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12 North West manufacturers win inaugural King’s Awards

The local winners are among the 148 UK companies that have been handed the country’s most coveted business award this year, now re-named the King’s Awards for Enterprise.

Previously known as the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, the prestigious accolades are given annually for outstanding achievement in the categories of Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity.

A total of 16 companies from the North West have been recognised with honours for 2023, including 12 manufacturers. Among these are Metalube Group and Thomas Kneale & Co, two Manchester manufacturers that have benefitted from the Growth Hub’s Manufacturing Service in recent years.

Metalube (pictured), a specialist lubricants manufacturer, won the International Trade award in recognition of its continuous sales growth to over 100 countries in the past five years. The company is an alum of the Growth Hub’s popular Made for Manufacturing programme and has also received expert support to reduce its energy consumption and carbon emissions.

Robert Brown, Metalube’s Managing Director, commented:

“Our international business strategy has led to the penetration of new markets and a more diversified portfolio of clients.  In a time that has been challenging for everyone, the team at Metalube Group has worked harder than ever to achieve remarkable international growth. This has provided us with further security and stability in an ever-changing market affected by Covid.”

Bedroom and household textiles supplier, Thomas Kneale, is one of just 15 organisations nationwide to win the award Sustainable Development in recognition for a range of initiatives, including recycled content in products and working with local communities.

In a statement, the company said the award was a culmination of “many years of hard work” pushing the boundaries in its industry:

“We gained the knowledge of doing business in a better way, in a fairer way and in a more honourable way. By continuing to develop the thinking from ‘cheap’ to ‘value for money’, from unregulated trading to regulated trading, we are confident we are seen as a more trusted and desirable company to buy from. We hope our success in winning this award this will spur on other companies to take the same path and wish every company good luck as they start or continue their journey.”

The other North West manufacturers receiving King’s Awards for 2023 include:



  • Ansell Lighting, a lighting manufacturer in Warrington, for developing a panel that converts ordinary LED light into an emergency light in 60 seconds
  • Chemical Processing Services Ltd in Wrightington, Lancashire, for developing a disruptive bio-based polymer technology for epoxy systems
  • Carlisle-based specialist door manufacturer, Clark Door, for creating a maximum-security rated roller shutter door
  • Idem Safety Switches in Wigan, a producer of machine safety switches, for a new anti-tamper safety switch system with guard locking to prevent access to moving machinery
  • MPE Limited, a manufacturer of high performance filters and capacitor products in Liverpool, for developing innovative high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) protection filters for the defence sector


International Trade

  • Widnes-based packaging manufacturer ALLpaQ Packaging Group
  • Atelier Home and Gift Limited, a Blackpool-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of children’s gifts and toys
  • GaraDry in Halsall, Ormskirk, a manufacturer of thermoplastic and aluminium threshold seals for garage doors
  • Integrated Air Systems in Handforth, Cheshire, a designer and builder of extraction, conveying and filtration systems
  • OEE Container Technology, an engineering and manufacturing technology provider to the packaging industry, based in Carlisle.

The winners pass a robust assessment process judged by experts from industry, academia, the voluntary sector and senior officials in Whitehall, and are formally recommended to the King by the Prime Minister.


Applications for the 2024 King’s Awards for Enterprise open on Coronation Day, 6 May 2023. For more information, visit

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