Belle Group wins UK export award

By Patrick Hill11 August 2008

Ron Blackhurst, chairman of the Belle Group, met the Queen at a recent ceremony in Buckingham Palace

Ron Blackhurst, chairman of the Belle Group, met the Queen at a recent ceremony in Buckingham Palace to celebrate receipt of the Queens Award for International Trade.

Concrete and compaction product manufacturer Belle Group has received a 2008 Queen's Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. The UK honour recognises companies that have "...demonstrated growth in overseas earnings".

Founded in the 1950s to produce the first Minimix tip-up concrete mixer, the Sheen, Derbyshire-based company said that exports have been growing at a rate of 40% in recent years. Belle Group, which has more than 400 employees, exports to 90 countries and has factories in the UK and in Poland.

Belle was represented at an award presentation ceremony by Ron Blackhurst, company chairman, and Anthony Gibbs, a 31-year employee with Belle and now in export sales management.

"Winning this award and meeting with the Royal family is a big achievement for our company," said Mr Blackhurst. "Anthony was invited by the company for his long service and outstanding commitment given in expanding our export sales worldwide," he added.

Ray Neilson, Belle's managing director, said the company had been successful in increasing its exports, and now sold to 90 countries. "Although some countries are affected by the general slowdown, many other countries are experiencing a tremendous economic growth, for instance, in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, etc. Wisely, Belle Group has already made the necessary investments to allow the Group to get the benefit of this growth".

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