Export firm from Chichester celebrates its second Queen’s Award

A firm from Chichester is celebrating the impressive feat of claiming its second national Queen’s award for business excellence.

Metal Interests Ltd, based in Birdham Road, has gone from strength to strength despite an uncertain economic backdrop in securing the highly-rated accolade which will be presented at Buckingham Palace in July.

Since setting up in 1993, the enterprise has expanded significantly in forging a global export market for its recycled non-ferrous metals including copper, aluminium and stainless steel as far afield as China, Hong Kong and Australia.

From relatively-humble origins, it has grown to employ 48 people across the UK plus a number of global representatives and now produces a sizeable turnover in excess of £58m a year.

As director Roger Brewster explained, the company was founded on a passion for the benefits of recycling for society and the environment, which it has remained dedicated to over the past two decades.

Welcoming the award, he said: “We’re very proud to have gained this award as there are very few companies who even gain this at all, let alone for the second time.

“We felt justified in applying for it again because of the progress we have made.

“There’s been an awful lot of hard work involved, we’ve developed the skills of our staff and have helped young people with their careers from scratch.

“We have created our own shipping department now which has proved important, and developed good relations with our export contracts, including China, which is one of our biggest markets,” said Sidlesham-based Mr Brewster, of the business that has its headquarters in Chichester supported by depots in Coventry and Leeds.

He believed its success, which has seen its profitability increase considerably during the recession has been down to honouring existing contracts through the global downturn, which has enhanced its reputation significantly.

It has become an official accredited exporter to China, which has boosted its fortunes, as well as winning a major domestic contract supplying aluminium alloys for an aircraft manufacturer in the Midlands.

One of its key recent milestones came in originating and developed a study with Imperial College on the merits of metal recycling in terms of conserving global resources and the minimisation of CO2 emissions.

Mr Brewster, 65, has experienced an extremely eventful career which has seen him become president of the trade association, work with the UK Recycling Council and also the CBI.

As for his latest success, he praised staff including his wife and fellow director Pippa.

He added: “It’s been rewarding working for a company that has specialised in building long-term relationships.

“We’ve been proactive in what we do, which at 65, is what pushes my button. I like to be able to sit down with a company, identify problems and find out solutions to them.

“At times it has been tough for us as a company, but I’ve had great support from my wife and everyone else in the team.”