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Manufacturing achievements recognised at Annual Awards

The 22nd Annual NDMA awards took place on 16th May at The Barnstaple Hotel, celebrating the achievements of the region’s diverse and prolific manufacturing industry.


200 guests gathered for the occasion which began with welcome drinks (sponsored by Bishop Fleming) and a 2-course meal. The evening was conducted by BBC Devon’s David “Fitz” Fitzgerald, taking time to impart anecdotes from his career in Television and Radio including many years as a Sky news reporter.

An introduction to the evening’s nominated charity, Over and Above – supporting Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust – was given by Richard Barnes of Beran Instruments Ltd, having himself recently received treatment for multiple life-threatening conditions at NDDH ICU.

The presentation of awards to the winning teams from this year’s primary school STEM challenge celebrated the most prolific season ever, with over 600 pupils having taken part across 9 schools. The Challenge was to build a tower to hold a raw egg as high as possible for 30 seconds from only uncooked spaghetti and marsh mallows. The winning team was Team 4 Porpoises from Southmead Primary School and Runners Up, building the tower that held the most eggs for 30 seconds was Team 4 from Woolsery Primary School. The Stem Challenge was sponsored by Anglo Krempel, who also supplied the spaghetti, marsh mallows and eggs for all 120 teams that competed across 10 events.

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The Schools and Educational Technology Awards for the under 16’s and 16+ categories, sponsored  by TCi construction WORKS, allowed students from both categories to receive recognition for their projects submitted. These featured a fishing-rod alarm system and a water-powered Electricity generator capable of being placed into a stream to provide a 1KW power supply.

This was followed by an enlightening speech from Principal and CEO of Petroc College, Diane Dimond, discussing the challenges and opportunities faced by the region’s largest further education provider (and number 1 college in the UK according to FE Week). Developments such as CoTIE (Centre of Technology and Innovation Excellence) and the SWIoT (South West Institute of Technology) will undoubtedly make a difference to the availability of courses relevant to North Devon’s manufacturers.

The main awards ceremony commenced with Head Judge, Mark Stone announcing runners up and winners in the following categories:

  • Team of the Year – sponsored by Handelsbanken
  • Apprentice of the Year – sponsored by Petroc
  • Trainee of the Year – sponsored by Group Training & Development
  • Schools & STEM Engagement Award – sponsored by Project (SW) Ltd
  • Environmental Project of the Year – sponsored by Taw Tech Ltd
  • Innovation of the Year – sponsored by Anglo Krempel
  • Business Transformation of the Year – sponsored by Exelin SWMAS
  • Exporter of the Year – sponsored by Isca Barum
  • Product of the Year – sponsored by MAKE UK

Competition was tough and feedback from the judging panel highlighted the extremely high standard of entries and incredible diversity of manufacturing capability and innovation in the area.

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Janet Phillips and Trudi Spratt of Anew South West present Alain Casavieille of Accord UK Ltd with the trophy for Manufacturer of the Year

The coveted top award – Manufacturer of the Year – went to Accord UK Ltd. The Judges listed the stand-out achievements: responding positively to legislative changes affecting core products, while launching 6 x new products and planning for all Brexit scenarios. Also handling co-integration via people and supply chain approach. Added to which CSR was not forgotten – helping set up a Devon Air Ambulance landing site. The award was presented by Janet Phillips and Trudi Spratt of Anew South West, the evening’s main sponsors.

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Each winner received a hand-made and engraved trophy from local artisan glass manufacturers Dartington Crystal.

A full list of prize winners and runners-up can be found HERE – along with full photographs

The evening ended with a raffle raising funds for Over and Above, supporting Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. A fantastic spread of prizes was generously donated by local businesses and in total, £1915 was collected at the end of the evening. Read more about the raffle HERE

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Huge thanks go to everyone who sponsored the evening and donated prizes to make the event such a success in what is the 50th anniversary year for NDMA.

About the awards

North Devon Manufacturers Association hosts a prestigious annual awards ceremony to recognise the achievements of local manufacturers as well as the next generation of engineers & designers from North Devon’s education providers.

The size of your organisation presents no barrier since awards are made on criteria relative to the individual organisation. The competition aims to identify and celebrate the expertise, technical specialisation, innovation, growth or other success of manufacturers and education within our local community. The judging panel consists of individuals who support and promote manufacturing excellence across the South West of England.

Note: NDMA is a membership organisation designed to represent the interests of manufacturing and supporting service industries. These awards are open to members and non-members within the Northern Devon region.

About NDMA

Principal Aims of North Devon Manufacturers Association:

To represent the interests of manufacturing and our supporting service industries. More specifically we will, through meetings, lectures, representation, networking, visits and social events promote the development of the businesses in order that we will achieve our full potential. New members are always welcome.

The NDMA aims to represent the interests of manufacturing and supporting service industries.