Model ship builders receive Queen's Enterprise Award

Premier Ship Models chief executive Rashid Lalloo and the Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss

Chief executive of Premier Ship Models Rashid Lalloo and the Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss, with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. - Credit: PSM

The makers of the world’s largest ship in a bottle have been honoured with the UK’s most prestigious business award for international trade.

Premier Ship Models Ltd, based in Potters Bar, has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise by Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss.

PSM develops, manufactures, markets and supplies model ships and yachts for the corporate, trade and consumer markets, and despite the global pandemic, the company saw continued international sales growth during the global lockdowns, when many consumers adopted model making as a pastime.

It lists some of the world's most famous international museums among its corporate clients including Oman’s Across the Ages Museum and the Danish Maritime Museum, the BBC, and the American Museum of Natural History.

The world's largest ship in a bottle, a model of HMS Victory, stood on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square after being commissioned by Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London. It was eventually sold to the National Maritime Museum, where it is now displayed, for approximately £300,000.

Chief executive Rashid Lalloo said: “The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is truly a coveted award for any business to win; and to be recognised for our contribution to international trade reflects the global appetite for our products. It is a real honour for us and gives a fresh impetus for our business.

"Personally, despite struggling to build even flat-pack furniture, I am in awe of the skills of our model making team and partners when I see the quality and detail of the completed models.

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"I was born in Mauritius and have always been interested in model ship building. The business was launched 20 years ago to the day of winning this award, and over this period we have had the opportunity to have met so many interesting people as well as experiencing some troubled waters along the way.

"I am fortunate that my background in shipping, trade and finance has helped steer us on the right path.”

Export sales account for about 80 per cent of the company’s business, reaching more than 85 countries around the world, and at a critical time for British exports, PSM’s global reach is still accelerating.