King’s Awards for Enterprise recognise cream of North West businesses

The North West region has seen 26 of its businesses recognised in this year’s King’s Awards for Enterprise, out of a total of 252 recipients nationwide.

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 North West who have received their King’s Award for Enterprise today.

“They include Timpson who’ve provided crucial employment opportunities to those in need and Digitech Oasis who are exporting British expertise in AI across the globe.

“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 International Trade category honoured 17 North West firms, including;

2M Group (Cheshire) which specialises in the distribution of specialty chemicals and industrial gases alongside value-added services in storage, blending and sampling.

Lash House (Lancashire) a global e-commerce provider of professional eyelash extension products and education.

Gentronix (Cheshire) a provider of predictive toxicology safety assessments.

Scott Partnership Holdings (Cheshire) a B2B marketing and public relations agency specialising in global life sciences markets.

AMS Neve (Lancashire) which is involved in the world of audio technology for artists to create Oscar-winning films and Grammy-winning music.

Recycling Solutions (North West) in Lacashire, dealing in the provision of textiles to areas of need that extends the life of those products.

Anacarda (Lancashire) supplies specialist bio-based epoxy curing agents derived sustainable feed stocks.

Fort Vale Engineering (Lancashire) a manufacturer of equipment for the safe transportation of bulk liquids, powders and gases.

JJ Smith and Co (Merseyside) an independent woodworking machinery business supplying cutting edge technology around the world.

Sambro International (Manchester) a toys company where export sales are 85% of total sales and continues to represent a target-rich environment.

Seda Pharmaceutical Development Services (Cheshire) Seda enables world class, rapid and efficient drug development through integrated pharmaceutical development and clinical pharmacology.

Richardson Healthcare (Merseyside) a contract operating table mattresses manufacturer supplying the world’s largest medical device companies.

ApconiX (Cheshire) provides drug safety serves to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry to develop safer medicines.

Raptor Titanium (Lancashire) offers globally-recognised best competition motocross footpegs used b y world champions and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) motorbike teams.

M Chapman & Sons (Textiles), of Lancashire, an iconic British heritage brand producing the world’s finest stock supported Corduroy and Moleskin fabrics.

Cocogreen (UK), of Manchester, an international supplier of cutting edge sustainable substrates incorporating market-leading innovations for higher yield low-input sustainable farming.

Digitech Oasis (Manchester) says it is revolutionsing industries with AI-driven solutions and robotics, empowering businesses worldwide to predict, improve and automate.

Rachael Baker, Managing Director at Knowsley-based JJ Smith, said: “What an incredible honour for JJ Smith and our community in Knowsley, Merseyside.

Rachael Baker (centre, green pants) with company staff

“As one of only four organisations in Merseyside to receive the King’s Award for Enterprise, we believe it is a testament to the hard work and dedication of every member of our team.

“It’s a recognition of our commitment to excellence and innovation in the woodworking machinery industry, as well as the work we have done over the past few years with the local community to provide more opportunities to young people.”

She added: “As a proud Knowsley business, we believe passionately in the role we play within the community and are keen to help other businesses within the Liverpool City Region to engage with their communities.”

Dr Paul Stott

Seda Pharmaceutical CEO, Dr Paul Stott, welcomed the award, saying: “It is a testament to the exceptional service underpinned by scientific excellence that our team consistently delivers, which has been the key driver of our recent growth.

“Global partnerships now account for more than half of our business and based on our increasing global reach and enhanced service offering, we expect that share to grow significantly over the coming years.”

Sambro CEO, Paul Blackaby, said: “To be honoured with a King’s Award for Enterprise is a milestone achievement for Sambro and the highest honour that we could receive for a UK business.

“We now join over 7,000 other UK enterprises who have received this recognition and is a testament to everything that our team has worked so hard on recently. Sambro has a people-led approach to business, and I am beyond proud of everything our teams have accomplished in the UK, Amsterdam and Hong Kong, too.”

He added: “The award recognises a period of growth for Sambro spanning the last three years and the expansion of our European business. We continue to focus on innovation, service provision and differentiation through strong design.

“Our award comes at a time when trade is challenging and is a resounding endorsement of how our business has evolved and will continue to change as we meet market demand.

“It is recognition of how we have continued to professionalise Sambro and all that we stand for – a UK based business with strong international trade.”

Mark Crabtree, centre, and AMS Neve team

AMS Neve founder and managing director, Mark Crabtree, said: “To receive the King’s Award for Enterprise is a great honour for the company and our dedicated, world class, integrated team who continue to innovate and break new ground with cutting edge digital and analogue sound recording equipment.

“We are a proud British company with a long pedigree of manufacturing the very best quality engineered products that we export around the world. All our products are designed and manufactured in the UK at our factory in Burnley, against a trend for off-shoring, requiring significant investment in advanced machinery in order to compete.”

The US accounts for 55% of overseas sales for the firm, which boasts it is better known in Hollywood than Burnley.

Mark added: “We have previously received three Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, so to now be recognised with one of the first King’s Awards is a real honour.”

Kath Darlington, founder and CEO of The Scott Partnership and Export Champion for Northern Powerhouse with the Department for Business and Trade said: “Achieving a King’s Award is high accolade for any business. We are proud to have achieved such outstanding performance in International Trade to win recognition of our successful export strategy in international scientific markets.

“We have successfully traded in multiple geographies including North America, Europe (including France, Germany and the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland) and Asia Pacific. Scientific markets are global in nature, so demand for support in b2b services from quality British businesses is strong.”

Gentronix CEO, Matt Tate, said: “The past three years have been extremely successful for the business as we continue on our long term growth journey, and it has been especially satisfying to provide our services to new customers across the globe.

“To be recognised with a King’s Award is a fabulous achievement and is testament to the exceptional work that the entire team has put into realising our growth ambitions and cementing our credentials as a truly international business.”

The Innovation sector included:

EA Technology (Cheshire) which provides a low voltage monitor that provides valuable insight into electricity network efficiency, optimisation and fault management.

Createc (Cumbria) a provider of modular robotics integration services for hazardous environments.

Idem Safety Switches (Manchester) deals in ultra-reliable grab-wire emergency stop switch for conveyors, especially for harsh/high-load environments.

Alfred H Knight Holdings (Merseyside) deals in the digital transformation of complex inspection services in the metals and minerals sector in Africa.

Safety Shield Global (Cheshire) provides AI human detection technology designed specifically for the construction industry to eliminate on-site collisions.

Jonathan Guest, Safety Shield Global

Using AI to identify people who are in the danger zone, the system is trained to filter out all other objects and only detects the human form, acting as a third eye for the operator and sounding an alert if a collision is imminent.

Manufactured in the UK, the device which can also be retrofitted to any plant or machinery, and has achieved AI accuracy at 99.6% via independent test bodies in the UK and Germany, achieving the gold standard of accuracy levels.

Jonathan Guest, Safety Shield Global founder and CEO, commented: “I am deeply honoured and humbled that Safety Shield Global have been awarded with The King’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation. This award represents recognition of the resolution, vigour, and dedication of our team.

“I am infinitely grateful to everyone who has contributed to the dedication of achieving our mission of helping eliminate collisions associated with people and plant interface and help change behaviour on site.

“Artificial intelligence is booming across all industries, and we are proud to be at the forefront; we were the first to bring human detection technology for collision avoidance to the construction industry and our product is still the most accurate and advanced. We will continue to push the boundaries of possibilities as we strive to enact behavioural change for onsite safety.”

The Sustainable Development category recognised:

The Quiet Site (Cumbria) which utilises sustainable technologies to reduce, reuse and recycle water, energy and waste throughout its business.

Promoting Inclusion recognised:

Timpson Group (Cheshire). The Timpson Foundation provides training and employment opportunities to marginalised groups.

Tier 1 Asset Management (Manchester) Tier 1’s prison IT recycling workshop delivers training and employment opportunities , promoting inclusion and social mobility.

Rise Construction Framework (Merseyside) helping care leavers remove barriers to employment, gain meaningful work and reach their full potential.

James Timpson

James Timpson, CEO of Timpson Group said: “We have received this award due to being one of the largest employers of ex-offenders, and others who face barriers to employment in the UK. The work that we undertake in the Timpson Foundation enables us to provide prison leavers and other marginalised groups with a second chance, through the offer of employment.

“By being such an inclusive employer, not only are we able to recruit some amazing people into our business, but we also help to reduce re-offending, which in turn creates fewer victim of crime.

“Without doubt, none of this would be possible without the support and generosity of spirit of our wonderful colleagues, who embody our culture of kindness and compassion. We are very proud to have been given this award and it reflects all our hard work and dedication to giving people second chances. We hope it inspires others to do the same.”