More than half of the Scottish successes in the 2020 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are from the north and north-east.
Eight of the 220 UK businesses winning the prestigious accolades this year are from Scotland, including three from the Aberdeen area and one each in Fraserburgh and Aviemore.
The much-coveted Queen’s Awards were first established in 1965 and since then more than 7,000 companies around the UK have achieved them.
They celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses that are leading the way with pioneering products or services, social mobility programmes or sustainable development practices.
This year’s gongs include 128 awards for international trade, 66 for innovation, 19 for sustainable development and seven for “promoting opportunity”. Ninety of the winners are small and medium-sized enterprises.
The award-winning trio from the Aberdeen area includes energy services firm Hiretech which Andy Buchan founded at Hatton of Fintray in 2011, with a £1 million investment, just over four years after selling Buchan Technical Services for nearly £5m.
It also includes Altens-based oilfield equipment firm EnerQuip, which last November unveiled a £1m expansion to cope with growing demand for its products and services.
Making up the Aberdeen area contingent is employee-owned Dyce firm Woollard & Henry, which dates back to 1873 and is one of the last remaining independent dandy roll makers servicing the global paper industry.
Hiretech, EnerQuip and Woollard & Henry have all won Queen’s Awards in the category for international trade.
Innovation category winners include Fraserburgh firm Gray & Adams – the UK’s leading supplier of temperature-controlled semi-trailers and bodywork for trucks and vans – and Aviemore-based Quarch Technology, which has been building automated test solutions for the data storage, networking and telecoms sectors since 2006.
Woollard & Henry is now the proud owner of two Queen’s Awards for international trade, having also won one in 2009.
Managing director Fred Bowden said: “People in the business have worked extremely hard to achieve this success. At some point in the future we will, hopefully, get a chance to celebrate.”
EnerQuip director Andrew Robins said success in the Queen’s Awards was “a true honour” for everyone involved with the business during its five years to date.
Mr Robins added: “We are particularly pleased that our work has been recognised in such an auspicious way at such an early stage.
“Around 95% of our business lies in export markets, where we have worked hard to correctly position ourselves in key locations which work alongside our global headquarters in Aberdeen and support premises in Caithness.
A statement from Gray & Adams joint managing directors James and Peter Gray said: “In these challenging times, we very much hope the recognition this prestigious award brings will bring a small amount of cheer and encouragement to our employees.
“We would also like to thank our very loyal customers and partners, without whose assistance and support we would be unable to enjoy such highly respected recognition.”
Quarch Technology operations director Andy Norrie said: We’re delighted and hugely encouraged to receive this kind of recognition for innovation in our field. This is a fantastic achievement.”
Hiretech’s gong coincides with the Aberdeen company celebrating its 10th year.
Managing director Andy Buchan said: “Rental equipment the Hiretech team designs, manufactures and services in Fintray, Aberdeenshire, has worldwide demand.
“This award reflects the hard work, enthusiasm and dedication the team employs to grow the business in international markets.”