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Speaking from Kenya during a charity visit, Connect Yorkshire EIR Hugh Facey, innovator, entrepreneur and chairman of Sheffield’s Gripple Ltd, told his staff that his OBE was down to their hard work and commitment over the years.

Hugh invented and launched the iconic Gripple wire joiner in 1989 and built a world-beating employee-owned company, which last year turned over £67m.

Gripple has four bases in Sheffield and operations in Chicago, Strasbourg and New Delhi. Multi award-winning Gripple, including five Queen’s Awards, now has 4000 customers, 650 employees and sold 600m wire joiners globally providing patented time-saving solutions within the construction, agriculture and viticulture markets.

Eighty-five per cent of production is exported to 80 countries with 25% of annual turnover from products less than five years old.

Hugh is also chairman of Sheffield’s reusable packaging innovator, Loadhog which last year achieved a record £9.6m turnover, representing 26.6% growth.

Hugh said on a video: “This is incredible news and a great honour. I have been thinking about what OBE means as well as officially. I concluded that I received it because of you – Our Brilliant Employees – to thank you for what you do day in day out to create wonderful companies. Pride may be a sin but you make me proud of what you do and what you will continue to do.”