WOBA 2015 launches with rebrand and new Retail category.

Kelly Lea, WOBA

Friday September 26th 2014


Over 180 representatives of the West Oxfordshire business community gathered for the launch of the West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBAs) 2015 at Witney Lakes Resort on 25 September 2014 as an exciting new category was revealed amidst the unveiling of WOBA’s new visual identity created to celebrate the fifth successful year of the Awards.

New for 2015 is the Blenheim Palace Retail Award, open to any independent retail business in West Oxfordshire irrespective of size. As well as evidence of business performance, judges will be looking out for examples of responses to changes in market, vision for future development and the standout quality that makes the retail business a potential award winner.

Jo Sensecall (left) from the WOBA organising team, said:

“The UK’s retail industry has undergone major transformation over the last few years and many of the District’s retail owners have needed to adapt their business models in order to survive. With that in mind, the Blenheim Palace Retail Award has been created to commend business owners who play an important role in our community. Whether you are located in one of the District’s fine town centres or in a rural location, WOBA would love to hear from you.”

There are 11 WOBA categories to represent the District’s diverse number of successful businesses, who can enter as many categories as they like for free.
The winner of each category will be automatically entered to become the STL Communications West Oxfordshire Business of the Year.

WOBA entry forms can be downloaded from woba.org.uk and must be submitted by midnight, Sunday 30th November 2014.

Jo Sensecall continues:

“The WOBA team is delighted to have so many new and existing sponsors on board to support our fifth year of the Awards. Without sponsors, it really wouldn’t be possible for the WOBAs to take place. The Awards provide a fantastic platform for the businesses of West Oxfordshire to raise their profile, generate PR, acknowledge their team’s efforts and to impress partners, customers and investors in addition to a host of networking opportunities.”

Brand design consultancy mark-making*, of Chipping Norton, a previous WOBA winner and current sponsor of the Social Media Award, is also responsible for creating WOBA’s new visual identity for 2015. The rebrand has included a full review of all the communication channels, from print and event branding to the website and digital marketing.


“The important thing for us was to communicate that the WOBAs not only celebrate local businesses, but they connect them too. Entering the awards is not just a chance to win at a fancy black-tie event in March. It is a journey that will open many doors for you and your business. The new WOBA brand identity is more than a logo, the ‘WOBA Ribbon’ is the award itself and will become an icon for this fantastic event.”Steve Turner, Creative Director at mark-making*

Visit the new WOBA website at woba.org.uk to download entry forms ahead of the 30th November 2014 submission deadline. Judges will compile shortlists in December and arrange visits to each shortlisted business. WOBA finalists will be announced at an evening event, taking place on Tuesday 10th February 2015 with the eventual winners announced at the WOBA Awards Dinner on Friday 27th March 2015.

The WOBA charity for 2015 is Base 33, who won the Polythene UK Charity and Community Award 2014.


Notes to editor:
For further information, contact:
Kelly Lea;
M: 07988 195 262;
E: Kelly@kellyleapr.com

Burford Garden Company Hospitality Award
Blenheim Palace Retail Award
Sponsor to be confirmed Charity Award
mark-making* Social Media Award
Owen Mumford Innovation Award
Wise Investment Employer of the Year Award
Witney Business & Innovation Centre New Business Award
Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership Micro Business Award
Strategic Mentors Small Business Award
Ridgeway Large Business Award
Sponsor to be confirmed Business Person of the Year Award
STL Communications Ltd West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award