Belfast Telegraph

Queen's corgis set to get teeth into TastyBones thanks to award winner

The Queen's beloved dogs could be in for a treat after one winner of the Queen's Awards for Enterprise promised to send them a taste of his company's pet chews.

The offer was made as the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh joined business leaders at a Buckingham Palace reception on Tuesday.

Tony Raeburn's Blackburn-based firm was among more than 150 to be recognised for its contribution to business in the UK, having exported its range of nylon "TastyBones" to 29 countries around the world.

"I'm going to send some down for the corgis," he said after meeting the Queen.

"It was fantastic. We had a long conversation. I think she was quite interested in what we are doing."

The awards were created in the Queen's name in 1965 and have since celebrated the achievements of almost 7,000 recipients.

This year's 176 winning businesses, announced on the Queen's 91st birthday in April, are recognised for excellence in international trade (102 firms), innovation (57) and sustainable development (11).

A further six businesses were awarded the Queen's Award for promoting opportunity through social mobility, to recognise the work of initiatives that specifically support people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This year's businesses are from a wide variety of sectors, with work ranging from pioneering healthcare and green energy solutions to digital marketing and laser technology.

A company that supplies hairbrushes to the Royal Family was among the winners.

GB Kent & Sons chairman and managing director Alan Cosby said: "She knows our products," while export sales manager Mac Magdenovic described her as "absolutely delightful".

Scott Davidson, whose Scotland-based company Glencairn Crystal Studio makes crystal glassware, said he was "absolutely delighted" to meet the Queen, who he described as "an icon".

He added: "We just talked about our little business. I'm sure she likes whisky, too."

An emotional Edward Milbourne, whose pet food company was also recognised, described the award as the "high point of my career".

He added: "I have been all over the world, I have done everything there is to do in life, but that was amazing."

Recipients can display the Queen's Awards emblem for five years.

Small business minister Margot James said: "It's great to see a wealth of UK business talent being recognised and celebrated today.

"Over 85% of this year's Queen's Award winners are small businesses and this is testament to the fundamental role they play in growing our economy.

"I'd encourage businesses of all sizes to apply for these prestigious awards in recognition of their achievements in international trade, innovation, sustainable development and promoting opportunity."