Royally-approved Northamptonshire businesses urge others to apply for prestigious awards at Lord-Lieutenant's party
'The application process did take time, as it is very thorough, but the time spent was definitely worth it'
Northamptonshire winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise are encouraging fellow businesses to fly the flag for the county by putting themselves forward.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for businesses in the UK, representing a globally recognised royal seal of approval.
Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire James Saunders Watson celebrated the achievements of the 14 Northants businesses to win the award in the last 10 years at Rockingham Castle on Friday (June 25).
“Achieving a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is an incredible honour," the Queen's personal representative for the county said.
"It has been a great pleasure to meet representatives from a number of the Northamptonshire winners who have received awards over the last decade, and to hear what benefits it brought them.
“This has been a very difficult period for many businesses, but those challenges have also brought opportunities for innovation.
"These awards offer a chance to celebrate that innovation and the wealth of business talent we have in Northamptonshire.”
First presented in 1966 as The Queen's Award to Industry, the awards programme has evolved over the years and today rewards businesses who demonstrate outstanding achievement in one of four categories: international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity (through social mobility).
Winners are invited to a royal reception and can fly the Queen’s Awards flag at their premises and use the emblem on marketing materials, as well as benefiting from the raise in profile and boost to staff morale that winning such a prestigious award can bring.
Reusable nappy experts Bambino Mio were presented with The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade by the Princess Royal in April at their offices in Brixworth.
The award recognised the brand’s outstanding international growth as well as its ongoing efforts to make reusable nappies and associated sustainable products commercially acceptable and available worldwide.
Founder Guy Schanschieff said: “At first the entry process can appear daunting but actually it’s very straight forward and easy to understand, plus the benefits from winning make it all worth it.
"Being crowned with this award is a great for all stakeholders involved and really boosts team moral.
"We’re proud to share the fact that we’re a royally-approved business and we’ve had some wonderful exposure as a result.
“It’s important to stress that this isn’t just open to big established businesses, this is an incredible opportunity for SMEs to be rewarded for their efforts and will allow them to stand out from their competition.”
Farrington Oils employs 14 people, producing cold pressed rapeseed oil products from its base in Hargrave.
It was awarded the Queen's Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development in 2021 for its sustainable farming practices, after becoming the world’s first food producer to be certified as both carbon and plastic neutral.
Marketing co-ordinator Gina Lewis said: “Receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise this year was a huge honour for all of us at Farrington Oils.
"The environment is at the heart of everything we do, so winning for sustainable development meant a lot.
“The application process did take time, as it is very thorough, but the time spent was definitely worth it.
"We were so proud and excited to win, and that excitement continued when we were featured on regional TV to share our news!
"Winning this prestigious award is a real testament to our commitment to the environment and we are so honoured to have been recognised for our decades of hard work.”
Entries are now open for the 2022 awards and Northamptonshire’s previous winners are keen to encourage as many businesses as possible to enter.
Businesses can enter in more than one category if they wish, it’s free to enter and the awards are valid for five years.
Find out more and apply online, before midday on September 8, at gov.uk/queens-awards-for-enterprise.