Things looking up on the export front

15 July 2015

FAR from being a stuffy, over-formal occasion, the visit of the Duke of York to Shipley-based Radio Design’s Salts Mill manufacturing plant this week was a relaxed affair.

It was a happy occasion – the firm was receiving its second Queen’s Award in five years – after more than doubling overseas sales in the past three years.

Prince Andrew showed a keen interest in the radio frequency technology and hardware which has seen the firm’s continued growth and success since 2007 when it was founded by managing director Eric Hawthorn and a group of old colleagues from Filtronic.

Radio Design achieved its first Queen’s Award for innovation in 2011 for inventing a device enabling mobile network operators to share transmission masts, saving them millions of pounds.

Over the past three years the company has more than doubled exports to 65 per cent of output and has a turnover of around £21 million.

Radio Design was described as “world class”, by Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership for which Eric Hawthorn is an export ambassador.

Altogether, it’s been a good week for local exporters, with Steeton-based Acorn Stairlifts receiving a national Made in Britain award for its overseas trade. The company which also has a factory in Shipley, exports £80 million of products a year – and one of its stairlifts is installed every nine minutes somewhere in the world.

Tim Bailey, director of Bradford-based Chamber International, which provides advice and support to exporters and importers, said it had received 111 enquiries from new firms looking for export advice in the first quarter of 2015, an encouraging sign that more companies are rising to the export challenge.

Source: Chris Holland, T&A


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Chamber International - Chris Holland T&A