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The Corporation

Posted: 05/01/16

Royal recognition for governors

West Nottinghamshire College has welcomed the news that governors Malcolm Hall and Martin Rigley have been made MBEs in the 2016 New Year’s Honours.

Malcolm Hall MBE (left) and Martin Rigley MBE (right)

Malcolm, the managing director of Mansfield-based Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, has been rewarded for services to business as part of the Queen’s honouring of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.

In a further boost, it was announced that Martin Rigley, vice-chair of governors at college-sponsored Vision Studio School, has also received an MBE for services to business and innovation.

College principal and chief executive, Dame Asha Khemka, who also chairs the studio school’s governing body, said: “Huge congratulations to both Malcolm and Martin on these wonderful and well-earned achievements. Both have made significant contributions to the business communities of Mansfield and Ashfield over a number of years and their royal recognition is very much deserved."

“It’s a privilege to have Malcolm and Martin as governors – roles to which they generously devote much time to ensuring we provide students with the very best educational opportunities – and I know their fellow governors are equally proud of their success."

Malcolm started Hall-Fast in 2006 in his back bedroom and it now has over 15,000 customers in 95 countries, 475 suppliers and over 200,000 products within its standard ranges. The company has won 25 major business awards and has plans to turn over £4 million within the next few years.

Its online strategy for exports and business growth has been held up as an example of best practice by the government, UK Trade & Investment and the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking about the accolade, Malcolm said: “I’d known about this since 24 November and keeping it a secret has been tremendously difficult!

‘’I am immensely proud and humbled to receive this honour; it is not something that I could ever have imagined receiving as a young boy growing up. It’s an honour that I believe comes with responsibility and hopefully it can be used to inspire youngsters to be the best that they can be.”

Malcolm is also a governor of Vision Studio School and acts as a figurehead ambassador for entrepreneurialism for the Mansfield and Ashfield area. 

He added: “I left school with very few qualifications and have learnt in a different way – that’s why I’m proud to serve both the college and studio school as a governor because some young people need to be inspired and have their aspirations raised. And being a governor enables me to do that.”

Martin, the managing director of Sutton-in-Ashfield firm Lindhurst Engineering, began his career as a student apprentice electrical engineer with British Coal. He left in 1994 to join the family business, Lindhurst – a £4 million turnover company that provides engineering services to the UK coal mining industry and spans sectors including utilities, energy, transport, construction, original equipment manufacturers, food and drink, and bio science.

Chartered engineer Martin has a keen interest in promoting British engineering excellence and steering the agenda for developing technical skills within the sector. He is chair of the N2 Employment and Skills Board and a member of both the CBI East Midlands Regional Council and the CBI National Enterprise Forum.

Commenting on his MBE, Martin said: “I found out about the award at the end of November, which was a complete surprise as I had no idea I was being considered. To say I was humbled is an understatement.

“I have a strong belief in the untapped potential of the myriad of STEM-based small and medium-sized enterprises both locally and nationally, so whenever I get chance to share our experience as to how we use innovation to drive our business forward, I do so.

“This has resulted in me making numerous presentations at both trade body, university and school level, as well as being a board member on sector support groups, trade bodies, skills groups, and at LEP level.

“I am passionate about getting young people interested in the exciting opportunities a career in engineering and manufacturing presents. I was fortunate enough that, more than 30 years ago, someone inspired me and gave me the opportunity to work in this sector – so when I have the opportunity inspire the next generation, I seize it.

“Being a governor of Vision Studio School gives me an ideal platform to interface with young people who have already identified that a career in engineering and manufacturing is right for them.”