Heroes of Cornish Broadband Revolution
Announced by actnow
Fistral Blu on the beach at Newquay was the setting on Tuesday
21st June for Cornwall's first ever ICT Awards. actnow,
the pioneering Objective One project which has spearheaded
the growth of broadband amongst businesses in Cornwall, announced
the winners of the 2005 actnow
ICT awards at a lunchtime reception attended by over 60 business
The prizes were presented by Nigel Ashcroft, actnow
project director and Carol Wells, Chairman of the Federation
of Small Businesses in Cornwall. The winners each received
£500 to spend on IT equipment or services.
The first award was for the most
innovative use of broadband. In this category, actnow
was looking for novel, clever or unusual uses for broadband.
The entries were short listed down to the following five finalists:
Enact Energy (Camborne), for their state of the art
broadband connection of 4 ADSL lines bonded together.
The Rosslyn Hotel (Falmouth), who used low cost reliable
technology to enable them to become one of the only hotels
in Cornwall to offer broadband internet in all their rooms.
Locally Ltd (Truro), for their exploitation of broadband
in so many ways such as voice over internet sales, remote
database updates and home working.
Gaudis café (Truro), for their 'build your own'
sandwich online facility.
DF & MJ Rider (Truro), who exploit broadband to
extract and publish aviation information globally whilst living
and working in Cornwall.
The winner was The Rosslyn Hotel, Falmouth. Proprietor Roy
Jobson said: "Offering broadband in every room gives
us an edge in our competitive marketplace. We were surprised
and delighted to receive this award, it means that our efforts
were worth it."
The next award was for best website.
Competition was fierce in this category as it included anything
from basic brochure style websites to full e-commerce sites.
In deciding upon this award, the judges took into account
the type of business and its size and looked at whether the
website was fit for purpose. The following companies were
The Bear Mill (Redruth), an interactive website that
allows customers to design a teddy bear complete with outfit
and accessories. In the 6 months since launch the site has
received 22,000 customers and has impressive turnover figures
Elixir Heath Foods (Wadebridge), for their full e-commerce
site with a unique health encyclopaedia linking to purchases
in less than three clicks. Elixir has also seen impressive
increases in turnover and recently expanded their shop to
include a packing area for their internet business.
Hidden House Bulbs (St Austell), who developed their
site in house very cost effectively and purposely kept it
simple and user friendly. Their vivid descriptions of the
various types of bulb on offer are enough to persuade even
non gardeners to buy.
Bluefish Promotions (St Austell), Bluefish upgraded
their website in July 2003 and invested in internet marketing,
which has increased their turnover more than threefold. All
new enquiries now come via the web.
Audio Therapy DnB Jungle UK (Callington), this internet
radio station is at the heart of their community, writing
and producing music for young people in Callington that they
can then place online.
The award for best website was presented to Hidden House
Bulbs. Dawn Molenkamp, owner of Hidden House Bulbs said: "The
business is going from strength to strength. The entire business
is internet based with sales across Europe. I have actually
even sold tulip bulbs to a Dutchman in Holland. Going into
the future, broadband can only widen the scope and efficiency
of my business."
For the next category, the most
improved business through the use of ICT. actnow were
looking for examples of an enterprise really putting broadband
at the heart of their business and using ICT to improve business
performance. The short listed businesses in this category
The Financial Advice Centre (Par), which has installed
state of the art equipment in all three of its branches, enabling
live video links between staff and customers. Broadband has
enabled a quantum leap in efficiency, allowing the business
to expand more rapidly than expected.
Neutralize (Camborne), an internet marketing agency
who practice what they preach and use the internet as their
primary marketing, client liaison and management tool.
Barlows Cycles and Hire (St Austell), since installing
broadband, Barlows have been making great use of the technology
from electronic communications to full electronic supply chain
management. Since doing so, turnover has increased dramatically
and greater returns are expected from a new real time hire
Langmans Restaurant (Callington), which since the launch
of their website and e-marketing programme now see 40% of
new enquiries via the web and email enquiries quadrupled.
Rallynuts.com (Truro), which is involved in the motor
sport industry. Since 'diving into the online world' as they
put it, they quickly discovered products could be sold globally.
The business now relies on the internet for the majority of
its business and is dealing with customers in over 30 countries.
The business is set to expand and moved to new larger premises
The award for the most improved business through the use
of ICT went to Barlows Cycles. Nik Budden, partner said: "This
is recognition of the improvements we have made to the business.
Similar improvements are being made by businesses all over
St Austell. Barlows has been in St Austell since 1949 and
what we are achieving through broadband is part of the whole
regeneration of the town. We will use the £500 prize
to buy a new work station for the office as the current one
is groaning under the weight of applications."
The next award was to celebrate a specific sector that actnow
support, that is the best agricultural
use of broadband. Here we were looking for the best
use of broadband and ICT from the farming community. The short
listed farms were:
Chyreen Fruit Farm (Truro), for their hugely successful
email marketing strategy, allowing them to create demand for
their fruits at just the right time when they ripen.
Menawicket Farm (Lostwithiel), who use the internet
for so many uses, supplying information to Defra, dealing
with other agencies like the British Potato Council and the
Rural Payments Agency and also to support the proprietor's
work as a lecturer.
Ruses Mill (Launceston), who constantly use the internet
for information and purchasing in relation to their new vineyard.
Folly Farm (Penzance), who find the internet invaluable
for dealing with cattle passport applications and have made
significant savings by purchasing online.
J Congdon & Sons of Ellbridge Farm (Saltash), for
their use of a PDA and farming software to ensure information
on their animals is completely up to date allowing greater
efficiency and productivity.
The award for the best agricultural use of broadband went
to Chyreen Fruit Farm. Phil Langdon, who owns Chyreen Fruit
Farm, together with his wife Caroline, said: "Our
customers have had the benefit of our website to see what
fruit is ready when and now we've been rewarded too, it's
the icing on the cake."
The final award was to recognise the
best use of broadband to improve accessibility. This
may be allowing employees to work from home, or perhaps enabling
employment of staff with disabilities or those with young
families. The businesses short listed were:
Spanish Dreams 2 Reality (Truro), a family run property
business. Rob Stone runs the UK side of the operation and
as he is disabled has his office set up from home. A wireless
broadband network allows him to work in different locations
around the house to suit his needs.
Mor Design (Falmouth), a landscaping design company
which has taken remote working to its extreme and has two
staff living and working in Australia.
Nalders solicitors (Truro), who have invested in software
and equipment to allow their partners to work from home and
clients to access case information via their website.
Preston Goldburn solicitors (Falmouth), the firm have
installed broadband in the homes of 5 of their lawyers, allowing
their specialist family lawyer to spend time with her two
young children and continue to work from home. Their conveyancing
team also use specialist secretaries, with young families
working from home during evening and weekends to produce letters
and reports ready for the solicitors when they come into the
office the next morning.
Kimberleys Estate Agents (Falmouth), as a working mother,
their administration manager has also had broadband at home
for some time and uses it to work remotely.
The award for the best use of broadband to improve accessibility
went to Spanish Dreams 2 Reality. Rob Stone said: "I
am absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way. Broadband
has enabled us to really open up our business to new markets
around the world."
Nigel Ashcroft, project director of actnow, said: "These
awards are to celebrate the real heroes of the broadband revolution,
the local business people who have the imagination, energy
and innovation to make the most of what broadband can do and
really transform their business."
For further information please contact Emma Lydon, of actnow
on 01209 722850.
The Objective One Programme for
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in actnow through
the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439
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