Five Queen’s Awards go to Gloucestershire businesses in 2021

From a truffle-hunting business to a mechanical engineering firm, from an innovative community music-based charity to a purveyor of beautiful fabrics, Gloucestershire has landed five Queen’s Awards.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published

It is regarded as one of the pinnacles of achievement and a much-lauded badge of honour, and five Queen’s Awards have gone to Gloucestershire businesses and charities in 2021.

Four awards have been given in the international trade category, with one – for the ever-innovative The Music Works charity – for promoting opportunity.

The currently Cheltenham-based charity works to transform young lives through music, and is joined on the podium this year by TruffleHunter Ltd, ALS Mechatronic Ltd, Ocere Limited and Alice Caroline Ltd.

Deborah Potts, of The Music Works, which is about to open a new, purpose-built music studio and meeting place off King’s Square in Gloucester, said: ‘Really honoured to receive The Queen’s Award for Enterprise for promoting opportunity through social mobility today.

‘I’m so proud of the whole team… but especially all the thousands of young people who we’ve seen transform and come into their own through their musical expression.’

In the field of international trade, Queen’s Awards also went to TruffleHunter Ltd, based in South Cerney, which supplies fresh truffles and produces truffle-related products for sale in multiple food markets

Among its menu of best-sellers are preserved truffles, infused olive oils, ketchup and mayonnaise, truffle crisps, popcorn and seaweed and truffle gifts.

Overseas sales have grown more than eight-fold in six years with customers in the United States, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan.

ALS Mechatronic Ltd, based at Park Farm Industrial Estate, Greet, near Cheltenham, specialises in the design, build and installation of bespoke factory automation systems and robotics.

Set up in 2002 the business now employs 24 people. Over three years overseas sales have grown five-fold and now make up 25 per cent of all turnover.

Leading markets are Qatar, Mexico, Ireland, USA, and Poland and increasingly the USA is now growing into its most important market.

Ocere Limited, based at St Georges Place, Cheltenham, was founded in March 2009 by 22-year-old Tom Parling with just £1.

It has itself grown by almost 70 per cent in the last three years, mostly by increasing its overseas revenue by 245 per cent. Exports now represent just over half of Ocere’s sales.

And lastly, Alice Caroline. Owner and founder, Alice Garrett, started selling Liberty fabric in 2012 from her home in the Cotswolds.

Her business now sells Liberty fabric, sewing kits, haberdashery, patterns and accessories to a worldwide audience through its retail website.

Overseas sales grew year on year over six years by a total of 206 per cent.

Currently overseas sales account for 45.7 per cent of total sales. Its top five markets are USA, France, Japan, Australia and Denmark.

By Andrew Merrell

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