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Suffolk-based Superyacht Tenders & Toys receives Queen’s Award for international trade

PUBLISHED: 15:00 13 September 2017

The presentation of the Queens Award for Enterprise in the international trade category to Harkstead-based Superyacht Tenders & Toys, from left, Claire Richardson, Clare, Countess of Euston, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and Josh Richardson.
Picture: GREGG BROWN

The presentation of the Queens Award for Enterprise in the international trade category to Harkstead-based Superyacht Tenders & Toys, from left, Claire Richardson, Clare, Countess of Euston, Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and Josh Richardson. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk company which has carved out a niche supplying equipment to superyacht owners around the world has been presented with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its export success.

Superyacht Tenders & Toys founders Josh and Claire Richardson with their Queen's Award trophy and scroll.
Picture: GREGG BROWNSuperyacht Tenders & Toys founders Josh and Claire Richardson with their Queen's Award trophy and scroll. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Superyacht Tenders & Toys, based at Harkstead, near Ipswich, was established in October 2011 by Josh Richardson – who was then working for a yacht management company in the south of France – and his wife Claire.

He identified a gap in the market for the supply of tenders – small support vessels – and returned to the UK to launch the business, with the couple initially continuing in “day jobs” alongside their new venture.

In spring 2014 they began working in the business full-time and by the end of the year they had taken on their first employee and moved from a home office into commercial premises.

Over the past three years sales have increased by 157%, profits by almost 300% and the workforce from two to eight, an achievement recognised in the International Trade category of this year’s Queen’s Awards.

The Queen's Award presentation to Superyacht Tenders & Toys at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Woolverstone.
Picture: GREGG BROWNThe Queen's Award presentation to Superyacht Tenders & Toys at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, Woolverstone. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The award, including a engraved crystal bowl and a scroll signed by the Queen, was presented to Josh and Claire today by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, during a ceremony at the Royal Harwich Yacht Club, at Woolverstone, on the River Orwell.

Besides tenders, many of which are custom-built to order, the company also supplies inflatables, watersports gear, jet skis, deck equipment and performance clothing – in fact pretty much anything a superyacht owner who has (almost) everything could possible want.

The company has also branched out into fitting out new-build superyachts, which has contributed significantly to its overseas sales growth, and it is also now designing and manufacturing some products of its own.

Presenting the award, Lady Euston told Josh and Claire: “The excellence that you have demonstrated in achieving outstanding short term growth is essential to a thriving and dynamic economy here in Suffolk. This in turn provides jobs and all sorts of other benefits to all those who live in this county and today we all bask in your reflected glory.

“You have very good reason to take pride in what you have achieved. This year only 176 awards have been made across the whole of the United Kingdom. It is hugely competitive and we are all very, very proud of you. It is quite remarkable what you have achieved in the six years that you have been in existence.”

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