AN East Lancashire business that exports textiles around the world has won a prestigious international trade award

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Vision Support Services, which supplies goods to customers in 84 countries, won the Outstanding Exporter Achievement Award at the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce International Trade Club Annual Awards, sponsored by Cassons.

The firm, which is based on Walker Park in Blackburn, was only formed in 2005 but has since become a world leader in textile supply and distribution, white label product sourcing and specialist interior design services.

The company’s export sales have increased by more than 50% each year since it started trading internationally and it now supplies half of the world’s ten biggest hotel chains

Managing Director Laurie Thomas said: “We’re proud to be flying the flag for East Lancashire on the international stage.

“Vision Support Services was founded 11 years ago when we united a number of heritage-rich textile mills that could offer a unique and intuitive product.

“Since then, by working with our three leading product brands we’ve become a global textile business working with accommodation providers, retailers, laundries, public bodies and healthcare markets.

“We work across five continents, speak over 20 languages and cover five trading jurisdictions.”

EP International Limited, a Burnley-based company that supplies Bitumen and Bitumen emulsions for road construction projects throughout the African continent, was highly commended in the Outstanding Exporter category.

Director Helen Holmyard said: “The majority of our business was in West Africa but the Ebola crisis led to some projects being shelved so we’ve have had to target new markets, such as North Africa and South America, to maintain growth.

The Outstanding Importer Achievement Award went to Whalley-based Steven Hargreaves Textile Group Limited, which specialises in the supply of 100% cotton mattress ticking fabric.

Director Steven Hargreaves said: “I owe a huge debt of thanks to my grandad who introduced me to chess and draughts when I was growing up.

“That’s where I learnt about strategy and it has served me well in the business world.”

Ashburn Stoves Limited were highly commended in the Outstanding Importer category.

Despite losing three months’ trading due to the devastating floods earlier this year, the Earby-based business has continued to forge ahead, doubling the size of its supply chain to cater for a range of customers including renewable energy installers, architects and developers.

The Newcomer to International Trade award was won by CWV Wallcoverings Limited.

The Blackburn-based company only began exporting in June but has already achieved sales in Israel, France, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco, with additional orders pending for Jordan, Egypt, Czech Republic, Nigeria, Cyprus and South Africa.

Each winner was presented with an engraved glass trophy from Les Nutter, managing partner at event sponsors Cassons, who congratulated all the winners.

Speaking of the winners’ success, Les said:

“East Lancashire has lots of brilliant businesses that are thriving in challenging overseas markets, and the International Trade Club Awards are a celebration of their achievements.

“It really is fantastic to see such a diverse range of companies succeeding in so many countries across the globe, and long may that continue.”

Mandy Lockett, International Business Director at East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, thanked all of the entrants and looked forward to a prosperous 2017.

“It’s going to be a wonderful year for the International Trade Club next year as we celebrate our 60th Diamond Anniversary. It’s also the Chamber’s 130th anniversary year so you can see we really are embedded into the trading fabric of the area.”

Click here to see the video from the event.

To view the winners of our raffle prize draw please click here

For more information please contact Marie White on 01254 356473 or [email protected]