Last Friday (November 11) Tony Grimshaw received an OBE for his work in international export trade and for supporting local community projects.
The director of the Lancashire-based housewares supplier What More UK was presented with his trophy by HRH the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
Tony, who lives in Westhoughton near Bolton, was named in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List in June.
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.”
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. Since then the business’s export credentials have grown phenomenally and What More UK now exports to 70 countries worldwide including China and Australia – and recently added Vietnam to the list.
In 2014 What More UK received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its outstanding achievements in international trade.
The company employs more than 250 people at its purpose-built 500,000sq ft manufacturing and distribution facility at Altham and nearby head offices at Padiham. The household plastics manufacturer has a portfolio of more than 700 products sold under the Wham brand.
Two years ago the business diversified into bakeware and today produces a range of Wham Cook non-stick and vitreous enamel bakeware at Altham. What More UK also owns the multiple award-winning PushPan brand bakeware range.
What More UK is on target to hit sales of over £50 million this year.
What More UK director Tony Grimshaw collected his OBE at Buckingham Palace last Friday. He was accompanied by his family (left to right): daughters Alison Townsend and Sarah Grimshaw and (far right) his wife Helen Grimshaw