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‘Luxury electrical accessories manufacturer’ gets royal visit

Gary Stevens MD (left) invited HRH The Princess Royal to Focus SB’s reception to unveil a commemorative plaque to mark her visit. Image by: Alex Lloyd, Zoom Photography

Lifestyle

‘Luxury electrical accessories manufacturer’ gets royal visit

Princess Anne was in St Leonards on Sea this week to bestow a royal gong on the company.

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited British luxury electrical accessories manufacturer Focus SB on Wednesday 22nd November 2023 where she formally presented the managing director Gary Stevens with a King’s Award for Enterprise crystal trophy for the company’s achievement in the international trade category – East Sussex, United Kingdom.

Gary Stevens MD, Focus SB:

“It was an absolute honour to host HRH The Princess Royal at our factory in Hastings yesterday and to receive our King’s Award from her. I think she spoke to virtually every member of staff and was very knowledgeable. What a year for Focus SB and me personally, getting to meet The King, a Princess and a Duchess! We were delighted to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to Focus SB to present us with our King’s Awards for Enterprise for International Trade trophy in person. This visit rounds off one of the most exciting years in the company’s history.”

Princess Anne arrived at Focus SB’s main factory in St Leonards on Sea on 22nd November and was welcomed by Graham Peters, Vice Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex who presented her to distinguished guests before Gary Stevens, MD Focus SB, welcomed Her Royal Highness and invited her into the building where he presented The Princess Royal to some of  the company’s senior management team.

The Princess Royal was then invited on a tour of the factory during which she was given electrical accessories product manufacturing process demonstrations by each departmental group with demonstrations including both traditional and robot technology, hand finishing including spray painting and component hand assembly. Her Royal Highness greeted employees from each department, including apprentices and trainees from Little Gate Supported Employment, after which she proceeded to one end of the factory where all staff were assembled for a formal presentation of the King’s Award for Enterprise trophy to Mr Gary Stevens introduced by Mr Andrew Blackman, Lord-Lieutenant of East Sussex.

Gary Stevens MD, Focus SB:

“It’s a huge honour for an SME based in Hastings to have the recognition of a King’s Award, one of the most prestigious awards a company can be bestowed, but in addition to that, meeting The King at Buckingham Palace and then to have a visit from The Princess Royal is a huge boost and reward for every single employee at Focus SB, without whom, none of this would have been possible.

“I have been in manufacturing of electrical products all of my career. I started off as a 16-year-old technical apprentice and have worked my way through various businesses from technical to marketing, sales and general management and I have been an MD of two manufacturing companies, including currently with Focus SB.”

Focus SB® is a specialist in the design, development and hand finishing of premium electrical wiring accessories, blending traditional artisan techniques with the latest technology. The company made history in its industry in 2017 when the company became the first and only British and European manufacturer to gain CQC factory accreditation to supply and sell wiring accessories directly from Europe to China, also gaining full CCC licence for all of its products for the Chinese marketplace.

The latest honour has been the King’s Awards for Enterprise winner for excellence in International Trade in 2023. Focus SB commenced trading in 1979 and exports to Asia, the Middle East, Malta and West Africa. Projects include Aspen at Consort Place, Twenty Grosvenor Square, Belmond Cadogan Hotel, Corinthia London, Royal Lancaster London, Chelsea Barracks, No.1 Grosvenor Square, The Glebe, Hampton Court Palace, Windsor Castle, The Londoner Macao and Pudong Airport Satellite Terminal VIP lounges.

Gary Stevens MD, Focus SB:

“I am passionate about manufacturing and introducing more young people into manufacturing and encouraging them to take up apprenticeships, I would like to think that we are doing our bit here at Focus SB by working with local educational establishments, employment agencies and local charities to fulfil that goal, and that my own journey can act as a beacon for those young people who may be thinking about a career in manufacturing and what can be achieved. After all, manufacturing accounts for 2.6 million jobs in the UK and we are the 8th largest manufacturing country in the world!”

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