Marches businesses get royal seal of approval in Queen’s Awards

April 21, 2022

Five companies from Shropshire and Herefordshire have won one of the top honours a UK business can achieve – a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

They have been recognised as leading the way in innovation, international trade and promoting opportunity with the receipt of an award.

The Marches LEP – the organisation that drives economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin – has congratulated the trailblazing organisations and encouraged others to follow in their footsteps when the scheme opens for applications on May 1.

This year’s winners from Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin are:

I2r Packaging, Telford | Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation

This is the second Queen’s Award won by I2r Packaging, a market leading aluminium foil tray manufacturer following on from its 2020 award for International Trade. It was established in 2007 as an environmentally responsible packaging company and has focussed on delivering new ‘eye-opening’ product ranges, diversifying into new geographical regions and market sectors, championing engineering innovation.

Stallion AI, Whitchurch | Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation

Based in Whitchurch, Stallion AI uses the latest technology to offer a wide range of services including semen freezing and storage, fertility testing, fresh and chilled semen distribution, mare insemination centre, training courses and AI equipment. Stallion AI is also behind the creation of Nature’s SAFE, a living biobank capable of the long-term storage of live cells from animal species that are at the greatest risk of extinction.  

Jesmonite Ltd, Bishops Castle | Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade

Established in 1984, Jesmonite provides innovative solutions for architects, manufacturers and the creative arts sector. It is a two-part system product that, when mixed together, can be used to create laminated structures or cast pieces. The products can be seen around the world including in the King Saud Mosque in Riyadh, at Westfield Whitford City in Australia, and art installations such as Fons Americanus, which was exhibited at the Tate Modern in 2019.

Derwen College and Derwen College Charity, Oswestry | Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Promoting Opportunity

Derwen College has sites in Gobowen, Ludlow, Telford and Walford and is a specialist college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities. It provides inspirational learning, development and care to enable students to transform their lives. Derwen College has a range of opportunities for students to learn real life skills including its garden centre, café, restaurant and shop.

Momentum-Pharma, Hereford | Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade

Momentum-Pharma provides outsourcing services to the clinical trial industry, with clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device sectors, focussing on oncology and rare, genetic diseases for adults and children.

Mandy Thorn MBE DL, the chair of the Marches LEP, said: “Yet again, businesses in the Marches have shown that they are trailblazers, market leaders and making a difference across the world from right here in the heart of the UK.

“These organisations deserve this important recognition for the steps that are taking in their individual fields. It is also great news for the Marches that we are home to dynamic businesses like these.

“I hope their success will inspire some of the other innovative businesses that we have in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire to apply for the awards when they open on May 1.”

Benefits and how to apply

The QAE competition was instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965 with the first awards being made in 1966 under the original title Queen’s Award to Industry. The awards have been known as the Queen’s Award for Enterprise since 1999.

To be eligible for a Queen’s Award, a company must be based in the UK, have at least two full time UK employees or part-time equivalents, file its company tax returns with HMRC, be a self-contained enterprise that markets its own products or services under its own management and demonstrate strong corporate social responsibility.

The winner of a Queen’s Award receives an invitation to a Royal reception, a special crystal trophy presented by its county’s Lord Lieutenant, the right to fly the award flag at its headquarters and use the logo in its marketing for five years as well as worldwide recognition as a winner.

Click here for more information.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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