New Year’s Honours for Swindon business figures

December 31, 2013
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Some of the most influential business people in the Swindon area have been recognised in today’s New Year’s Honours list.

Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, pictured, who chose Swindon for his first pioneering sustainable low-cost housing development, has been honoured for services to sustainable living and energy saving with the MBE.

Mr McCloud’s passion for sustainable living led him to set up him his own firm, Hab, which has created award-winning environmentally-friendly developments in the West of England, including The Triangle in Swindon, which formed the centrepiece for one of his TV series.

Hab also has a joint venture with Swindon-based residential property group GreenSquare which develops low-cost social housing.

Clive Wray, director of public service contracts at Business West, the business support and lobbying group which runs the Initiative in Swindon, is awarded the OBE for services to small businesses and international trade.

Mr Wray has been influential over many years in helping West firms break into export markets.

He has responsibility for the sustainable development and successful delivery of Business West’s portfolio of publicly-funded, business support contracts relating to international trade, business growth, innovation and skills. Current contracts include international trade services for UKTI, ERDF-funded high -growth business support and Enterprise Europe Network services for the European Commission.

Mr Wray has responsibility for the sustainable development and successful delivery of Business West’s portfolio of publicly-funded, business support contracts relating to international trade, business growth, innovation and skills.  Current contracts include international trade services for UKTI, ERDF-funded high -growth business support and Enterprise Europe Network services for the European Commission.

He started his career managing major engineering projects around the world but for the past 20 years has supported small business development through various senior roles within Business West.

Most recently he has focused on international trade, helping Business West develop its reputation as a provider of export advice and services. The organisation provides business support to around 6,000 businesses each year – 2,500 of them exporters.

Business West managing director Phil Smith said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Clive has been recognised for his influential work. He has been instrumental in the running of the contracts for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN); his tireless dedication making a huge impact on the export activities of local businesses.

“Clive’s innovative approach has enabled Business West to double the funding available to assist exporters in the region. He has spearheaded the development of several highly-successful ERDF and EU-funded international trade projects for the South West, totalling more than £14m in the past five years; money which has been used to enhance and complement Business West’s support for exporters. All of us at Business West are very proud that Clive is to receive this well-deserved OBE.”

Mr Wray added: “I've been privileged to work with many inspiring individuals and teams within Business West and UKTI and am absolutely delighted with this recognition of our achievements, both on a personal and company basis.”

Iain Gray, chief executive of the Swindon-based Technology Strategy Board, receives the CBE for services to science, technology and innovation. A highly-respected engineer, he was formerly a senior manager at aerospace giant Airbus’s Bristol plant.

Professor Douglas Bruce Kell, formerly chief executive of Swindon-based Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, also receives the CBE for services to science and research.

Nick Fogg, the independent Wiltshire Councillor who set up the long-running Marlborough Jazz Festival and is a former mayor of the town, has been appointed the OBE for services to the festival, which last year was staged for the 27th year, and to the community in Marlborough.

Less known in business circles is Diane Bell, 63, who is awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community in Nettleton, a village near Chippenham, where she has run the village store for almost 40 years.

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