Bradford businesses are awarded a royal seal of approval

Alan Roper, of Ashtree Glass, with some of his company’s products which he exported around the world

Alan Roper, of Ashtree Glass, with some of his company’s products which he exported around the world

First published in Business News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Business Reporter

A Bradford vehicle mirror manufacturer is among five of the district’s companies receiving royal acclaim today for their exporting record.

Ashtree Glass, based in a former dyehouse off Thornton Road, has received an international trade prize in the 2012 Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Founder Alan Roper, who with son and sales director John is attending a trade exhibition in Paris today, said winning the award had been his ambition for several years.

Over the past three years Ashtree, which makes rear-view mirrors and fittings for commercial vehicles, including buses, trucks and fork-lift trucks, has increased export sales by 86 per cent, mainly to Germany and France.

In 2011 the company was a double winner in the T&A’s Bradford Means Business Awards.

Alan Roper said: “Export leads have mainly been generated by our participation in foreign exhibitions, followed up by visits to prospective customers.

“We adapted our sales policy to selling in local currency and delivering free of charge so that we were on a level playing field with the local competition.”

Calibre UK Ltd, based in Cornwall Terrace, Bradford, has won its first Queen’s Award after growing overseas sales of image processors in the video and display market. Since 2008 the company now sells to Europe, the United States, Israel and the Asia-Pacific regions.

Its chairman Tim Brooksbank said: “Receiving the Queen’s Award firmly establishes us as one of the world’s leading suppliers of video-processing equipment, providing world-class innovation and growth.”

Another debutant is hand-knitting yarn supplier King Cole Ltd, of Silsden.

The family-owned business, founded in 1935, which has 193 staff, has increased exports by 150 per cent since 2008 and sells hand-knitting yarns, patterns and ancillary products to all parts of the globe.

Colin Glover, company secretary, said: “We’re extremely delighted to win a Queen’s Award, especially in diamond jubilee year. Our success has been helped by a surge in hand-knitting and endorsement by celebrities. Hand-knitted garments are now also regarded as fashion items which has added to their popularity.”

Skipton-based Principle Healthcare International Ltd is another first-time winner. Since 2002, it has become a leading European producer of vitamins, minerals and supplements.

The company has grown exports sixfold over the last three years to the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Scandinavia, South East Asia and China.

Mike Davies, chief executive, said: “This award is a tremendous accolade and demonstrates our wholehearted commitment to quality, innovation and growing the business.

All of our international trade has been developed over the past five years and gaining a Queen’s Award will undoubtedly help to continue expanding our export business.”

ATB Morley, which employs more than 200 people in Bradford and Pudsey, has clinched its third Queen’s Award.

It designs and manufactures high-voltage electric motors certified as flameproof for underground coal mining applications. It has continued to increase exports and open up new markets, including China and India.

ATB Morley won a Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2010 and a previous export award in 2009.

Comments (2)

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11:26am Sat 21 Apr 12

Albion. says...

Very well done to all involved!
Very well done to all involved! Albion.
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Fri 27 Apr 12

webess says...

I thought the Queen had bought a car from project Khan - a souped up black range rover.
I thought the Queen had bought a car from project Khan - a souped up black range rover. webess
  • Score: 0

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