TWO East Lancashire firms were among those recognised for their entrepreneurial spirit at Buckingham Palace last night.

Manufacturers What More UK and bike luggage experts Carradice picked up the Queen’s Award For Enter-prise in International Trade at a lavish ceremony hosted by Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh.

What More, which employs 165 people at its Altham and Padiham sites, called the award ‘the highest accolade in business success’.

Director Tony Grimshaw said: “The award goes to all 165 employees who have all helped to win this outstan-ding business award. We presented the story, but it was the whole company that wrote it.

“We would also like to thank UK Trade and Investment, the British Home Enhancement Trade Association, our local MPs Graham Jones and Gordon Birtwistle, Dennis Mend-oros, The High Sheriff of Lancashire, Burnley RUFC and Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, who have all been involved with our nomination for this award.

“A big thank you also goes to our suppliers and custo-mers who, without their on-going support, we would not be where we are today. We can’t wait to fly the Queen’s Award for Enterprise flag outside our headquarters.”

What More exports plastic household and storage products to 48 countries and last year completed its latest development, a 101,710 square foot distribution facility – the first phase of an £8million expansion plan.

Mr Grimshaw added: “This award gives us the confid-ence to continue investing.”

Carradice, based at Westm-oreland Works in St Mary’s Street, Nelson, sells its goods to 30 different nations.

Managing director, David Chadwick, said: “I am thrilled and very proud that Carradice has been recogn-ised for its achievements in international trade.

“My thanks and congrat-ulations extend to all the hard working and committed people who have worked for and with Carradice over the years.”

Every region of the UK was represented at the event, held in Buckingham Palace’s White Drawing Room and Blue Drawing Room.