UK manufacturers recognised in Queen’s New Year Honours

Posted on 1 Jan 2015 by The Manufacturer

The New Year Honours lists 2015, published yesterday, recognised the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.

Industry and the economy make up 12% of this Honours list. Awards include, Companion of Honour (CH) for:

  • The Rt Hon. Lord David Young
  • Sir (George) Adrian Cadbury

In addition to the awards to Mary Quant, Dianne Thompson and Fiona Woolf, there is a damehood (DBE) for Fiona Kendrick, Chair and CEO, Nestle UK and Ireland, and a knighthood for Peter Kendall, for services to the agriculture industry in England and Wales.

Committee members were pleased to see a number of strong entrepreneurs nominated and the recommendations include:

  • a CBE for James Caan, Founder and CEO, Hamilton Bradshaw
  • a CBE for Brent Hoberman, for services to entrepreneurship
  • a CBE for Trevor Baylis, Investor and Founder, Trevor Baylis Brands plc
  • an OBE for Julie Deane, Co-owner and Founder, The Cambridge Satchel Company
  • an MBE for Shaa Wasmund, Founder, Smarta
  • an MBE for Richard Moross, CEO and Founder,

Manufacturing in the UK comes with its challenges. With the skills gap impacting the amount of skilled workers left in Britain, it can be very difficult for a growing company to meet demands.

When popularity for Julie Dean’s Cambridge Satchel bags grew to a turnover of £13m in seven years, she could ended production of her leather goods in Britain and gone overseas to make them instead. However, Dean did not want to be put off from her determination to keep her brand British. Instead, opened two factories in Leicester to make her bags. Her company now employs over 100 people in the UK, and so the announcement yesterday that she will be honoured with an OBE from the Queen, is a recognition of her work that supports British manufacturing.

Another business founder who helped create skilled manufacturing workers in the UK was Emma Willis, founder of her Jermyn Street based shirt brand in 1987. Willis makes all of her shirts in England. Similar to Dean, when Willis was unable to find enough sufficiency at the manufacturers to create all of her shirts, she opened her own factory in a Georgian town house in Gloucestershire. She has recently set up an apprenticeship scheme to train up young people in the fine art of shirt-making, and has received an MBE this year from the Queen.

Outside of retail, an MBE also went to Paul Cummins, the ceramicist who created the poppies at the Tower Of London which represented those that died in the First World War. Each one of the 888,246 poppies was manufactured in Derby, and Paul even lost a finger in an accident with an industrial roller whilst making them.

Another UK manufacturing champion to be recognised was Brompton Bicycles boss Will Butler-Adams for his services. Over 40,000 of the Brompton foldaway bikes are made at its London factory every year, and engineer Butler-Adams has been key in promoting Brompton as a British-made brand.