Celebrating the very best in the business

5:00am Tuesday 24th June 2014

By Andrew Smith

FATHER and son celebrated together after their company was voted the Oxfordshire Business of the Year.

Alec Hammond, chairman of Oxford Products, looked on proudly as son Andrew was also awarded the title Oxfordshire Business Person of the Year, making it a double success for the family-run Witney firm which sells cycle and motorcycle accessories across the world.

Alec Hammond said: “We have been going for 40 years. The business was founded on family values and we have held true to them. I am very proud.”

Banbury Cake:

Andrew Hammond and his dad Alec celebrating with the rest of their Oxford Products team

Oxford Products was started by Mr Hammond senior in 1973 before he later handed over the reins to Andrew.

Since 1997 the company has seen its workforce expand from 14 to 90 with annual turnover expected to hit £22m this year.

Last month saw Prime Minister and Witney MP David Cameron officially open its new 100,000 sq ft head office in Witney.

Andrew Hammond said: “We are a small family business, but we are growing year on year.

“We believe in looking after our people and they share in our success. I can’t do anything without an amazing team behind me.

“We are just starting and these awards will be a platform for the next stage of our growth.”

The Large Business of the Year award went to Kidlington-based electrical contractor Darke & Taylor. Chairman David Newton said: “This is the first time we have won an award locally and our staff will love it.”

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Darke & Taylor managing director Paul McNaughton, left, and chairman David Newton with their award

Winner of the export category was Oxford Cryosystems.

Based in Long Hanborough, the manufacturer of specialised scientific instruments and software has grown from an Oxford University spin-out business to employing 20 people and exporting 80 per cent of its production.

Managing director Richard Glazer said: “It is fantastic recognition for a company that manufactures locally and exports worldwide.”

The Charity and Community category was won by Witney-based training organisation Synolos.

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Business editor Andrew Smith, left, and awards host Martin Bayfield, right, with Synolos founder Barry Ingleton and staff member Lee Ingleton

Founded by Barry Ingleton, the organisation operates a training centre and shop to give unemployed youngsters real experience in the world of work to boost their chances of landing a job.

Mr Ingleton said: “This can move us forward and help more young people. It is our first major award and I am so pleased and a little shocked.”

The Employer of the Year title was won by rapidly expanding Witney-based specialist tour operator Audley Travel.

Alex Bentley from the firm said: “It is both fantastic and humbling. I feel very proud.”

Benson-based recycling technology firm Greenredeem was the winner of the Digital Innovation Award.

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Left to right, Matthew Ball, David Vince and Rob Crumbie, of Greenredeem

General manager Matthew Ball said: “It is recognition of all the hard work we have put into something that sets the standard.”

Five hundred people attended the awards ceremony at the Four Pillars Hotel, Sandford.

The event, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary, was hosted by former England rugby union international Martin Bayfield.

A total of £4,391 was raised on the night which will be donated to Oxford-based hospice for children and young people Helen and Douglas House.

Awards chairman Paul Lowe said: “These awards reflect the diverse nature of the county’s businesses.

“The quality of the entries was incredibly high and all the finalists should feel proud.”



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