Tony Grimshaw of What More UK has been named today (Saturday June 11) in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List.
The director of the Lancashire-based housewares supplier is to receive an OBE for his work in international export trade.
Tony commented: “To say I feel proud is an understatement. I’m actually amazed and haven’t got over the news yet! I received notification from the Cabinet Office around six weeks ago and have had a job of keeping the news to myself ever since – it hasn’t been easy! I’m so proud of my family and can’t wait to tell them.
“I’m incredibly proud to be a Lancastrian too and hope that this recognition helps me fly the flag for north-west businesses. I feel honoured to be a part of What More UK and am keen to share this accolade with my colleagues. They’re a wonderful team, without whom What More wouldn’t be the industry leader it is today. The OBE may be in my name, but it’s a tribute to all their hard work too.
“I also want to thank UKTI, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and our trade association BHETA for the support they have given What More over the years.”
Bolton-born Tony 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. What More UK now exports to 67 countries worldwide including China, Australia and Madagascar. In 2014 it received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its outstanding achievements in international trade.
Tony expects to receive his OBE award later this year. He said: “To receive an honour such as this in any year is absolutely fantastic; receiving it in such a special year for Her Majesty makes it all the more exceptional.”
What More UK has a portfolio of more than 650 products: plastic housewares, gardening and DIY products sold under the Wham brand, plus an extensive range of bakeware. It recently enhanced its bakeware offer with the purchase of the Hong Kong-based PushPan bakeware business in late 2015.
Employing more than 230 people at its purpose-built 500,000sq ft manufacturing and distribution facility at Altham and nearby head offices at Padiham, What More UK is on target to hit sales of £50 million this year.
What More UK director Tony Grimshaw is to receive an OBE for his work in the international export trade