In 2020, The PCE GROUP won the internationally acclaimed Queen’s Award for Enterprise, bestowed upon PCE for outstanding short-term growth in overseas sales and international exports. With an ever-growing worldwide network of customers, The PCE GROUP achieved an overseas sales growth of 2000%, with the percentage of goods exported rising from 3.5% to 36% during this period.

The 2nd of August 2021 marked a monumental day for The PCE GROUP, who had the honour of welcoming Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant – Clare, Countess of Euston and Mark Pendlington, DL, Chair of the Lieutenancy Business & Enterprise Group at PCE Automation in Beccles, to present the Crystal Vase and formal citation, personally signed by the Queen and the Prime minister.

The ceremony marked a memorable moment in the history of PCE, underlining the success and hard work put in by the PCE team located in both Suffolk and Leicestershire. Making the day even more special was the fact it fell a day after PCE’s 60th anniversary, therefore, commemorating 60 years since Ernest James Cook founded Poolcraft, setting in motion the eventual development of The PCE GROUP.

Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant provided a speech during the ceremony on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, conveying her warmest congratulations on receiving the award and celebrating 60 years of PCE.

Throughout the speech, Lady Clare highlighted PCE’s innovation; calling attention to the collaborative partnership with the University of East Anglia  to revolutionise drug treatments and recognising the continued efforts to disrupt new markets, including Ocular, Medical and Pharmaceutical Sectors:

“It is quite remarkable how this family business has evolved from a successful boat hire enterprise on the Norfolk Broads in Beccles to an organisation at the forefront of UK Manufacturing pioneering machinery in the Ocular, Medical and Pharmaceutical industries.” Further stating, “The East of England is full of innovation, entrepreneurship, and ideas, but it is companies like The PCE GROUP who lead by example and are at the forefront of our ambitions for global growth. This award recognises your leadership and your worldwide reputation for innovation and quality”.

Lady Clare additionally acknowledged The PCE GROUP for 30 years of employing apprentices and nurturing talent. Lastly, she congratulated the team behind the award, admiring their strength and talent, further stating they should take pride in helping to achieve this award: an award which is considered internationally as the most prestigious award any business can receive.

This praise was echoed by James Cook, Managing Director of The PCE GROUP. James admired the entrepreneurship and inventiveness of the team, stating these attributes “run through the veins of PCE” and that “PCE needs to keep moving the frontiers of science and technology forward,” emphasising the role automation can play in the medical sector.

James also showed his admiration for Lady Clare and Mark Pendlington, for their roles in championing Suffolk, thanking them for bringing to light some of the outstanding work undertaken in Suffolk and the East of England. James suggested his motivation to apply for The Queen’s Award came from his visit to The Willis Building in Ipswich, where he first met Lady Clare and Mark. Their words struck a chord with him and inspired him to spread the word of “the ground-breaking engineering and innovative work from The PCE team, which is world-leading & typifies the excellence in Suffolk”. The speeches finished with a final thank you and a round of applause which was followed by a tour of the factory, given by David Nolloth and James Cook.

We at PCE would again like to thank Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant – Lady Clare, Countess of Euston and Mark Pendlington, DL, Chair of the Lieutenancy Business & Enterprise Group for joining us on such a special occasion and would like to further thank all the team, past and present that have made receiving The Queen’s Award for Enterprise possible.