Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground and Airfield has scooped a major business award at the first time of entering. The accolade comes after its parent company – C Walton Ltd – achieved its most successful year in 2015.
Although the company had been short-listed earlier this year, directors and staff knew nothing about the category victory in the annual Leicester Mercury Business Awards. Results were a closely-guarded until winners were revealed, and trophies presented, in front of 700 invited guests at a gala presentation dinner at Leicester’s palatial Platinum Suite on 21st April. The citation – Small Business of the Year – received a long and loud ovation as the four family directors and six staff members accepted the trophy from Mick Ventola, Managing Director of Ventola Projects, who sponsored the category.
John Walton, Bruntingthorpe’s Director and head of its Bruntingthorpe Integrated Automotive Solutions (BIAS) business, said winning the category was particularly rewarding: “Over the years, various parts of our diverse business have won significant awards. However, this award reflects the hard work and diligence that our entire team put into driving the company forward each day. Although there were just 10 of us at the awards ceremony, we proudly accepted the trophy on behalf of each and everyone who works for C Walton Ltd.
“On behalf of my two brothers and my sister – my fellow directors – I thank the entire workforce at Bruntingthorpe for their dedication, for their commitment and for their devotion to ensuring that our customers and clients receive the best-possible service. We know only too well how much they put into their various roles. But this magnificent award broadcasts to the world that every staff member is an integral part of the region’s Small Business of the Year!”
More than 300 companies competed for the 12 Leicester Mercury Business Award categories by submitting a detailed résumé of their company and performance during 2015. Judges drew up a short-list of three for each category and the sponsor of each category then visited the short-listed companies.
The Small Business of the Year category was sponsored by specialist electrical installation company, Ventola Projects. The Leicester-based company was established by Mick Ventola 25 years ago. During his visit to Bruntingthorpe Mr Ventola was singularly impressed by the lean and efficient organisation, which serves the automotive and aviation industries across a number of disciplines as well as hosting major exhibitions and events.
Mr Walton said that during the past four years, the company had trebled its turnover and 2015 had been its most successful year. “Although we at C Walton Ltd are relatively small in number, the services offered by ourselves and other companies on site provide employment and prosperity for over 500 people on site as well as contributing significantly to the region’s economy by bringing in business from the UK and abroad.”
C Walton Ltd acquired the former Cold War and WW2 RAF airfield from Chrysler UK in August 1983. The then Coventry-based car maker had used the site as a high-performance vehicle-testing centre and proving ground since 1973.