Four Bedfordshire winners in Queen’s Awards


HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, has praised four Bedfordshire-based companies who were among the winners in the 2018 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the UK’s most prestigious business awards, announced on HM The Queen’s Birthday.

Biggleswade’s iCandy World Ltd were the sole recipient in the county of the Innovation Award, while three companies from Leighton Buzzard and Marston Moretaine were recognised in the International Trade category: Pelio Bio Thermal, FAI Automotive PLC and AC PLC.

On receiving news of the awards, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, said: "Bedfordshire is well known for creating an environment of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercial success. I am delighted that four outstanding companies have been honoured this year. My sincere congratulations to them all and best wishes for their continuing success".

Innovation Award winners are defined as having demonstrated that their business has substantially improved in areas of performance and commercial success by either outstanding innovation, continued over at least 2 years, or continuous innovation and development over at least 5 years. Innovation achievements are assessed for: invention, design or production; performance of services and products; marketing and distribution; or after-sales support of goods or services.

International Trade Award recipients are defined as having demonstrated that their business has achieved substantial growth in overseas earnings and in commercial success (for their business size and sector) through either outstanding achievement over 3 years or continuous achievement over 6 years.

The winners were:

Peli Bio Thermal
 (Leighton Buzzard) – awarded the Queens Award for Innovation last year, Peli Bio Thermal is derived from 3 former companies: Pelican, Cool Logistics and Minnesota Thermal Science (MTS). Peli Bio Thermal is the global leader in design and manufacture of both high-performance case solutions and advanced portable lighting systems. Their products are used by professionals in the most demanding markets including firefighters, police, defense/military, aerospace, entertainment, industrial and consumer.

FAI Automotive (Leighton Buzzard) – one of the UK’s leading independent distributors of replacement automotive parts, FAI offer an all-makes programme with the FAI brand, covering European, Japanese and Korean passenger cars and light commercial vans. FAI distributes throughout the UK to the garage industry, via a network of local stockists (Motor Factors) together with direct supply to engine re-conditioners. FAI has an ever-growing export division doing business in over 55 countries around the world.

AC PLC (Marston Moretaine) – the AC Group has steadily expanded to become the eminent flooring subcontractor in the UK, specialising in a variety of burgeoning disciplines under the umbrella of the group. Founded in 1987 by CEO Andrew Laing, the drive to grow and improve has been an ever-present facet of the businesses culture since its inception. From of an initial 7 employees, the group has grown to employ around 100 office and field based full time staff, with upwards of one hundred and fifty fitters and specialists managed from the Bedfordshire based head office at any one time.

iCandy World Limited (Biggleswade)  – awarded the Queens Award for International Trade in 2016, iCandy has been operating since 1933. Their precision manufacturing journey has led them to crafting the definitive pushchair, creating and patenting the world’s first single to double travel system within a single footprint. iCandy is a family business that has taken an everyday product, the pushchair, and through innovation and brand development, created a high end, luxury fashion product. Now manufactured overseas, the intellectual property of design is retained in the UK.

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