An Essex firm which puts the sparkle into top-performing cars is celebrating a royal accolade.

East Anglian Daily Times: Jennifer Tolhurst, Philip Tolhust (fourth from right) and the Ultimotive team Picture: ULTIMOTIVEJennifer Tolhurst, Philip Tolhust (fourth from right) and the Ultimotive team Picture: ULTIMOTIVE (Image: Ultimotive)

The Ultimotive team at Colchester was presented with the Queen's Award for International Trade after seeing a 300% rise in overseas sales between 2015 and 2017.

Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, Jennifer Tolhurst, paid an official visit to the manufacturer's headquarters to present the award, which was for excellence in international trade. It was one of only three Essex-based organisations to scoop the accolade this year.

MORE - Stowmarket firm bids to beat 'hard Brexit' port delays by securing 'trusted trader' statusThe firm, which was founded by managing director Andy Smith in 2003, develops, manufactures, markets and supplies innovative chemical cleaning products for the global automotive industry.

It supplies major brands under licence including Williams F1, MotoGP, Michelin, Turtle Wax Pro, Stayzon as well as its own label, Caiman.

East Anglian Daily Times: From left, Jennifer Tolhurst and Andy Smith Picture: ULTIMOTIVEFrom left, Jennifer Tolhurst and Andy Smith Picture: ULTIMOTIVE (Image: Ultimotive)

Mrs Tolhurst presented the grant of appointment, personally signed by Her Majesty The Queen, as well as an engraved Dartington crystal bowl.

She praised Ultimotive's notable successes, including increase in export sales of almost 300% in the period 2015 to 2017.

Guests at the ceremony including Colchester's deputy mayor, council officers from Braintree, Chelmsford, Essex and Colchester councils, St Helena's Hospice staff and private sector firms.

Mr Smith said it was thanks to the business's small team that Ultimotive had become one of the world's leading brands in car cleaning chemicals.

"As part of our success, we have extended our brand portfolio to include MotoGP and Turtle Wax Pro. As well as the Queen's Award, we have also been awarded 'The Innovation 50', Essex Business Awards 2016 and were finalists in the East Anglian Daily Times awards."

The company has just signed a 10-year contract with McLaren Racing to supply products worldwide, and last week, Halfords launched 16 of its products in more than 150 of its UK stores and is increasing that to all 400 stores by the end of September.

Colchester MP Will Quince MP congratulated the team. "This award is not only excellent news for the company, but also for Essex as it illustrates the quality of commercial manufacturing in this part of the UK," he said.

"The Queen's Award for Enterprise is a true accolade and is a perfect platform for the company to continue to grow internationally."

The Department for International Trade has chosen to use Ultimotive as a flagship exporter in its nationwide 'Exporting Is Great' campaign.