West Midlands Queen's Award-winning businesses revealed

A creative communications agency, which has its head office and TV studios at Hartlebury, near Kidderminster, is among the winners of the 2022 Queen's Awards for Enterprise.

DRP Group has its headquarters in Hartlebury
DRP Group has its headquarters in Hartlebury

The awards, which celebrate the achievements of UK businesses, are announced today on Her Majesty The Queen's 96th birthday.

DRP Group, of Ikon Estate, which has grown to employ 342 people since its launch in 1980, has been selected in the sustainable development category along with Stone-based Woolcool, which employs 49 staff, and makes insulated packaging using sheep's wool.

Woolcool previously received a Queen's Award in 2018

Another Staffordshire winner, for international trade, is Stafford-based Top Online Partners Group, which trades as TopCashback. The business, which employs 218 workers, operates cashback reward websites in the UK and internationally. Its award recognises outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales over the last six years.

Across the UK there are 232 winners, with 25 from the West Midlands which include Keele-based specialist medical components firm Biocomposites; a double winner, for innovation and international trade.

Shropshire has four winners – i2r Packaging Solutions, Telford and Stallion AI Services, Whitchurch (both innovation), Jesmonite, Bishop's Castle (international trade) and Derwen College, Gobowen (promoting opportunity).

There were no winners from the Black Country.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “This country is renowned for its entrepreneurial achievements and there is no greater showcase for it than The Queen’s Awards. It’s vital we celebrate the success of our businesses and recognise the contributions they make to communities across the country.

“I congratulate this year’s winners for their hard work and commitment over the last year and I wish them every success for the future.”

DRPG, which is led by chief executive and founder Dale Parmenter, creates communications solutions and award-winning campaigns. Its corprate social responsibility charter is the culmination of a 15-year journey and the launch of a long-term ambition to achieve a number of goals by 2030, such as carbon neutrality.

TopCashback, founded in 2005, has operating subsidiaries in the UK, USA, Hong Kong and Germany. Consumers sign up and create an account and are then able to click through, making a purchase from a brand. The company is then paid a commission by the brand which it passes on to that member.

Globally, the company, based at Nelson Court, Staffordshire Technology Park, collaborates with around 10,000 companies who look to market their products to its approximately 15 million members. Overseas sales have grown by 751 per cent over six years.

Woolcool, of Tungsten Park, Opal Way, Stone, which was launched in 2009 by Angela Morris, uses 100 per cent sustainable wool in its innovative packaging that outperforms man made plastic equivalents used for the transportation of temperature sensitive food and pharmaceutical products.

Since 2009 Woolcool, which previously received a Queen's Award for innovation in 2018, has used approximately 20 million kilogrammes of coarse wool that would have gone to waste.

Customers switching to Woolcool saved 40 million polystyrene boxes from going to landfill. Enough to stretch from Land's End to John O’Groats and back five times.

There were 141 international trade winners this year, with 51 recognised for innovation, 31 for sustainable development and nine for promoting opportunity

Awards are valid for five years, with winners permitted to fly The Queen’s Awards flag at their main office and use the emblem on their marketing materials. Winners are also given a Grant of Appointment (an official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy.

Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants will be presenting the Awards to businesses locally throughout the year.

Applications for the 2023 awards will open on May 1.

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