The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are highly prestigious awards for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of Innovation, International Trade and Sustainable Development. The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion is awarded to individuals who encourage entrepreneurial skills and attitudes in others.

The awards are made annually by Her Majesty The Queen and are only given for the highest levels of excellence. They're judged to a demanding level and winners receive a number of benefits and worldwide recognition.

The closing date for entries is the last working day of September each year and the winners are announced on 21 April the following year. You can find more information including the links to the online application and nomination forms on the Gov UK website.

2017 recipients of the Queen's award

Five Hertfordshire companies were awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the 2017 listings – one for Innovation and four for International Trade.  Presentations are currently being arranged.

G B Kent & Sons plc – Hemel Hempstead

G B Kent and Sons plc is a family owned business founded in London in 1777, and is amongst the oldest British companies still trading.  They manufacture hairbrushes, combs, clothes brushes, bath and body brushes, shaving accoutrements and toothbrushes and is a Royal Warrant Holder for hairbrushes.  Handcraft skills maintain their quality reputation as a premium brand for “Best British Brushes”.  G B Kent sells in 64 countries within Europe, the Middle East, United States and Hong Kong, with recent successes in Saudi Arabia, Italy and Malaysia.

The company is changing its image from a “dusty” but quality heritage brand and evolving into an aspirational popular brand, attractive to a wider range of customers where exporting is important to help raise brand awareness, provide opportunities for licensing deals and incremental business development.  The company has demonstrated strong overseas growth and wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth.

The Lord-Lieutenant presented the Queen’s Award for International Trade to G B Kent on 8 September at an event hosted by the Directors at a luncheon held in their garden in Tring.  Unfortunately, the weather was particularly bad, but it did not dampen the spirits of the attendees.  The photographs were taken by John Springall.

Aerospares 2000 Limited – Watford

Established at the turn of the millennium, Aerospares 2000 specialises in identifying and stocking the most demanded and hard to find aircraft spare parts.  Aerospares 2000 has built a reputation across the industry for providing a fast and dependable 24/7 service so that day or night, its highly skilled team can immediately respond and despatch aircraft components in order to resolve AOG (Aircraft On Ground emergencies).  The company’s key customers are major global airlines, cargo operators, aircraft leasing companies and aircraft maintenance providers.  Since 2014, overseas sales have grown by 35% and the proportion of sales exported has increased to 82% of total sales.  It wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for outstanding growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

On Tuesday 21 November, the Lord-Lieutenant, accompanied by Lionel Wallace DL, presented Aerospares with their Queen’s Award. Adam Nemenyi, Aerospares Managing Director said afterwards that they had enjoyed an exceptional and memorable day.

The Lord-Lieutenant and Lionel Wallace DL are shown around Aerospares 2000 Ltd.The Lord-Lieutenant and Lionel Wallace DL are shown around Aerospares 2000 Ltd


The Lord-Lieutenant presenting The Queen's Award for Enterprise to Ben Nemenyi and Adam Nemenyi of Aerospares 2000 LtdThe Lord-Lieutenant presenting The Queen's Award for Enterprise to Ben Nemenyi and Adam Nemenyi of Aerospares 2000 Ltd

Dianne Lee Regulatory Consultancy Limited - Letchworth Garden City

Established in 2005, Dianne Lee Regulatory Consultancy Limited (DLRC) provides a wide range of regulatory consultancy services to the international pharmaceutical industry throughout the product lifecycle, from strategic advice in early development to post-licensing support.  Its clients range from large multi-national pharmaceutical companies, including six of the top 20 ‘big pharma’ corporations, to small start-ups developing innovative treatments and cutting-edge biomedical businesses.  Overseas sales have grown from £195k to £1.2m an overall growth of 519% with the proportion exported rising from 49% to 69%.  They have grown their international markets from only the YSA to include Switzerland, Germany and Sweden, and have worked with companies in China and India through their existing clients in the UK and EU.  The company wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Continuous Growth in overseas sales across the last six years.

P J Pipe and Valve Company Limited – Hertford

Established in 1976, P J Valves is headquartered in the UK with concept, design, operational control and senior management all based here.  The company has manufacturing plants in Italy and India and sales/service offices in the USA and Singapore.  It designs, manufactures and sells engineered industrial valves for the oil and gas industry and processing applications.  It sells to the industry onshore and offshore and the clients range from the major end users in the industry to the companies that supply equipment packages and services to them on a subcontract basis.  The company wins the Queen’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales over the last three years.  International sales have risen by a total of over 360% during the period and now accounts for over 90% of total turnover.  The company has an established strategy in place to enable it to continue to win project based business worldwide.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Richard Beazley, presented the Queen’s Award for International Trade to P J Pipe and Valve Co Limited at their premises in Hertford on 4 September.  Mr Beazley received a very warm welcome from the company and enjoyed meeting the staff and touring their site.  Having worked in the oil industry himself for many years, he found he had a lot in common with the company’s Managing Director, Dan Munro.

Mettler Toledo Safeline X-ray Limited - Royston

An Innovation Award is made to Mettler Toledo Safeline X-ray Limited.  Founded in 2000 and based in Royston, Hertfordshire, the company has designed a range of X-ray inspection systems for the food and pharmaceutical sectors.  The company identified an increasing pressure on food manufacturers to improve standards in food safety and a requirement for improved X-ray detection systems.  Having identified the need, MR-SLXT set about redesigning the mechanical, electrical, electronic and software aspects of their existing X-ray inspection systems.  The aim was to reduce complexity and cost while improving hygiene, sustainability, detection performance and ergonomics.  Three key innovations were in the design of a specific sensor array for food, reduction of power requirements and foot print and improvement in design for cleanliness in the food environment.  The redesign has reduced material costs while increasing performance, leading to reduced manufacturing costs and improved value of the product.  Sales values reflect this with an increase from £8 million to £13 million over two years.

The Lord-Lieutenant, presented a Queen’s Award for Innovation to Mettler Toledo Safeline X-ray Limited on 12 September.  He was accompanied at this event by Dr Neville Reyner CBE DL, and one of his Cadets, SCC Rebecca Springall.  The Lord-Lieutenant’s sword was put to good use when he was asked to cut the special Queen’s Award cake.  The photographs were taken by John Springall.