Six Cornish companies are among the recipients of the first ever King’s Award for Enterprise.
Eco-packaging company Flexi-Hex (pictured above), software business Ultramed, Helston-based Clayworks, marine engineering company Feritech, clothing company Celtic & Co and seafood business Ideal Food are among 148 businesses nationwide to be recognised for the accolade, formerly known as the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
Minister for Enterprise, Kevin Hollinrake, said: “I congratulate the first ever recipients of The King’s Awards for Enterprise, who exemplify the talent, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit of British business. I wish them every success and commend the invaluable contributions they make to communities both at home and overseas, helping to grow the UK economy.”
Employing 11 people, Flexi-Hex is an innovative and patented packaging sleeve made from recycled paper that helps protect fragile products in transit.
Started in 2018 by twins Sam and Will Boex and based in Porthleven, Flexi-Hex was originally designed for protecting surfboards but has grown to take a significant market share within the UK drinks industry, working with brands such as Diageo, Sipsmith and Laphroaig Whisky. The business is now taking its first steps into the cosmetics, homeware and electronics industries.
Will Boex said: “It has not been an easy journey post-Covid, as many businesses across the UK have found. So, to receive an accolade like this is a huge testament to the hard-work and positive mentality of our team.”
Feritech Global Ltd was founded in 2015 by Rob Ferris and Gemma Ferris. It is an advanced engineering company specialising in designing and building products that are used in extreme marine environments.
The company won the King’s Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales over three years. In the period under review, Feritech demonstrated overseas earnings growth of 1,210%. The company trades in more than 40 countries around the world, including the USA, France, Germany and Singapore.
Commenting on the award, MD, Rob Ferris, said: “This is a huge honour for our business and fantastic recognition for our dedicated team and all their hard work. When we founded Feritech, we challenged ourselves to develop world-leading products that would set new standards in our industry. That approach has served us really well, and we now have the privilege of working with great customers around the world.”
Ultramed was established in 2014 and combines clinical NHS executive experience with international design expertise, to provide elegant, patient-focused solutions to common problems.
CEO Dr Paul Upton said: “Since Ultramed first started in the Health & Wellbeing Innovation Centre nearly ten years ago before moving to Tremough Innovation Centre, we’ve focused on growing the functionalities of our products through our gained knowledge, in line with technological advances. The impact of the global pandemic rocketed the demand for pioneering healthcare technology.
“The King’s Award bolsters our credibility in the industry, and it goes without saying that we are incredibly proud. We’ll be celebrating with the whole team, who’ve helped to build Ultramed into the business we are today.”
Clayworks was recognised for its excellence in sustainability.
Employing 23 people on the Lizard Peninsula, Clayworks was established in 2010 as a successor to Cob in Cornwall, founded by Adam Weismann and Katy Bryce. The company manufactures natural clay plasters for interior wall and ceiling finishes. The plasters, which can be pigmented, replace the more conventional gypsum plaster and paint surface finishes. Clay plasters have very low embedded carbon, have no plastic or metal packaging and do not require painting.
“We are thrilled to have been awarded the Kings Award for Sustainability for 2023,” said Weismann. “Sustainability is at the core of what we do at Clayworks and to have gone through such a rigorous judging criteria such as the Kings Award is a real honour.”
Liskeard-based seafood business Ideal Foods has more than 20 years of international trading experience within the seafood sector. The company exports fish, shellfish and fish by-products to customers in more than 40 countries worldwide, specifically in the Far East, Europe and the USA.
Ideal Foods employs 40 staff across four main business locations including two fish processing factories and a cold store located in Grimsby, where MD, Tony Horner grew up and learnt his trade.
Over the past 15 years, the company has seen consistent year on year growth and this year, the company has announced another record year with turnover increasing to £22.4 Million. This equates to 18,396 tonnes of fish sold, 80% of which was sold and exported overseas.
Horner said: “As MD of Ideal Foods, it gives me immense pride to see our company honoured in this way. We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of committed, hard-working and high achieving staff, and each and every one of our workforce has contributed to our international sales success.”
Celtic & Co
Clothing business Celtic & Co has been recognised for its excellence in international trade, with significant overseas growth in the US, Australia, Canada and Germany, over the last three years.
MD, Zoe Bray, said: “Being awarded one of the first King’s Awards for Enterprise in International Trade is a real honour for the whole team at Celtic & Co.
“Having won two Queen’s Awards previously in the category in 2018 and 2020, we know what positive impact the accolade has on the way our customers, particularly in the US and Australia, perceive our brand due to the connection with the Royal Family, as well as the recognised mark of high quality.”
The award programme, now in its 57th year, is one of the most prestigious business awards in the country, with successful businesses able to use the King’s Awards emblem for the next five years.