Friday, November 11 was a work day like no other for What More UK director Tony Grimshaw, as he made his way to Buckingham Palace to collect his OBE award.
Mr Grimshaw was joined by wife Helen and two of his three daughters, Alison Townsend and Sarah Grimshaw, for the prestigious occasion as he received his OBE from HRH the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
Tony Grimshaw OBE was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June. The director of the Padiham-based plastics manufacturer What More UK was awarded an OBE for his work in international export trade and for supporting local projects.
For the 65-year-old, who lives in Westhoughton near Bolton, it was a day to remember. He said: "I'll never forget the immense pride I felt as we entered Buckingham Palace. It certainly was a very special day for our family.
"I keep looking at my OBE medal in disbelief - I'm just a Bolton lad who's worked hard all his life, never expecting that something like this would happen! It's very humbling to be recognised for my role in What More's export success. I'm one part of a wonderful team at What More who are all committed to their work to make us the best at what we do. Without its staff, What More UK wouldn't be the industry leader it is today and this recognition is a tribute to all their hard work too."
Bolton born Tony Grimshaw joined What More UK as head of sales at the company's inception in November 1999. He recalls securing their first export contract to Ireland shortly after in early 2000. Since then the business's export credentials have grown phenomenally and What More UK now exports to 70 countries worldwide including China, Australia and recently added Vietnam. In 2014 What More UK received the Queen's Award for Enterprise in recognition of their outstanding achievements in international trade.
What More UK employs more than 250 people at its purpose-built 500,000 square feet manufacturing and distribution facility at Altham and nearby head offices at Padiham. The company is on target to hit sales of over £50 million this year.