On Friday 2nd May 2014 employees at the Barden Corporation were celebrating after an evening at The Herald Business Awards to be proud of.

The Plymouth based bearing manufacturer won the Large Business of the Year Award, was runner up in both the Manufacturing Business of the Year and International Trade Award categories and the company’s former managing director, Graham Stirling was afforded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award ceremony, which was held at Boringdon Park Golf Club, is one of the highlights of the year for Plymouth’s business leaders. It recognises the success of the city’s business community and celebrates the hard work that is helping to define the future of Plymouth.

The Large Business of the Year Award is presented to the Plymouth based business that employs over 150 people, that can demonstrate significant achievements during the past year through increasing sales, developing export opportunities, providing employment to local people or making significant investment towards expansion.

The Barden Corporation is recognised for its super precision bearing systems. For more than 60 years, the company has built on its manufacturing knowledge and its ability to design bespoke engineering solutions for a variety of applications including aerospace, defence, vacuum pumps, medical instruments and high performance machine tools.

The Barden Corporation has seen a huge increase in sales over the last three years with a 31% increase from £35 million in 2010 to £46 million in 2013.

This increase in sales has been due to constant new product development and diversification as well as investment allowing improvements in competence and capacity. This growth in business means that the company now employs over 450 people in Plymouth and its commitment to investment in people and efforts to encourage young people into engineering through Apprenticeships has led to the company holding a National Investors in People Award for 20 years.

Managing director Ian Burnage, who collected the award on the night, is delighted that The Barden Corporation has been recognised as being a key player in the city. Ian said: “I am so pleased that we have been presented with this award and extremely proud of what we, at The Barden Corporation, have achieved over the past few years. We are generally quite a modest company and don’t shout about our achievements, we all just keep our heads down and get on with working hard but receiving this award is an excellent opportunity to say a big well done and thank you to all our employees and it lets them know that all their hard work is very much appreciated. I would also like to congratulate Graham on his Lifetime Achievement Award, he is extremely deserving and I feel that I am very lucky to be building on the hard work and dedication that Graham put in to make The Barden Corporation the success that it is today.”

Graham said: “I had the pleasure of leading the team at The Barden Corporation for 28 years and helped to establish the company as a world leader in the super precision bearing industry. The success of any business is down to the quality and loyalty of their employees and this has certainly been the case at The Barden Corporation. This is indeed an award for everyone in the business and they richly deserve it.”