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Immediate: July 16, 2019

A prominent businessman, who has devoted 53 years of his life to the caravan industry and tourism, was recognised at the Shropshire Business Awards.

Tony Bywater, MBE, chairman of Shrewsbury-based Salop Leisure, received the John Clayton Award, which is presented to an individual from business who has made a significant contribution to the Shropshire community.

Under his leadership, Salop Leisure has evolved and grown to now employ more than 200 staff throughout the multi-faceted business, which is now one of the most respected names in the UK caravan industry.

The company has its headquarters at Emstrey and satellite sales centres in Machynlleth and Stourport-on-Severn.  In addition to selling caravans, luxury lodges, motorhomes and campervans, the company has a specialist plants centre, Love Plants and a popular coffee shop and restaurant, Love Coffee.

Adjacent to the headquarters are the company’s award-winning Love2Stay caravanning and glamping resort and Love2Live fitness and wellness centre. The resort won the Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality award at the Shropshire Business Awards.

Mr Bywater said: “It’s a great honour to receive the John Clayton Award as it recognises the contribution of businessmen and women to the Shropshire community, which has always been close to my heart.”

A passionate ambassador for the company, the caravan industry, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, Mr Bywater began his career as a salesman with Gailey Caravans and joined Salop Leisure three years later in 1969, when the business was based at Meole Brace.

He ensures that the company is an integral part of the community by supporting many charities, sports clubs and leagues, schools and organisations with his time and sponsorship.

Awarded an MBE in 2003 for services to tourism in Wales, he is a Shropshire Business Ambassador and a member of Shropshire Business Board and Shropshire Horticultural Society. He has been chairman of Shrewsbury in Bloom Committee, which he led to regional and national awards and the Caravanning & Camping Forum.

Shropshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Richard Sheehan said: “Whilst we never forget that businesses are made up of individuals, nevertheless there are people that stand out from the crowd and it’s important that we recognise the work that they do not only within their business but also in the wider community.

“We were delighted when the unanimous decision was made to recognise Tony Bywater through the John Clayton Award which has been won by some special people. Tony is now added to that roll of honour.”

 

Picture caption: 

Tony Bywater with the John Clayton Award.

 

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For more information, please contact Mr Tony Bywater, Salop Leisure’s chairman, on 01743 282400 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations consultant, on 01686 650818.