Press release

Small and medium enterprises lead outstanding British businesses honoured by Her Majesty the Queen

Winners from this year’s prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise announced to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s 93rd birthday.

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  • More than 200 businesses, including 151 small and medium enterprises and 6 double award winners, will be honoured at a Buckingham Palace reception
  • previous international trade business winners have seen a 73% boost to their international sales and worldwide recognition

Her Majesty The Queen has today (23 April 2019) named 201 businesses as among the best in the country in the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise to celebrate Her Majesty’s 93rd birthday.

The winners include businesses leading the way in a huge range of industries – from construction, agriculture, motoring and software development. This year, three quarters of the total are SMEs, 30 of which have fewer than 10 employees. They will join more than 6,000 British businesses in receiving the prestigious honour and will have the privilege of displaying the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise emblem for 5 years.

The Awards, now in its 53rd year, are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses, with companies from across the UK recognised for their contribution in the 4 categories.

There are:

  • 129 International Trade winners
  • 61 Innovation winners
  • 6 Sustainable Development winners
  • 5 Promoting Opportunity winners

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

These prestigious awards help shine a light on all that is great about UK business today. I am extremely impressed to see such a wealth of talent and innovation from across the UK being recognised today by Her Majesty The Queen.

These awards recognise the innovative products and services being provided by British businesses that are in demand across the world, as well as the sheer determination and hard work that comes with starting and running a business.

Many of these winners are small businesses - the backbone of our economy – and we are backing them to grow, increase their productivity and create more jobs and opportunity across the UK through our modern Industrial Strategy.

Antonia Romeo, Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Trade, said:

The winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are brilliant examples of what can be achieved by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by exporting and the full range of support available. It was very good to chair the very competitive international trade panel, and select highly successful trading firms to benefit from the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in international trade.

I strongly encourage UK companies to take advantage of the Department for International Trade’s full range of services and support for exporting.

Among the double-award wining businesses recognised for outstanding achievements in both International Trade and Innovation categories are:

  • DriveWorks Ltd, a software developer
  • Ideal Boilers Ltd, a leading boiler manufacturer
  • Niftylift Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers of ‘cherry pickers’
  • driving simulation software company rFpro
  • tool manufacturer Snap-on UK Holdings
  • innovative technology company Markes International Limited

Niftylift Ltd is the only company to get the double award twice, having won awards for International trade and Innovation in 2013.

Roger Bowden, Niftylift’s chairman and founder said:

We are honoured to be recognised for not one, but two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2019. These awards help to illustrate how our dedication to design and innovation, together with our attention to detail and strong customer focus, have allowed us to compete so successfully in this global marketplace.

I am very proud of the strong and close-knit team we have here at Niftylift and I’d like to thank them all for their professionalism and commitment to ensuring our worldwide reputation and success over the years.

Shaun Edwards, CEO of Ideal Boilers, which won awards for International Trade and Innovation said:

It is an honour and a privilege to receive these awards, which reflect our continued commitment to innovation and international relations. This high recognition emphasises and reflects the hard work and determination of all our employees whose core values of excellence, integrity and an entrepreneurial spirit will continue to drive our business further towards greater achievements.

Tim Hawkins, managing director of Markes International Ltd, which won in International Trade and Innovation said:

It is a great honour to be recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for our excellence in Innovation and, for the second time, International Trade. We take great pride in introducing new technologies to our field of analytical chemistry, and alongside our valued trading partners, have been successful in supporting customers around the world and enhancing scientific progress.

Chris Hoyle, technical director at rFpro, which also won in International Trade and Innovation said:

We are delighted that the hard work of everybody at rFpro has been acknowledged by the Queen’s Awards judging panel and we are so proud to be one of just a few companies to achieve a double award. Our contribution to making the world’s road networks safer is reward enough, but it is fantastic to receive such prestigious recognition.

Applications for the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2020 open on 1 May 2019 and close on 10 September 2019. They are free to enter, and it is a self-nominating process. Applicants may apply for more than one award and entries are welcomed from all sectors. For more information and to apply, visit: www.gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise.

Notes to editors

Entries for the 2020 awards open on 1 May 2019. The Awards were established in 1965 and the first winners announced the following year.

The full list of winners is available on The Gazette website.

These awards are relevant to the foundations of the Industrial Strategy – Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places.

Through companies such as these, the UK will tackle the Grand Challenges and help put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future.

Winners are:

  • invited to a Royal reception
  • presented the award by one of The Queen’s representatives, a Lord-Lieutenant
  • able to fly The Queen’s Award flag at the main office, and use the emblem on marketing materials for 5 years
  • given a Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal trophy

Past Queen’s Awards winners have reported benefiting from worldwide recognition, increased commercial value, greater exposure and a boost to staff morale. Research also shows nearly 73% of past international trade winners attribute the Queen’s Awards to increased international sales.

The awards are valid for 5 years. Innovate UK has provided funding to 1 in 5 of this year’s winners. For more information visit gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise

Published 23 April 2019