Royal recognition of great innovators

Bill Collington: MD of Kiveton Park Steel, one of the recipients of the Queen's Award
Bill Collington: MD of Kiveton Park Steel, one of the recipients of the Queen's Award
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Sheffield City Region’s bumper crop of Queen’s Award-winning companies has been hailed as the tip of an iceberg of innovation and international trade involving local firms.

Praising the seven award-winning companies – which include three out of the four Yorkshire companies to have secured Queens Awards for innovation - Master Cutler Pam Liversidge highlighted the presence of long established companies from the region’s traditional industries.

“It’s great that some of the more traditional industries are among the Award winners, demonstrating the importance of innovation and having the willingness and ability to trade globally,” said Mrs Liversidge.

Innovation was the key to manufacturing’s continued success and gave new life to long established companies.

“You cannot continue trading with the same products you have had for ever and a day,” said the Master Cutler. “To my mind, the companies that have won these awards have demonstrated that good business performance is based on excellent customer service, finding out what your customer wants and delivering it time after time. It’s fantastic for the region that we have so many of these businesses going out and trading globally and it is good to see we are punching above our weight in the innovation stakes.

“The companies that have won these awards are the tip of the iceberg. There are a tremendous number of companies out there that are going on being successful, creating employment and wealth.”

Three out of the region’s seven Queen’s Award winners – Ancon, Kiveton Park Steel and CF Booth – have been in existence for around a century, with innovative building products company Ancon notching up more than a century since it began life making agricultural tools.

The youngest winner, Diamond Dispersions, has been around for five years, while the three companies which are all previous award winners – Gripple, Transdek UK and William Beckett Plastics – were all set up within the last 40 years.

Three of the Award winners are also celebrating significant anniversaries during the Queen’s Jubilee. For Ancon, 2012 will be its 130th birthday, while Kiveton Park Steel is 90 this year and William Beckett, 40.