Events encourage Shropshire firms to seek royal approval
Higher profile, global recognition and increased sales are just three reasons why Shropshire’s “wonderful” companies should enter the UK’s most prestigious business awards.
That was the message at events in Shrewsbury and Telford encouraging innovative, sustainable and dynamic firms to enter the inaugural King’s Award for Enterprise 2024.
Hosted by HM King Charles III’s representative in the county, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Mrs Anna Turner, visitors heard from current winners of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise about the experience of entering and winning one of the ‘Oscars’ of the business world.
Tullis Matson, managing director of Stallion AI which won the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2023, told visitors to the event at Telford College about the impact of winning the award.
“I totally underestimated what it could do for a business. There’s a lot of work involved, you need to really examine your business, go into detail on finance, green goals and strategy but the impact of winning has been incredible.
“The award means we can fly the flag outside our Whitchurch offices – when I and my staff walk into work, we see that and feel proud. For our team, when we’re working overseas, that emblem is the first thing we put out there and it sets the bar high and leads to bigger things.”
Tullis’ work to preserve equine semen has led to the development of a charity which focuses on the preservation of species at risk globally and is now nominated for The Earthshot Prize, spearheaded by HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
Lord-Lieutenant Anna Turner encouraged businesses to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of Shropshire deputy lieutenants Gill Hamer and Mandy Thorn, also High Sheriff of Shropshire, when considering the nomination form.
“We have wonderful businesses here doing incredible things and this award will bring recognition for companies far and wide. There is a tremendous amount of support available for companies looking to enter and I’d urge businesses to gain as much insight as possible from previous winners as well as Mandy and Gill, who themselves have significant experience of running and supporting businesses.”
Councillor Shaun Davies, Telford & Wrekin Council leader, added: “The King’s Award for Enterprise is one of the highest accolades a business can get and gives them the ability to recognise their staff and work here in the borough.
“Having the King’s mark of approval against your name is a fantastic kitemark and so many of our local Telford businesses have been recipients of an award in the past which is a testament to the strength of our business community.
“Developing a thriving economy that everyone benefits from is one of the council’s priorities and we are proud to have supported our local business community for many years.
“We recently launched Invest Telford, our investment and business support service which highlights Telford’s unique strengths to businesses and investors across the UK.
“Through Invest Telford, we are supporting more businesses than ever before and we know there are many companies who demonstrate every day the values which would help them secure this prestigious prize.”
Deputy Leader of Shropshire Council, Councillor Ian Nellins, told the Shrewsbury College event: “This county is an amazing place to live and work which is why we attract so many brilliant businesses. We’re encouraging our businesses to enter the King’s Award, it’s a great chance to celebrate the work they and their teams do.”
The King’s Award has four categories: innovation, export, sustainable development and promoting opportunity through social mobility. The latter can now be entered by a collaborative partnership which includes a training provider.
Gill Hamer DL took businesses through the timescales for entering the awards, which close at 1pm on September 12, and said a third virtual workshop for companies looking to enter would be held in the summer.
Previous Shropshire winners include aviation ramp manufacturers Aviramps, Telford digital manufacturer Protolabs and I2R Packaging and south Shropshire’s Jesmonite.
Telford College chief executive, Graham Guest, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Lord-Lieutenant, her deputies and businesses to our Orange Tree venue for the Telford launch event. We have close links with the business community here and this is a great opportunity to celebrate the dynamic companies we have here in Telford.”
Shrewsbury Colleges Group vice-principal Donna Lucas said: “We are always very keen to welcome businesses to our campus. Winning a King’s Award helps businesses attract and retain staff and they could be the future employers of our students here.”
Advice and support on the entry process is available through the Shropshire Lieutenancy. For more information about entering the awards visit www.kaeshropshire.co.uk/