International Business

Queens Award

Members Inspired
By International Trades Club

Two Chamber members have been awarded the Queen’s Award – after being inspired to apply by the International Trade Club.

Universal Smart Cards and Firesafe Fire Rated Ductwork Limited received the honour for Enterprise in International Trade.

The Queen’s Awards are made annually and are given for the “highest levels of excellence” demonstrated in international trade.

Businesses honoured are permitted to use the respected Queen's Awards emblem for the next five years.

Accrington-based Universal Smart Cards manufacture and supply smart products and solutions. The company has customers throughout Europe and the Middle East, recently winning contracts in South America and Australia.

The firm, which has shipped more than 136 million smart products worldwide, opened an office in San Diego, California, resulting in a ten-fold increase in international trade.

Firesafe, based in Haslingden and established in 2006, won the accolade for demonstrating outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales during the last six years.

The family-run firm are specialists in passive fire protection and exports Caswell Firesafe non-coated fire resisting ductwork systems. The business has seen sales growing by more than 500 per cent.

Both Universal Smart Cards and Firesafe decided to apply for the Queen’s Award after attending an International Trade Club meeting in May 2018.

After listening to guest speakers and representatives from other companies, both businesses were motivated to go for the Queen’s Award.

“Being able to showcase and promote the Queen’s emblem is an honour for any business and bestows unrivalled worldwide recognition."

Universal’s Sales and Marketing Director, Paul May, said: “I first heard about the Queen’s Award and how it is a prestigious stamp of approval recognised globally, at the International Trade Club breakfast briefing.

“Then, quite by coincidence, the same week I attended an Export Excellence convention in London for tech companies looking to increase exports."

“Several of the companies there had already achieved Queen’s Award for Enterprise and said how much it was respected across the globe and helped grow business."

“Given that we had increased our overseas sales significantly, principally through opening our USA Sales Office, I thought we stood a good chance."

“We applied and were all absolutely delighted to receive the award."

“I’d recommend applying if your company meets the criteria and thanks again to the Chamber for setting us on our way.”

Firesafe Chairman, Richard Coxen, was equally delighted at his company’s achievement.

He said: “We are extremely proud to have been recognised with the Queen’s Award."

“It reflects the quality and dedication of our staff and how they engage with our partners to deliver our dynamic growth."

“We are sure that this royal endorsement of our business will act as a springboard to future growth."

The International Trade Club’s International Business Director at the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Mandy Lockett, said: “It is such an accolade to win the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in the field of International Trade."

“Both Universal Smart Cards and Firesafe are two of only 129 businesses to be recognised for International Trade through their outstanding continuous growth in overseas sales over the last six years."

“Their innovation, partnerships, strategy and teamwork have propelled these businesses into successfully winning global sales."

“Being able to showcase and promote the Queen’s emblem is an honour for any business and bestows unrivalled worldwide recognition."

“It’s fantastic to see businesses doing great things and inspiring others to follow.”

The awards ceremony was held at Buckingham Palace in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales in June.

The International Trade Club has been inspiring and supporting exporters and importers for over 60 years.

To learn more about this valuable resource and meet with like-minded business leaders such as Richard and Paul, please contact Marie White on 01254 356448 or email


The British Chambers of Commerce has eight nationally accredited international trade courses delivered by the East Lancashire Chamber that together form an import and export curriculum. These courses give international traders the essential skills invaluable to small and large businesses alike.

For more information on this specialist qualification please visit the website
or contact Stef Heywood on 01254 356454 or by email to
to find out more

Training Courses

Online Export Documentation

13 November 2019

Overseas Payments

14 November 2019

Understanding and Working with Letters of Credit

19 November 2019

Customs Warehousing

21 November 2019

Understanding your Commodity Code and Why they are Important

26 November 2019

How to Quote for Export Sales

28 November 2019

International Trade Club Gala Lunch

05 December 2019

HMRC IP & OP Seminar

10 December 2019

For more infomation on our training courses

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For information about our International Business team’s range of services visit the website
You can also call Marie White on 01254 356448 or email to find out more