Companiescelebrate Queen’sAwardswins A
ninnovative company based in the cradle of the industrial revolution is looking to breathe life back into the town following its second Queens Award for Enterprise in four years.
Blaenavon-based Super Rod has received
the International Trade award for its labour- saving cable installation tool, followingthe Award for Innovation it won in 2008. The Queen’sAwards for Enterprise are
highly prestigious awards for outstanding achievement by UK businessesinthe categories of Innovation,International Trade and SustainableDevelopment. The awards are made annually by The
Queen, and are only given for the highest levels of excellence demonstrated in each category. The company’stechnology, which
minimises the disruption caused by laying cables and increases safety due to areduction in ladder work, is calculated to save the electrical industry nine million labour hours and £400m each year. Super Rod’s‘Adoxim’ material, developed
in the Torfaen town, is now making asignificant impact in the US, French, German and Japanese markets. It already enjoys 80 per cent share in the UK. Managing director Malcolm Duncan, who
employs 15 local people in the shadow of the town’sformer coal mine and iron works on the Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate, believes the recognition can raise the aspirations of SMEs in the region to getting back to being world- leaders. He said: “Blaenavon led the industrial
revolution 200 years ago and now in 2012 we’re determined that the town doesn’tbecome a museum. The UK and Wales used to be famous for inventing, developing and taking aproduct to aglobal market and that’swhat we want other local companies to join us in doing. “Our first Queens Award underpinned our
export drive by giving us the creditability to speak with companies overseas. “You can’tget much more remote than
Blaenavon yet we’re able to hold our own in export markets due to the innovative environment we’ve created here. “If we can match our UK market share in the
US, Super Rod would beamulti-million pound company. That’sthe aim.” Malcolm, who left school at 16 but won a
scholarship to the prestigious Kellogg School of Management in Chicago last year, puts innovationatthe heart of the business. He said: “We’re always striving to improve
our products and undergo alot ofR&Don-site. We take our new ideas into aroom we call ‘The Play Pen’, turn some loud music on and let the testing process begin. “We also lead aUSand UK group made up
of suppliers, distributersand manufacturers, where we’re looking to improve the level of innovationacross the industry.” The recent successes in the export market
have been played out against the backdrop of upheaval which Malcolm admits could have seen the company relocate out of Wales: “In
Malcom Duncan of Super Rod
January 2011 we were served with an eviction notice from our premises as the Monmouthshire and Torfaen Councils wanted to create adata centre in the town, closing down in excess of 30 units.
“This left us with the dilemma of finding a
new site in Blaenavon or taking the easy option and moving production overseas. “We’d created something special here so
decided to stay put and located aunit just half a mile from our old home. It was in need of alot of
TLC and the team pulled together, fixing holes in the roof and painting walls on weekends to get it up to scratch. “That says everythingabout the spirit of the
people here which needs to be harnessed by many more business owners. “I hope our recognition can act as a
challenge to others to match our success. By taking the best of Wales to the rest of the world, we can ensure abrighter future for our economy and local communities.”
Agrowing South Wales business has won the Queen’sAward for International Trade. Staff from Energy and Power work around
the world helping to design, install and maintain key installations for high-tech energy industries. Their specialist work as independent
technical management experts for the energy, utilities and capital industries markets has taken them from their Port Talbot base to unfamiliar environments such as the Republic of Congo and Kurdistan. Managing director David Ryan, who went
to St Joseph’sHigh School in Newport, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured the Queen’s Award for our exports record; it’sgreat recognition for the expertise of our personnel and all their hard work.
“We plan to expand our workforce in Port
Talbot so the award comes at areally opportune time. “We are convinced that the skill,
adaptability and breadth of vision of Energy and Power and its staff will continue to benefit the company itself, its clients and the communities within which it works. “Those same attributes can cement the
position of UK companies as leaders in energy innovation worldwide.” The head office of Energy and Power is
based at Baglan Energy Park, Port Talbot. They have asister office in London and are now recruiting senior process consultants, senior process engineers, senior electrical engineers and senior C&I engineers and project technical assistants.
Tuesday May 1, 2012 In brief…
Banking bolstered HSBC has bolstered its international banking presence in South Wales with the appointment of Paul Blud and Mathew Hughes as International Commercial Managers. Mathew is based at HSBC’sSouth
East Wales Commercial Centre, while Paul is located at the Swansea, Bridgend and the Valleys Commercial Centre, offering comprehensive support to HSBC’scurrent and future Commercial customers that are trading, or aspire to trade, internationally. The appointments bring the total
number of International Commercial Managers in Wales to five.
Security plan EADS Cassidian, which has abase in Newport, is to create anew dedicated business, Cassidian CyberSecurity, entirely devoted to addressing the fast- growing cyber security market across Europe and Middle East, with an initial focus on Germany, the United Kingdom and France. By gathering together all of the
cyber security expertise existing within the EADS Group, Cassidian CyberSecurity intends to establish itself as akey dedicated player in this market with substantial critical mass.
Confidence boost Following arecent announcement by Newport-based Henry Howard Finance plc of increased funding availability, the business has received further encouraging news with the highest level of lending to its clients since March 2008. During March 2012, advances
exceeded £4m leaving Henry Howard well placed to achieve its forecast of exceeding £40m of lending during 2012.
Managing director, Mark Crook
said: “We are delighted with this performance and recognise it is a reflection of our offering in the current economic climate. Our clients are keen to develop their businesses and are speaking with us about how we can finance their equipment needs as an alternative to their traditional funding sources.”
Evening event The Chepstow group of Britain’s fastest growing business networking community, 4Networking, has launched an evening event as well as its usual breakfast meeting. The evening group will meet every
other Wednesday from 6.30-8.30pm at the St Pierre, Hotel and Country Club. For more information visit www.4Networking.biz
Check out southwalesargus.co.uk/business
for more on local business
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