Businesses winning the award have to demonstrate substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success, to levels that are outstanding for the goods or services concerned and for the size of the applicant's operations. The Awards are made each year by the Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of Government, industry and commerce, and the trade unions.
Meech designs, manufactures and supplies specialist industrial high voltage equipment for the control of electrostatic charges and associated dust contamination in industrial processes. Around 70 per cent of the systems produced by Meech are sold in 45 overseas markets via its subsidiaries and specialist distributors.
“This is the first time the company has applied for a Queen’s Award, so winning it is particularly special and is a great honour,” says CEO Chris Francis. “Meech employees at every level put such a huge amount of effort into providing an unrivalled service to customers that the board felt we should try to recognise this in some way, as well as highlighting the continued growth achieved by the company over many years. Businesses only succeed in export markets if staff have a first class knowledge in their field and are totally committed to being the best.”
The Queen's Awards Office hosts a celebratory reception for the winners, with a congratulatory speech usually given by a member of the Royal Family. The reception is held as near as possible to the public announcement, which is made annually on the Queen's personal birthday; 21 April. At a separate ceremony, held later at the winner's premises, a presentation is made by the Queen's representative, the Lord Lieutenant of the County. The Awards are given solely on merit and competition is fierce. The number of Awards presented each year is not pre-set and depends on the quality of the applications received.