Stoke Staffs LEP
Congratulations to our Queen’s Award winners
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Congratulations to our Queen’s Award winners

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is celebrating after five local companies representing a diverse range of sectors were honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2016.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost LEP said: “We are delighted to see the achievements of five Stoke and Staffordshire businesses honoured in the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise 2016.

“These awards are a superb illustration of the wide range of go-ahead, innovative businesses we can boast in this region.

“It is great to see such a diverse range of firms honoured, from a cutting-edge science laboratory to long-established global brands. All of these companies are excellent ambassadors for our region and show that Stoke and Staffordshire really is the place to do business.”

The winners:

Stoke-on-Trent based Portmeirion Group PLC, founded in 1960, has won the Queen’s Award for International Trade for outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales over six years. Previous winners of the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2011, the company designs, markets and distributes high quality tableware, cookware, glassware, gifts, placemats, coasters, trays and tabletop accessories and has four major brands established in over 60 markets worldwide. Over 90% of exports are in ceramics and it manufactures over 60% of these in the UK. Over 70% of total turnover is exported with the USA being the main export market. Exports have risen year on year over six years by a total of 51% over the period.

Established in 1999, JCB Compact Products Ltd, designs and manufactures a range of compact construction equipment at its dedicated factory in Cheadle, Staffordshire. The line-up includes micro, mini and midi excavators from 0.8 to 10 tonnes, which sell in large volumes around the world. The mini digger sector is one of the most competitive areas of the global construction equipment market, with more than 30 manufacturers vying for a slice of a business worth more than £4 billion worldwide. In the face of this fierce competition, sales of JCB Compact Products’ machines grew by 25% from 2013 to 2015, when more than half of total production was exported, resulting in the Queen’s Award for International Trade. The company’s machines are sold in more than 100 countries. Helping drive the growth in exports was the introduction of a new generation of compact excavators. This year JCB celebrated a major milestone the production of its 100,000th mini digger.

Established in 2007 at Keele University Science and Business Park, Dermal Technology Laboratory Ltd. specialises in the dermal absorption of chemicals using exclusively in vitro (non-animal) methods as required by governments to ensure the safety of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and industrial chemicals. The company is the largest provider of non-animal skin absorption studies in the world. Exports have grown to represent over 80% of total sales. The majority of these are to Europe, but sales are also made to the USA and Japan. The company is a world leader in this highly specialised field, with a seat on the committees that create the standards to which companies have to work. It wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for growth in overseas earnings of 134% over the last six years.

Global Heat Transfer Ltd, of Cold Meece, Stone,  receives an Innovation Award for its formalisation of specialist thermal fluid knowledge and engineering into a streamlined service. Global Heat Transfer Ltd, founded 1996, provides solutions to manufacturers for thermal fluid related management and supply issues. Global Heat Transfer Ltd has developed Thermocare®, a first of its kind, proactive maintenance support package for manufacturers using thermal fluids. Thermocare® is the combination of three service elements. Firstly, analysis of customer’s thermal fluid and heat transfer systems. Secondly, on-site maintenance and finally training of customers’ employees. The service reduces health and safety risks, improves understanding of thermal fluid systems and improves overall business performance.

ATP ATRS Ltd, of Cannock Wood Business Park, Cannock, receive a Queen’s Award for Innovation in test rigs for automotive transmissions. The company re-manufactures and tests transmissions for automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). OEMs have recently introduced mechatronic components to new vehicles to control transmissions. Mechatronics is a combination of mechanical and electronic components coupled together that have a variety of advantages for OEMs. Mechatronic transmissions communicate digitally with numerous other subsystems. The new test rig had to be able to mimic this electronic communication to fool the transmission into thinking it was installed into a vehicle. The core of the innovation is ATP ATRS Ltd’s ability to read the coding contained in the automotive data and apply it to a transmission test. The company is now the market leader in testing and re-manufacturing of automatic transmissions. The applicant started trading in 1969 and this is its first Queen’s Award.