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A Second Generation MBE for a family business guaranteed they were celebrating after Julie Lightfoot followed in her father’s footsteps by being awarded an MBE for her Services to International Trade in the Queen’s New Year honours list 2012.

Julie is Managing Director of Solar Solve Ltd, a well respected privately owned company located at the Port of Tyne, South Shields. The company is the world leading manufacturer of the SOLASOLV brand of anti glare roller screens for ships navigation bridge windows.

The award recognises Julie’s hard work and commitment during the last 20 years. After successfully working her way through the business, Julie has helped to steer the business through a period of exceptional growth. Over the last three years the company has increased its sales by 50% and exports are currently 86% of total turnover.

Based in the North East of England, the business was founded by John and Lilian Lightfoot in 1975 and began exporting in 1988 when they diversified into specialist products for the global marine market. In 2002, John Lightfoot, the company Chairman was awarded an MBE for his Services to International Trade and 10 years later his daughter receives the same honour.

Julie is committed to ensuring that Solar Solve continues to grow and prosper despite the current economic downturn, and to diversify into new market sectors. Julie is a proud British business woman, committed to ensuring that SOLASOLV products are manufactured in the UK, and specifically within North East England.

In 2010 the company celebrated its 35 th Anniversary and also enjoyed its best year ever of trading. 2011 has proven to be a very good year too. The company has recently made a significant investment in marketing distribution facilities and Julie expects this investment to bear fruit during 2012.

Julie commented, “It was a real surprise and of course a great honour to be nominated for an MBE, particularly as I am following in my father’s footsteps. Whilst the award has been given to me personally, it is a testimony to all of the employees at Solar Solve.”

“Without such a great team we would not be so successful, so all of the team deserve a share in this recognition. I am looking forward to the next stage in our company’s growth and will continue to fly the flag for British Exports.”

Top Image – Julie Lightfoot, Managing Director of Solar Solve Ltd. has been awarded an MBE
in the Queen’s New Year honours list 2012, for Services to International Trade.

Julie Lightfoot