The Shire Bed Company has been declared the winner in the Best of British Category of The Furniture Awards 2022.
This is Shire's second major award of the season, after it won the Product of the Year award at the National Bed Federation’s annual awards ceremony in Telford last September.
The company, established in 1997, also marks its silver jubilee this year.
The Furniture Awards' Best of British Category covers businesses that manufacture in the UK, and demonstrate high standards of output with regard for their place in the local economy and industry.
The judges commented: “They care so much about what they’re doing, and are striving to do better by their stockists. Shire embodies what this award is all about.”
Shire's sales and marketing director, Fara Butt (pictured), who runs the company with husband (and operations director) Sajid, says: “This really is the ultimate accolade, and we are beyond thrilled with the award.
"We remain a family-run company, so are still relatively small compared to some of the industry’s ‘big hitters’. To take the biggest award in the industry after winning the NBF’s top awards represents a huge moment for us and all of the team at Shire Beds.”
For a quarter of a century, the Dewsbury company’s ongoing commitment to investment in its facilities, staff and machinery has ensured that Shire Beds remains ahead of the game.
In recent years, the business has invested over £2.5m in expanding and upgrading its facilities, including the purchase of top-of-the-range automated machinery to help speed up processes. The flow of the factory has also been re-engineered to improve throughput.
This has enabled the business to make significant inroads into the hospitality sector, where Shire, which also supplies beds to care homes, says it now accounts for 30% of all university beds.
Shire Beds started out in 1997 and has grown to become one of the most successful bedmaking businesses in West Yorkshire. It was originally the brainchild of Safdar Hussain, who had been in the bed manufacturing trade since the 1980s.
Today, Shire is headed up by Sajid and Fara Butt, and the company employs some 70 people.
Innovation remains at the forefront of the company’s ethos, along with a passion for its Yorkshire roots and origins. As well as emblazing Yorkshire slogans across its pink distribution fleet, Shire has a history of significant partnerships with the county’s sporting elite – Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Leeds Rhinos.
Fara concludes: “We are incredibly proud of what the company has achieved over the 25 years. Winning the two top awards this season is a huge affirmation of our products, and our brand in the furniture industry. It is an incredibly challenging time for business and for our customers, and we are responding by developing products that are award winning and commercial. We feel honoured the industry has recognised our efforts with this award.”
The Furniture Awards were launched in 2015 by Furniture News magazine in partnership with the January Furniture Show, and are now an integral part of the exhibition. This year's edition was sponsored by Forte and Orbital Vision.