East Midlands companies triumph in King’s Awards

Boudewijn Tuinenburg and Francoise Derksen of Midland Lead

Some 18 East Midland companies are celebrating after being recognised in the King’s Awards for Enterprise.

These are the second awards bearing the King’s name since the death of their founder, Queen Elizabeth II.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK.

They were first established in 1965 and since then more than 7,000 companies have achieved a King’s Award.

The awards celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programmes, or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.


Minister for Enterprise, Kevin Hollinrake, said: “I congratulate the incredible businesses in the East Midlands who have received their King’s Award for Enterprise today.

“I wish them every success and commend the invaluable contributions they make to communities both at home and overseas, helping to grow the UK economy.”

The East Midlands King’s Award Winners for Innovation are: Halo Solutions; Whitehouse Construction, Winbro Group Technologies; HSG; and Zeeko.

Jo Ewart-Sear, chair at Whitehouse, said: “To be recognised at national level for our innovative engineering approach in designing and manufacturing our flood door is wonderful, and a great testament to the hard work of our staff without whom achievements like this would not be possible.”

Those triumphing in the International Trade category are: McGhee Investments; CMS Cepcor; Doff Portland; Matrix Corp PVT; Global Brands; Haraeus Electro-Nite (UK)’ Devol Kitchens; Halliday Lighting; Learn Well Trading; NMS International Group; and Zeeko.

Devol Kitchens founder and director, Paul O’Leary, said: “It’s such an honour to receive the King’s Award for Enterprise. After 35 years in business, I can’t believe that we now export our kitchens and homewares all around the world. What started as two friends making furniture in a garage, almost for fun, has grown into a business that employs 400 people, many of them design graduates from local universities.

“Together, we sketch, render, prototype, and fettle, with every design and craft discipline embraced; like a modern-day Bauhaus, we are never satisfied that a product for the home is good enough. Everything not created by nature can be improved.”

Cath Chell of Learn Well Trading told TheBusinessDesk.com: “We are absolutely delighted and incredibly honoured to receive such a prestigious award. We never thought it would be possible that a small company like ours would be chosen.”

Founder and chairman of Global Brands, Steve Perez, said: “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the King’s Award for Enterprise committee for recognising our efforts and successes, and to all our employees, partners, and customers who play an integral role in our journey. Together, we look forward to reaching new heights and achieving further successes.

“We extend a special congratulations the entire international team, whose exceptional efforts with Frankin & Sons have established it as a truly global brand; with extended reach across Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. The team’s commitment to excellence and the relentless pursuit of pushing boundaries has not only set a benchmark within the industry, but also heightened our company’s reputation on a global scale”.

Rockleigh were recognised for Promoting Opportunity, while Midland Lead won in the Sustainable Development category.

Francoise Derksen, managing director of Midlands Lead, said: “This Royal recognition of our efforts towards a more sustainable future in manufacturing, gives us a real boost and focus to continue on our journey. A big thank you to both our team, and our supportive and knowledgeable East Midlands business community.”