LOCAL companies have been celebrating after being awarded a prestigious business honour, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Woking-based engineering company Semmco has been recognised for International Trade for outstanding short-term growth in overseas sales over the last three years.

Semmco designs innovative solutions to create a safe and efficient working environment for aviation, helicopter and rail customers, engineering maintenance equipment, access platforms and aircraft refuelling systems. The company has seen its overseas sales grow from £392,340 as 19% of total sales in 2015 to £1.365 million as 40.5% of total sales in December 2017.

“We are extremely proud to have received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category this year. It’s an incredible achievement and a testament to the hard work of every person at Semmco,” said Stuart McOnie, managing director.

“We’ve had an exciting few years; in 2017 we saw the opening of our maintenance and assembly facility in Dubai. Last year we expanded our design and manufacturing facility in Woking due to high demand, and this year we opened our USA office in Texas. This award win puts us in good stead for the future.”

Semmco has an impressive roster of customers, including British Airways, Qantas, Delta, Easy Jet, First Capital Connect, Alstrom and Rolls Royce. It will celebrate its award during a royal reception for the Queen’s Awards winners in the summer.

Now in its 53rd year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards emblem for the next five years.

Among those is Stanhope-Seta a family-owned business that specialises in the design and manufacture of laboratory test instruments for quality control applications. From its manufacturing base in Chertsey, they export innovative instruments worldwide and have received a Queen’s Award for Innovation.

The award, granted for the design and manufacture of the Fame in Jet instrument (FIJI), is the third such honour to be bestowed upon Stanhope-Seta, having previously won the International Trade award in 2012 and the award for Innovation in 2014.

The FIJI detects ultra-low levels of a chemical compound known as fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), classified as a contaminant in aviation fuel whose presence must be strictly controlled. FAME contamination in sufficient quantities could result in airport closures and grounded aircraft.

The FIJI provides a rapid and reliable method of detection, and is now deployed around the world in both commercial and military settings and forms one of the key testing techniques designed to ensure that aviation fuel is fit and safe for use in today’s aircraft.

“The Queen’s Award is the most prestigious business award made to UK companies and winning a third award is a proud and defining moment in the company’s history,” said Stanhope-Seta directors Giles and Martin Verity. “It is a real achievement to receive this award in recognition of our loyal, hardworking team. We will continue to fly the flag for Britain with its development and manufacturing excellence.”