The UK’s most prestigious business award was hand delivered by Her Majesty’s representative in our county, the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire The Rt Hon the Lord Shuttleworth KCVO, with Deputy Lieutenants Robert Webb JP DL and Carl Hankinson DL and cadet Daniel Wade in attendance. We were also delighted to be joined by our MP Rosie Cooper, the Mayor of West Lancashire Nikki Hennessy and John Saunders, the Chief Executive British Footwear Association.Our guests enjoyed a tour of our HQ and factory, hosted by our celebrated factory tour guide Steven Stewart – who has shared Hotter’s comfort secrets with hundreds of customers, TV crews and even Royalty – and our Factory Manager Joan Stewart. Our guests joined in by making, polishing and finishing some of our lovely shoes and even took time to make a shoe box or two – which is a skill that takes considerable dexterity!Teams from our warehouse, factory, office, retail stores and call centre met in our reception so the whole company could receive the wonderful award from the Lord Lieutenant; with 40 enjoying tea and cakes with our honoured guests to complete a memorable day.
“How good it is to be back here, – this must be my fourth or fifth visit to your company – I feel I am amongst old friends. My first visit here was perhaps 15 years ago – I remember being so impressed by watching a pair of black brogues going through all the production processes and then being given them as I left. And what’s more, I still wear them often – they look as good as new and are supremely comfortable – a great advert for Hotter Shoes. And on each subsequent visit, I have seen the business grow and grow, particularly with the expansion of mail order, and development of the retail network.
“May I just make two brief points. First, The Queen’s Award is the most prestigious that a company can win. They are hard to win, and consequently rare. This year, 2015, there are only 105 companies from across the UK achieving the Award for International Trade.
“Second, the Award is not for the Directors or the shareholders, but for the entire company, and everyone in it. Each of you is a winner, and I hope you and your family will feel very proud of what you have achieved.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Beaconsfield Footwear, or Hotter Shoes as most people know it, is a marvellous Skelmersdale success story. Congratulations are, of course, due to Stewart Houlgrave, but also to everyone who has played a part in it, over many years. I wish you continuing success for years to come.”
We were delighted that John Saunders Chief Executive, British Footwear Association could join our special day, he commented:
“The British Footwear Association would like to add our collective congratulations to all the management and employees at Hotter for being presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2015.
“The Award recognises commercial success as a result of innovation and for growth and commercial success in international trade. The Hotter team have delivered both in abundance whilst, continuing to grow their UK business and expand their UK retail division.
“Through continued investment in plant, machinery and new innovation in selling techniques they are now the biggest producer of footwear in the UK with over 1.8 million pairs being made each year from their factory in Skelmersdale.
“Once again I would like to congratulate Hotter on receiving this Award. They are proof positive that with commitment, vision and investment the UK is still more than capable of producing footwear that can take on and beat the rest of the world.”
“Hotter Shoes is a fantastic example of industry-leading company who are constantly striving to improve and develop. An attitude and approach to business that has taken the company from Skelmersdale to many countries across the world.
“Hotter’s desire to be at the forefront of the shoe industry through a high quality product with great customer service is at the heart of their Queen’s Award. “Many congratulations to a company and workforce which I am certain will go from strength to strength.”
“Congratulations to everyone who works at Hotter Shoes on earning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. I was honoured to be invited to see a locally-based company be presented with such a prestigious award, and I was very impressed with the business when we were taken on a tour of the premises.
“Hotter Shoes is setting a fine example to others that even when you are at the forefront of your field you should still work hard to develop and improve. I wish the firm and its staff all the very best for the future.”