Queen's Awards for Enterprise


Instituted by Royal Warrant in 1965, the Queen's Awards for Enterprise have been given annually since 1966 in recognition of commercial success. They are the UK's most prestigious awards for business performance, and now recognise outstanding achievement in four categories. These are International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development and the new Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

The awards are open to UK based organisations with at least 2 full-time UK employees (or part-time equivalents). The awards are valid for five years and winners may use the Queen’s Award for Enterprise logo over this period.

The Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility) category was added last year (2017). To be eligible for this new award, applicants must have had a social mobility programme running for more than 2 years and prove that the programme benefits the applicant's organisation financially or otherwise. Improvements to the applicant's organisation should be in one of three areas: (1) work experience, careers advice or mentoring for young people; (2) offering non-graduate routes such as traineeships or changing recruitment practices; or (3) giving equal support and progression opportunities to all employees.

A complete list of the eligibility criteria required to apply for each of the categories can be viewed at the Gov.UK website.

Several companies in the Lancashire-14 area have won Queen's Awards in recent years and in 2018, the year of the Queen's 92nd birthday, three local companies were successful. Two of the awards fell within the international trade category, the other was for outstanding innovation. 

Recycling Lives is a recycling and waste management business which grew out of a scrap metal operation called Golden Hill. Though remaining a family run business, it adapted into  Recycling Lives by teaming up with Emmaus, the homelessness charity, after 2005, creating opportunities for homeless and disadvantaged people. Some of its recycling operations are carried out in prisons, while it has also branched out into food distribution, by saving surplus food that would have previously only been sent as waste. The Queen’s Award for International Trade recognises Recycling Lives’ work processing thousands of tonnes of metals and plastics ready for reuse and remanufacture. Operations at its industry-leading Recycling Park, in Preston, prevent 120,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year by returning recycled materials to markets across Europe, Asia and the US. This is the third Queen's Award for the firm making it one of fewer than 200 winners of 3 awards. The headquarters is based in Essex Street, Preston, but it also has sites in Birkenhead, Bury, Cumbria, Walsall and Kent.

Rinicom Ltd is a high-tech company based in Riversway House, Morecambe Road, Lancaster. It received the Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade on the basis of its work on SkyPatriot, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone detection system. Illegal uses of UAVs include unauthorised filming or observation, smuggling, harassment and air traffic control violations.

TISS Ltd of Lytham Road, Blackpool is a manufacturer of security devices for fuel tanks of vehicles or plant. A valve or float allows a tank to be filled, but prevents fuel being siphoned off or spilled by locking the filler spout. It receives the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Innovation.

The full list of winners of the Queen's Awards for Enterprise in 2018 is available via the London Gazette web page.

Since the award scheme was inaugurated, companies within the Lancashire-14 area have won or shared in 148 of these prestigious awards, 118 being given for international trade, 27 for innovation and three for sustainable development. A complete list of the winners located within the Lancashire-14 area since 1966, including a break down by category, is available in the full report.

Further analysis

Queen's Awards for Enterprise, 2018 (PDF 419 KB)

Page updated 24 April 2018