Environmental co-op named Social Enterprise of the Year

Renewable energy co-operative Dulas has won the highest honours at the Social Business Wales Awards.

The worker co-op, which was founded in 1982, delivers renewable energy solutions to businesses, landlords and charities and has worked on multiple projects in the UK and abroad.

It was named Social Enterprise of the Year at a ceremony at Liberty Stadium in Swansea on 28 September. The awards are organised by Social Business Wales project, which is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.

Dulas has grown to expand from an initial team of six engineers to 75 employee-owners based across its four locations in Powys in Wales, Dublin in Ireland, and Stirling and Inverness in Scotland.

Its projects integrate science, technology and environmental sustainability.

Dulas Headquarters in Machynlleth (c) Wales Co-operative Centre
Dulas Headquarters in Machynlleth (c) Wales Co-operative Centre

The award recognised Dulas for demonstrating “excellent vision”, “a high degree of customer satisfaction”, “social, environmental and community impact”, “creativity and innovation” and “vision for future growth”.

The co-op also picked up the award for Social Enterprise in the Environment Sector.

The social business sector in Wales is worth an estimated £1.7bn. Other businesses were also awarded prizes in different categories.

Creating Enterprise CIC, a social enterprise which provides a range of maintenance services to social and private landlords, scooped the One to Watch category.

The Culture and Leisure award went to Torfaen Leisure Trust, which manages five leisure and fitness facilities across Torfaen, including swimming pools, sports halls, climbing centres and ski slopes.

The Health Social Care Sector category was won by CAIS Social Enterprises Ltd. The organisation offers support, training and work experience to people coping with mental health problems.

Cycle Training Wales, a provider of cycle training services received the award for Social Enterprise in the Education, Training and Employment Sector.

The Market Hall Cinema in Brynmawr, a community-owned venue, took the Consumer Facing Social Enterprise Award.

The six winners will now compete for national accolades with counterparts in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland at the UK Awards ceremony in London in November.