Crittall, Britain’s leading steel window manufacturer, received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in recognition of its export achievements in the notoriously difficult American market where the Essex-based company has seen the value of its sales increase significantly over recent years.
Crittall is now the second largest supplier of steel windows in the United States having re-built its entire distribution network there in just six years.
“We feel proud and honoured to be recognised by the Queen’s Award for our work and success in the US market,” said Crittall Windows Managing Director John Pyatt. “America can be seen as one of the hardest markets to compete in and this accolade is the culmination of Crittall’s long history showing how a professionally-managed private company with an excellent product, a strong brand and an enthusiastic workforce can take on the Americans at their own game.”
The company dates back to 1849 and in 2004 Crittall Windows underwent a management buyout led by Mr Pyatt. Then, three years later, Crittall Windows moved to new state-of-the-art premises in Witham, Essex from its factory in Braintree.
On both sides of the Atlantic its products are being specified in high quality public and private sector buildings. These include the US ‘Ivy League’ universities of Princeton and Yale, the prestigious 300 Central Park West apartment block in New York (right), the University of Sussex, Grade 2-listed Lichfield Court flats in Richmond-upon-Thames, and the restored Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. The firm is especially strong in the heritage market in both countries.
In order to win a Queen’s Award, companies also have to demonstrate high quality business practices in employee relations, environmental policy, health and safety matters, and its relationship with the local community. In all these matters Crittall Windows has scored very highly. Its workforce of around 200 is drawn from its local area and one in ten employees have been with the firm for more than 40 years.