London SE1 website team

Royal accolades for two local firms

Two SE1 businesses have been recognised in the international trade category of the Queen's Award for Enterprise, announced on Her Majesty's 80th Birthday.

27 of the 145 Queen's Awards are in London – and two of those awards have been granted to local businesses.

Grant Macdonald Silversmiths in Bear Lane started trading in 1969, and became a limited company in 1977. This specialist goldsmiths and silversmiths designs and manufactures exquisite ornamental gold and silverwork. These range from their "biggest" export order, the orb and cross surmounting the Dresden Frauenkirche in Germany, to ceremonial swords, medals and decorations for the Middle East.

It is winning the Award for the first time for raising its exports by 73% to nearly 3 million per annum, and increasing the proportion of overseas earnings from 81% to 94% over three years. The company's marketing strategy is based on personal and attentive contacts achieved by monthly visits to its principal markets in the Middle East and Brunei, swift professional responses to enquiries, and investment in modern casting, cutting and prototyping equipment. The company employs 20 people.

London College of Accountancy in Great Dover Street offers courses in professional accountancy, aimed primarily for those seeking membership of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. It also offers an MBA in partnership with Heriott-Watt University and an accountancy and finance degree from the University of Glamorgan.

The College, established in 2000, wins the Award for the first time for more than doubling its overseas revenue to 4.6m in three years. Its successful marketing strategy is based on providing high quality lecturers and courses at affordable prices. Student recommendations are a valuable source of new recruits, supported by the extensive use of the internet, advertising and other promotional activities. Students have been attracted from more than 80 countries.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh continue to take a close interest in these Awards, and will once again be giving an evening Reception at Buckingham Palace for three representatives of each winning organisation and those who nominated them.

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise differ from personal honours because they recognise the achievement of the successful business unit as a whole – management and employees working as a team. Winners are entitled to fly the Award flag and to display the emblem on their letter headings, in advertising, on the packaging of goods produced in this country, on the goods themselves, and on articles for employees such as lapel badges, ties, cuff links and brooches.

An Award is held for a period of five years from the date of its announcement. However, winners can apply for further Awards in different categories within this five-year period. Awards are formally conferred by Grants of Appointment, and are symbolised by the presentation of hand-made crystal bowls on behalf of The Queen by Lords Lieutenant. These presentations are normally made at ceremonies held at winners' main premises, attended by staff, key suppliers and customers.

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