FIRMS from across the county have now been shortlisted as finalists for this year's Oxfordshire Business Awards.

Twelve main categories span innovation, charity and community, small business, business person of the year, young business person of the year, new business, apprenticeship, marketing excellence, cultural and tourism, environment and employer of the year.

Finalists from these categories are also considered for the overall Business of the Year title, sponsored by electrical contractors Darke & Taylor.

More than 500 business leaders are expected to attend the 23rd annual final on Friday, June 16, at the King’s Centre in Osney Mead.

Judges met on Wednesday at Jurys Inn hotel, in north Oxford, to shortlist three finalists for each awards category.

Awards chairman Paul Lowe said: "We had an unbelievable spreads of entries this year - it's the biggest spread of entries we have had for a number of years.

"Most sponsors found the decision-making to shortlist our finalists a real challenge - we had our longest ever judging meeting.

"We would like to thank all our sponsors for their efforts as they have made judging visits to firms across the county.

"If businesses have entered and have not been shortlisted we would urge them to apply again next year.

"Oxfordshire is a fantastic place to do business and the awards are testimony to that."

The Oxford Times supports the Charity and Community Award, which was won last year by Oxford-based employment charity Aspire Oxford.

It is traditional for last year's charity award winner to be given the proceeds of the raffle on the night of the final.

Other sponsors for the awards include Oxford Science Park, Knights law firm, accountants Shaw Gibbs, Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Oxfordshire Apprenticeships, NatWest, marketing agency The Syndicut, recruitment agency Hays, broadcaster Heart and Bicester-based Brita water filters.

Management consultants Newton Europe won last year's Darke & Taylor Business of the Year title.

See for more details and to enter online.

The finalists

The Oxford Science Park Innovation Award

Reaction Engines

Perspectum Diagnostics


The Oxford Times Charity and Community Award

Blue Skye Thinking

Sobell House Hospice Charity


The Knights 1759 Small Business Award

Oxford Space Systems

Ue Coffee Roasters

Savvy Construction

The Shaw Gibbs Young Business Person of the Year Award

Richard Marsh - CIS

Mike Hawkins - Hawkins Group

Mark Walford - TrustedCare

The Shaw Gibbs Business Person of the Year Award

Mike Lawton - Oxford Space Systems

Kate Allen - Allen Associates

Jonathan Tibbetts - Tibbetts Group

The Oxfordshire LEP New Business Award

Lentus Composites

Savoir Fare

The Burnside Partnership

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Apprenticeship of the Year Award

Oxford University

Social Sidekick


The Nat West Large Business Award

Oxford Products

Hawkins Group

Tibbetts Group

The Syndicut Marketing Excellence Award

Blue Skye Thinking

The Rooflight Company


The Heart Cultural Events and Tourism Award

Manor Cottages


Cowley Road Works - Cowley Road Carnival

The Hays Employer of the Year Award


Harrison Catering Services


The Brita Green Award

Go Green Taxis

Grundon Waste Management

Polythene UK

The winner of the Darke & Taylor Business of the Year Award will be announced on the night of the final.