Celebrations as Hartlebury firm honoured with first Kings Award for Enterprise - The Worcester Observer

Celebrations as Hartlebury firm honoured with first Kings Award for Enterprise

Rob George 27th Apr, 2023   0

HARTLEBURY-based Forest Garden have been honoured with the first ever King’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation – the highest and most prestigious award possible for UK businesses.

Founded in 1974 Forest Garden, which employs more than 500 people is the leading manufacturer and distributor of wooden buildings, fencing and structures for residential and agricultural gardens.

Meanwhile Little Big Paw – a Worcester company which provides 100 per cent natural, premium pet food made in the UK with British ingredients – has also been honoured for its services to International Trade.

The prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise is for Forest Garden’s innovation of a world-first fully automatic high-speed fence panel manufacturing process.

Forest Garden CEO, Guy Grainger, said: “Whilst innovating the manufacture of fence panels may not seem particularly exciting, in our sector it has been nothing short of revolutionary.

“To have successfully introduced a new panel suitable for automation into our market, alongside replacing a traditional manufacturing process with ground-breaking high-speed automation, are achievements of which we are particularly proud.”

By fully automating the manufacturing process, the company has reduced panel production time by almost 70 per cent, improved production margins, and enabled their UK-sourced and manufactured products to compete with imports.

Automation has also delivered a more uniform, quality product and increased the business’s ability to meet storm-driven surges in fencing demand.

Using only sustainable British timber, Forest Garden are part of the Forest Garden Group whose operations across Worcestershire and Scotland include sawmills and manufacturing plants.

Forest Garden are one of 148 organisations nationally to be recognised with a prestigious King’s Award for Enterprise. Announced today (Friday 21 April), Forest Garden has been recognised for its excellence in Innovation.

This is the second award win for Little Big Paw as they also received the Queen’s Award for Innovation in 2018.

Louise Hewett, Deputy Lieutenant with delegated responsibility for the King’s Award in Worcestershire, said:

“It is fantastic to see two Worcestershire businesses recognised with this highly prestigious accolade and on behalf of The Lord-Lieutenant I would like to send them our congratulations.

“Winning this Award offers businesses multiple benefits, including global recognition, a boost to staff morale and increased growth and I would encourage Worcestershire businesses to consider entering in the future.”

The two businesses will be presented with their Award and Grant of Appointment by the Lord-Lieutenant of Worcestershire, Mrs Beatrice Grant later in the year.

The King’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK. The awards were first established in 1965 and since then over 7,000 companies have achieved a King’s Award.

2023 marks the first year of The King’s Awards for Enterprise, reflecting His Majesty The King’s desire to continue the legacy of HM Queen Elizabeth II by recognising outstanding UK businesses.

The awards celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programmes, or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.


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