The Awards

The gala dinner celebrating the winners and finalists took place on 15 May 2015 in a lavish marquee within the grounds of  Sibford School, Oxfordshire.





A2 Dominian

This category is open to any North Oxfordshire business that started trading after the 1st January 2012.

The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • How start-up was achieved
  • Growth to date
  • Strength and stability of business
  • Understanding of the market in which they operate
  • Vision /Strategy for future development
  • Funding arrangements and investment plans for the business

Download an application form


Banbury & Bicester College



This Award will go to the North Oxfordshire organisation that can best demonstrate how the design and implementation of its HR Policy has created a stimulating and supportive workplace, with a well-motivated, well-trained, ambitious, innovative and integrated workforce.

Judges will look for evidence of how employees are engaged in strategic goals and company values, and how human and supporting resources have been optimised to achieve and sustain commercial and competitive success. They will also look at investment in people, initiatives to create a more collaborative culture, and the impact this has had on commercial performance.  Open to private, public and third sector organisations, this Award will recognise the enterprise that has driven demonstrable excellence in the following key areas:

  •  Staff development, retention and recruitment, which includes policies and practices to encourage staff motivation
  • Development of a learning culture, to include training plans within the organisation
  • Leadership and management
  • Innovation and operational excellence
  • A culture of skills training running throughout the company
  • An embedded ethical culture
  • Creative and collaborative customer service
  • Increased growth or market share
  • Improved financial performance

Download an application form


Begbroke Science Park



This category is open to any organisation irrespective of size or sector. The judges will be looking for evidence of:

The introduction of an innovative product, process, service or business method within the last 3 years.

The innovation can be shown to have had a demonstrable actual and projected quantifiable operational benefit for example in: –

  •  Sales Turnover/Profit Growth
  • Cost reduction
  • Reduction in delivery days or stock holding
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Staff efficiency and satisfaction • A clear written description of the innovation in the product, process, business model or service and its background.
  • How “open innovation” and collaboration may have been relevant.
  • A plan for continued future implementation and development of the innovation

Download an application form


Bicester Village


This category is open to any North Oxfordshire business. The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Development of culture of service excellence, to include defined customer service standards
  • Evidence of effective customer service provision to include monitoring and complaints system
  • How effective customer care has benefited the organisation, its staff and its customers

Download an application form


Cherwell District Council



This category is open to any organisation, irrespective of business size.

Successful entrants in this category will need to show convincing evidence of the following criteria:

  • Fulfilment of charitable aims
  • impact on local disadvantaged groups
  • Management and leadership influence
  • Membership/community involvement
  • Commitment of staff

Download an application form


Ellacotts LLP



This category is open to any business person.

Entries must be endorsed by a business colleague, partner, or client. 

The Award is open to entrants working at any level within an organisation who have brought financial and/or non-financial benefits to their organisation through their efforts. It is suggested that entrants should be able to show evidence of some or all of the following:

  • Developed and implemented strategic business plans
  • Implemented plans to achieve growth and improve profitability
  • Actively taken steps to exceed customer expectations
  • Raised their organisation’s profile

Download an application form


Spratt Endicott


Spratt Endicott

This category is open to any business that has been trading for more than 7 years. The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Business growth
  • A commitment to the local community including local job creation
  • A written business plan demonstrating strategy and vision for the next 3-5 years
  • Proven success and achievement during the past 12 months
  • Management with the ability to drive the business forward
  • A genuine commitment to staff

Download an application form

Oxfordshire Apprenticeships


Oxford Apprenticeships

This category is open to all businesses regardless of sector or size.

The judges will be looking for evidence of where a business has exceeded normal standards and expectations in providing a high-quality Apprenticeship experience. This should include:

  • Using recruitment processes to encourage applications from a diverse and inclusive range of candidates
  • Providing an opportunity that has offered an Apprentice exceptional personal development and mentoring support
  • Where an Apprentice has been empowered to make significant contribution to business success/growth
  • Provision of additional learning opportunities above and beyond training provided by the apprentice training provider
  • Evidence of a positive onward journey, either through retention by the employer, or progression post-Apprenticeship

Endorsements are required and must include an existing/recent Apprentice and training provider.

Download an application form

Oxfordshire LEP


This category is open to any North Oxfordshire business that employs fewer than 25 staff and that started trading more than 3 years. The judges will be looking for evidence of:

  • Business growth
  • A written business plan with strategy and vision for the next 3-5 years
  • Management with the ability to drive the business forward
  • Understanding their market and arrangements to respond to change
  • Funding arrangements and investment plans for the business

Download an application form

Norbar Torque Tools



There is no separate entry for this most prestigious award: The winner will be decided upon by the sponsor of this award chosen from the finalists of any of the other Awards. They will be the business or businessperson most able to demonstrate all-round achievement, a clear vision for the future, success against objectives and sustained growth. They will be expected to be a standard bearer of success for businesses in North Oxfordshire.



View a map of Cherwell District

(Opens in a new window)Cherwell Map


  1.       Any organisation (including Public Sector, Education, etc.) located within the area of North Oxfordshire (see map), who have local management autonomy, may enter. 

2.       Sponsors of the Cherwell Business Awards are not eligible to enter. 

3.       Any entrant may enter a maximum of two of the Business Sector Awards and one of the Individual Awards. 

4.       Entries must be received by Friday 30th January 2015.  

5.       All entrants must agree to be interviewed by an Awards Sponsor. 

6.       Selection of finalists will take place at the Judging Meeting on Wednesday 18th March 2015. All applicants will be notified no later than Friday 20th March 2015 if they have been shortlisted or not.  

7.       Finalists must be prepared to make themselves available for interview. 

8.       All finalists must agree to take part in publicity and to attend the Awards Dinner on Friday 15th May, 2015. 

9.       All finalists of the 2015 Awards will automatically be considered for the Cherwell Business of the Year Award. 

10.   The judges’ decision is final. 

11.   A list of winners can be obtained after Monday 18th May 2015 at 

12.   All entrants will be notified by email that their entry has been received. 

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