One project by Queen's Award winners AC plc - 50,000m2 cladding and 55,000m2 roofing. All the secondary steel is made at Marston and shipped out. AC has had over 200 men on this job. Main works programme is 44 weeks Credit: AC plc

Queen’s Award for Marston Moretaine company

Marston Moretaine based business AC plc has received a Queen’s Award for EnterpriseThe Beancroft Road based company was awarded the honour for its achievements in international trade.

Company ceo Andrew Laing received the news in an email at one-minute past six on a Friday evening. He said:

“I had to read it twice. It is a very humbling, and it did bring a tear to my eye.

“I never thought that we would get a Queen’s Award.”

One of the highest awards for businesses

Celebrating excellence, the Queens Award for Enterprise is one of the highest awards businesses can receive. It is reserved for those who excel in international trade, innovation and sustainable development.

“We already have recognised management tools, but to have a prestigious award and accolade shows that we are not a run-of-the-mill company.”

AC plc was founded in 1987 as a specialist flooring company. It now comprises of several division operating throughout UK and Europe.

Flooring is something Andrew fell into after falling out of love with agricultural mechanics.

“I worked in a carpet warehouse. I learned how to lay carpet and flooring. From there I got into business.

“Flooring was the mechanism, then we got into other ventures.”

From its start as a sole trader, the AC Group is on target to turnover £120m in 2018 and employs 450 members of staff in over six countries. Last year it gained ‘approved contractor status’ with one of the world’s largest office rental companies and is working with them on projects in London, Berlin and Munich.

Royal reception

As part of the award the company has as an invitation to the reception at Buckingham Palace. But, there are only two tickets.

“I was always going, it was head or tails for the rest of the board.”

Queen’s Award Winners can fly the Queen’s Award flag at their office as well as use the emblem on marketing materials. They also receive a Grant of Appointment and a commemorative crystal bowl.

The award status lasts for five years, would Andrew do it again?

“We would probably go for it in a slightly different way.

“We wouldn’t go for International Trade. We’d go for something else to prove to ourselves that we are good enough to do that as well.

“The honour of winning it is second to none.”