FIVE Hampshire firms have been honoured with Queen’s Awards, the UK’s most prestigious accolade for business success.

Bullet and bomb proof clothing maker United Shield International, wind energy firm Moog Insensys and stairlift maker Stannah were all recognised for their success in international trade.

Artifical foot manufacturer Chas A Blatchford & Sons and covert communications maker Cobham Surveillance were both honoured for their innovation. The award can have a real impact, with 77 per cent of previous winners reporting it added commercial value to their business. They are also entitled to use the Queen’s Award Emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a period of five years.

Hard work

Dr Toby King, managing director of Moog Insensys, which employs 34 people at its Segensworth headquarters, has seen overseas revenues swell by more than 250 per cent in three years, to above £4.5m a year.

He said: ‘I hope that this honour will help to demonstrate that manufacturing in Hampshire, and the UK as a whole, is making its mark internationally and flying the flag for British ingenuity.”

Terence Hand, managing director of United Shield, which employs 43 people in Andover and exports body armour to military and police forces in more than 80 countries, said: “We are all thrilled and very proud to have been honoured by Her Majesty The Queen with this unique award. It is a wonderful recognition of all the hard work and dedication of our staff over the last five years.”

Stannah Stairlifts, which employs 449 people in Andover and has seen sales in 47 countries increase by 60 per cent to the stage where it commands a fifth of the global market.

Tim Eagles, joint managing director, said: “This remarkable accomplishment is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of the Stannah workforce and our relentless pursuit of quality and excellence.”

Formerly known as Domo, Segensworth based Cobham Surveillance employs 73 people making wireless communications equipment that allows bomb disposal teams to operate robotic equipment from a greater distance, increasing safety. Vice president of Cobham Surveillance, David Helfgott, said: ““It is a great honour to know that our technology contributes to the safety of law enforcement personnel and the public, and to have that contribution recognised.”

Chas A Blatchford & Sons chief executive officer Stephen Blatchford said: “We are doubly proud since it is also the 120th anniversary of the founding of the company.”