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Scottish firms receive Queen’s Award for Enterprise

Ross and Archie Hunter, Armadilla

Ross and Archie Hunter, Armadilla

Scottish companies from a range of sectors were among those named in this year’s Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the highest official UK awards for businesses in Britain.

Family-owned business, Armadilla, is a manufacturer of eco-friendly, luxury outdoor living spaces for hotels and hospitality groups. It also won an award for innovation.

Armadilla was founded in 2010 by managing director Archie Hunter, who has a background in farming and hospitality, and his son Ross Hunter, chief executive, a design engineer, and it now supplies clients across the UK and overseas.

The company, which employs 40 at its facility in Bonnyrigg on the outskirts of Edinburgh, doubled its turnover in the last year to £2 million. It continues to expand to meet the needs of clients in Scotland, other parts of the UK, Europe, the middle east, Australia and New Zealand.

Archie Hunter said: “Thinking creatively is key to our growth, and there’s a lot more still to come. We have a fantastic workforce who have all contributed so much to our success and this award is superb for morale.”

SnapDragon Monitoring, which received the award for innovation, was born out of its founder’s own experience of fighting fakes when her baby-product was counterfeited and her thriving business brought to near ruin.

Rachel Jones: tackling fakes

Originally designed for SMEs it is now used by major brands around the world.

Founder Rachel Jones said:  “This is a hugely positive and exciting day for us all, particularly while everyone is in lockdown, and must be celebrated. 

“My humble but heartfelt thanks go to our extraordinary team for working tirelessly with the ever fluid international marketplaces in the fight against fakes.”

Rachel Jones is today hosting a webinar on counterfeit goods amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will cover the scale of the problem, positive enforcement actions, and how to identify online counterfeit goods. It is organised by the the Scottish Business Resilience Centre. Register here:

Temperature-controlled vehicle maker Gray & Adams is another recipient in the innovation category. The Fraserburgh-based business was recognised for its double decker trailer design.

Founded in 1957 in Fraserburgh by Jim Gray and Jim Adams, the company has grown to become a UK market leader in temperature controlled manufacturing.

It now has an annual turnover in excess of £150 million and employs more than 700 staff.

It supplies double deck trailers to most major supermarkets, including Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, as well as blue-chip household brands like DPD, John Lewis Waitrose, M&S and Warburtons.

Aberdeenshire energy specialist Hiretech received an award in the international trade category.

Now in its 10th year of trading. Hiretech employs 25 supplying rental equipment and staff to the energy and marine industries.

Following significant recent growth across Africa, the Caspian, Norway and South East Asia, the firm aims to further increase its international trade to 40% of annual turnover.

“It is tremendously satisfying to recognise that the rental equipment the Hiretech team designs, manufactures and services in Fintray, Aberdeenshire, has worldwide demand,” said founder and chief executive Andy Buchan.

Edinburgh-headquartered Exterity also receives an award for international trade for its delivery of IP video and digital signage solutions to its clients from bases in London, New York, Paris, Johannesburg, Dubai, Riyadh, Singapore and Sydney.

Chief executive Colin Farquhar founded the business in 2001 and it has experienced 85% growth in exports over the last three years.

He said: “It is a tremendous achievement and testament to our continued investment in R&D and in the best talent, alongside our strong ties to the advisors and investors who have helped us turn our vision into a market-leading, global company.

“Since our inception in 2001, we have always focused on providing the best solutions, brought to the market by the best people, establishing connections across the world, whilst proudly sticking to our roots as a Scottish business.”

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