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The Corporation

Posted: 05/01/16

Royal recognition for school governors

Vision Studio School has welcomed the news that governors Martin Rigley and Malcolm Hall have been made MBEs in the 2016 New Year’s Honours.

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

Martin, the managing director of Sutton-in-Ashfield firm Lindhurst Engineering, has received the honour for services to business and innovation, and Malcolm, managing director of Mansfield-based Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, is rewarded for services to business as part of the Queen’s honouring of a wide range of extraordinary people across the UK.

Chair of governors Dame Asha Khemka said: “Huge congratulations to both Martin and Malcolm 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 Martin and Malcolm 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.”

Martin’s career began with British Coal as a student apprentice electrical engineer – leaving after 15 years to join the family business, Lindhurst Engineering, in 1994. The £4 million turnover company provides engineering services to the UK coal mining industry and spans a broad range of 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.

Speaking about the accolade, Martin – who is the studio school's vice-chair of governors – 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.

“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 and provide some industry context to their studies.”

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.

Reflecting on his MBE, 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 the studio school’s sponsor, West Nottinghamshire College, 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 studio school and the college 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.”