Desborough shoemakers receive prestigious Queen’s business award

From L-R: William Church, David Laing, and Jonathan Church with the award.
From L-R: William Church, David Laing, and Jonathan Church with the award.
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A Desborough shoemakers has been awarded with one of the highest accolades in British business.

Joseph Cheaney was awarded a prestigious Queen’s Award by Northamptonshire’s Lord Lieutenant David Laing last week.

The company has been making traditional English shoes in the county since 1886 and was bought out by cousins Jonathan and William Church in 2009.

The fifth-generation shoemakers have turned around the company’s fortunes and more than doubled their turnover since taking over.

Joint managing director Jonathan Church said: “I am delighted to announce that Joseph Cheaney has been honoured with one of the highest awards for British business, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.”

“It’s a great accolade to receive the award in 2016; a year that not only celebrates the 90th birthday of the Queen, but also the 130th anniversary of our company.

“For us the award also demonstrates how quality products ‘Made in England’ are recognised the world over.”

At the time of the buyout Cheaney was best known in the trade as a contract manufacturer – producing shoes for other brands.

But the cousins gave it a new lease of life to build the brand.

Fellow joint managing director William Church said: “We believed that we could build the Cheaney brand up and give it a new lease of life.

“It had all the right ingredients, a strong heritage, its own UK factory and a skilled local workforce.

“Being independent gave us the opportunity to raise the profile of Cheaney, as a brand in its own right, both in the UK and internationally.”