The Lord-Lieutenant for West Yorkshire has called upon more firms from the region to enter the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, saying that earning the accolade can make a massive difference to a business.
Ed Anderson, who assumed the role seven months ago, said one of his main aims in office would be to encourage more companies to aim for and achieve the award.
It is an internationally recognised Kitemark and there are loads of stories of people talking about what a massive difference it had made for their businesses.Ed Anderson
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is awarded to businesses for success in international trade, sustainability and innovation.
Last year, a total of 10 companies in West Yorkshire were named winners of the award, with 25 businesses in total awarded across Yorkshire.
However, with the 2019 list of winners set to be published next month, Mr Anderson said he wanted to promote the benefits of the awards to entice a greater number of people to put themselves forward.
“The thing I enjoy most is the Queen’s Award for Enterprise,” he told The Yorkshire Post.
“You get to see some amazing businesses.
“It makes a massive difference. There are quite a few hurdles to get over to prove what you are doing. But once you have got it, it is an internationally recognised Kitemark and there are loads of stories of people talking about what a massive difference it had made for their businesses.”
According to research by the University of Strathclyde, 73 per cent of international trade award winners between 2012 and 2015 directly attributed increased international sales to winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.
“We got 10 last year,” said Mr Anderson.
“It sort of feels like we have done quite well but I would like to think we can promote it a bit more.”
The next raft of winners will be announced on April 22. Luxury bed maker Harrison Spinks were the big winners last year with two awards and Mr Anderson is hoping for more this year.
“Incidently it lasts for five years,” he said.
“The last company I visited was on their second award, the previous one was their third award. They absolutely swore by it in terms of the benefits to them. But why more companies do not go for it, I don’t know.
“It is the highest official award you can get in the UK. Maybe people think it is not for us but it would be good to publicise the people who have.”
Mr Anderson will hold the office of Lord Lieutenant for the next seven-and-a-half-years and describes it as a “massive privilege” to hold the role.
He said: “I am really enjoying it. You can go anywhere in West Yorkshire.
“You get to look at what makes the county tick. It is a massive privilege, if you love your county like I do. It is an amazing thing to do.”