Prince Charles and Swansea Bay Awards in One Exciting February Day

Swan Bay Bus Awards

Alex Shufflebottom accepts the award for Business of the Year with 26-149 employees.


Friday February 23rd 2018 was a day to remember for Shufflebottom, winning the Swansea Bay Business Award for Business of the Year with 26-149 employees and being represented at the official opening, by Prince Charles, of Wales Air Ambulance's HQ at Dafen, Llanelli.


Shufflebottom made and erected the steel frame for the Wales Air Ambulance headquarters building, and the frame and cladding for the helicopter hangar.


The Swansea Bay Business Awards, at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, featured former world champion athlete and now commentator Colin Jackson CBE as guest speaker, and TV journalist Fran Donovan as presenter.



Wales Air Ambulance Welcomes Prince Charles

Prince Charles' visit to the Wales Air Ambulance (WAA) came 17 years after he opened the WAA's first base at Swansea Airport, when an emergency callout meant that there was hardly anyone for him to meet!


Prince Charles talks to those involved in the construction of the WAA HQ and hangar at Dafen: Alex Shufflebottom (wearing a red scarf), is next to project manager Kevin Doherty.

Prince Charles Alex


Now the WAA, which is funded entirely from voluntary contributions, is the largest air ambulance service in the UK, with four helicopters, including one with a special incubator for babies, carrying out about 2,500 missions a year.


There were no callouts during Prince Charles' latest visit, so he was able to meet several of the people involved in the construction, as well as emergency crews, members of the public who have been rescued, and WAA supporters Max Boyce and Bonnie Tyler. Cian Evans (3) gave Prince Charles some honey. Cian was airlifted to hospital after a tragic crash in November 2016 on the M4 near Port Talbot, in which his mother Rebecca and her unborn daughter were killed. Curtis Thomson (5), who the WAA flew to London for a vital liver transplant, also had a gift for Prince Charles.


Prince Charles in helicopter

Prince Charles in a Wales Air Ambulance helicopter, one of four operated by the service. Photo by kind permission of Llanelli Online.


The HQ and hangar at Dafen, operational from 2016, was designed by architects Powell Dobson, and project managed by Kevin Doherty Building Contractors, Neath. The overall development was in the hands of Hacer Property Development & Investment, Swansea.  


"We are incredibly proud to be part of the team that made the new headquarters possible," said Alex Shufflebottom.


The Wales Air Ambulance hangar at Dafen, Llanelli, for which Shufflebottom made and erected the steel frame and cladding.

WAA hangar



A 'Business of the Year' Award

Shufflebottom's success in the 2018 Swansea Bay Business Awards, as Business of the Year with 26-149 employees - there are 86 working in the HQ and factory at Cross Hands -- was not the company's only recognition of the night. The company was also Highly Commended for the Manufacturing Business of the Year Award, alongside Lyte Industries (Wales) Ltd, Swansea-based maker of ladders and towers. The category winner was Burns Pet Nutrition of Kidwelly.


In the Shufflebottom-led category for businesses with 26 to 149 employees, Highly Commendeds went to mailbox maker The Safety Letterbox Company, Neath, and to Crynant Plant & Construction, also of Neath.


"We are delighted with our award win," said director Alex Shufflebottom."Congratulations to all the other winners, highly commended and shortlisted businesses."