Four North East companies have been honoured with one of the country’s top business awards after receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
The winners from the region were Hexham’s Red Machine Engineering, Newcastle-based Thomas Miller Claims Management, Durham shower company Roman Ltd, and the Serco International Fire Training Centre (IFTC), in Teesside.
Business Secretary Greg Clark named the winners in celebration of the Queen’s 91st birthday. Each of the winners has been invited to attend a celebratory ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
Red Machine Engineering was given the award for innovation for its work designing and building offshore clamps on a fast track basis.
Commenting on the firm’s win, managing director Joe Orrell said: “We are delighted to have been recognised in this way. The Queen’s Award is one of the highest accolades a company can win and rewards the hard work and effort that has gone into providing our customers with fast turnaround, innovative solutions that deliver tangible benefits.
“It’s a fantastic endorsement for the quality and added value of our services, which appeal to a broad number of sectors where time and cost-saving solutions are critical for clients.”
Red Machine Engineering employs 20 people and has annual sales of more than £3m.
One of the firm’s recent projects include building two subsea umbilical clamps that are being used in the development of the world’s deepest subsea production facility.
The three other North East firms all won the award in the international trade category.
Newton-Aycliffe shower company Roman Ltd won the award after showing a substantial increase in export earnings over the last three years.
The firm is active in 28 international markets and has supplied products for projects in over 50 markets. Roman has also established subsidiaries in Ireland and Malaysia.
David Osborne, managing director of Roman, said: “Our sustained investment, patience and belief over the last 10 years in developing our international markets has proved a great success and for this to be recognised in such a way is a very proud achievement. We have developed unique capabilities which has in turn created so many opportunities with major International Hotel Groups.
“To receive this award so soon after returning from three fantastic international exhibitions (including ISH Frankfurt) just adds to the excitement and success.”
The International Fire Training Centre is one of the world’s leading aviation fire training centres.
From its Teesside base the company trains around 10,000 delegates each year from organisations such as Nato, the United Nations, and countries such as France, Germany, Romania, and Tahiti.
Rupert Soames, Serco group chief executive, said: “This is a huge honour for Serco. We are all immensely proud of the team at the IFTC and their achievements in training firefighters from around the world.
“The Centre has superb training facilities that are second to none and it enjoys an excellent reputation with its customers for its professionalism. This awards also recognises the commitment and dedication of the team.”
The final winner was Thomas Miller Claims Management, which employs 25 people in Newcastle.
Thomas Miller previously won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014. Since then it has invested heavily in its business and launched a separate law firm and medical assistance unit.
The group’s overseas sales have grown from £1.06m in 2013 to £1.73m in 2015, and now represent two-thirds of all sales.
Overall 176 companies won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise over four different categories.
The awards are in their 51st year and research has shown that nearly 75% of past winners attribute receiving the award to increased international sales.