Portsmouth lifebuoy maker receives Queen’s Award for Enterprise

(seated front centre) General Manager Kevin Rough (43) with some of his workforce ''''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141160-9066) PPP-140417-232225003
(seated front centre) General Manager Kevin Rough (43) with some of his workforce ''''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (141160-9066) PPP-140417-232225003
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A PORTSMOUTH manufacturer has been honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Each year, dozens of businesses are given the respected prizes by the Queen for innovation, international trade and sustainable development.

Daniamant Ltd in Airport Service Road, Copnor, is one of 39 companies to be recognised this year for its innovation.

The firm, which has 40 employees, opened in 2006 following the sale of another company.

It designs and manufactures a range of survivor location lights including lifebuoy lights for the commercial marine sector.

In particular, Daniamant has been increasing its exports in the United States and the offshore market.

Kevin Rough, the company’s general manager, said in the last three years, the company has gone from sending 60 per cent of its products elsewhere in the UK to exporting 60 per cent of everything it makes.

He said: ‘We used to have a lot of Ministry of Defence business, but that has fallen in recent years.

‘A Queen’s Award endorses Daniamant’s continued commitment to quality and innovation, and gives our customers the confidence to build long-term relationships based on trust and respect.’

Asked what had kept the business in the city, Mr Rough said: ‘The people have kept us in Portsmouth. The skills are here. We can compete with China. We have got the right skills and the right people.

‘We buy nearly all our materials from the UK. We think UK manufacturing is competitive.

‘I have only just told the staff about the award. They have all worked here for a long time and it is nice to see that a small Portsmouth manufacturer can get selected.

‘It shows them we are doing something right and it’s good for motivation.

‘Everybody has worked so hard for this; I have got a great team.

‘This is a continual journey for Daniamant and doesn’t stop here, but I am positive the prestige of being winners of the Queen’s Award will only help open many doors for Daniamant all over the world.’

Each of the three categories has a separate judging panel which makes a recommendation to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee.

The committee then makes a final recommendation to the Queen, who decides the winners.

Every winner of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are visited by a royal representative and presented with a crystal bowl to mark their achievement.

Kevin will also join representatives from the other successful businesses at a celebratory reception at Buckingham Palace in 
July.

The company can now use the Queen’s Award emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a period of five years, as a symbol of its quality and success.

Vince Cable, secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, said: ‘Companies that are growing, innovating and championing UK business overseas deserve the recognition that these awards bestow.’

Daniamant was named Exporter of the Year at The News’ Business Excellence Awards in 2013.