, their commitment to engaging their employees and to public engagement and outreach with their many STEM ambassadors.”

Led by the Vale of the White Horse District Council’s Economic Development team, the Oxfordshire-based Vale4Buiness provides support, advice and resource signposting for businesses within the council’s area.

Oxford Space Systems received an award for research, development and innovation.  The space company’s CEO, Mike Lawton, was joint winner for business leader of the award with Richard Marsh, CEO from IT specialists, CIS Ltd.

Peter Mols, Business Development Manager from ActionCoach, said the high quality of the finalists for the ActionCoach Business Leader of the Year made it difficult to choose just one: “Great leaders inspire, motivate and surround themselves with great people. The quality of the finalists made it simply impossible to choose just one. Both our winners are inspirational, driven people who have grown great local companies, with a focus on having brilliant people at the heart of them.”

CIS Ltd. won their second award for being the overall employer of the year, Databasix won small business of the year whilst Alfresco Group Ltd won the award for medium sized business.  The social responsibility award went to Oxford Wood Recycling for supporting people from different backgrounds into work, whilst building a successful and sustainable business.   Cllr Mike Murray, Cabinet Member for Development and Regeneration at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Congratulations to the winners and finalists of this year’s V4B Award winners.  The event was filled with the best innovative and successful businesses in our region. Since nominations opened, we have been delighted at the many inspiring stories from people who had an idea at their kitchen table and took it to the next level. Whether it be growing the business from home or an innovation centre, the finalists all share the drive, passion and resilience to succeed.”

During the evening, aspiring race car drivers tested their skills on the Williams state of the art F1 simulators and raised over £1350 for the Vale of White Horse District Council’s Chairman’s Charities: Children’s Air Ambulance and the Alzheimer’s Society.

From advanced engineering companies to home based consultants, the Vale of White Horse is home to a vibrant mix of businesses, which have a local, national and international impact. The inaugural V4B Awards celebrate the achievements of local businesses, recognising, rewarding and promoting our local success stories. 

To learn more about the winners, visit