Published: March 3, 2022 | Updated: March 4, 2022

Pride of Dorset: Queen’s Award winner praised by Lord-Lieutenant for “conquering the world”

Adrian Thompson, Founder, imageHOLDERS, receives the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade crystal trophy from Angus Campbell, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset. Picture: Dorset Biz News.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

“You’ve achieved something that is pretty amazing.”

The words of Angus Campbell, Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, as he officially presented imageHOLDERS with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade.

The Ferndown-based company was one of just 205 businesses in the UK – and the only one in Dorset – to receive the coveted award and royal seal of approval in 2021.

Addressing staff during a tour of imageHOLDERS’ premises on the Ferndown Industrial Estate, Mr Campbell said the business should be very proud of its achievement.

He added: “These awards are much sought-after in the world of commerce and are recognised internationally as indicating excellence.

“You’ve shown yourself to be one of the leaders in your field.

”You are conquering the world and ahead of the game with your innovative approach.

“You have been recognised across the country and the world and I congratulate you on your success.”

imageHOLDERS makes interactive touch screens and computer kiosks.

The company has a £5.6m annual turnover with around 70 per cent of sales going overseas.

It employs 44 people in Dorset – up from 24 in 2020 – and also has offices in Vancouver, Canada, and Taiwan.

Founder Adrian Thompson’s first taste of business was 30 years ago when he travelled down from his native North-East and set up a stall in London’s Camden Market selling candlesticks.

He later went on to design and develop gift and home products.

imageHOLDERS was incorporated in 2002 but it was only in 2014 that the business began to take off following the increasing popularity of tablets, including Apple’s iPad.

Now its range of iPad, tablet and computer kiosks and enclosures and mPOS (mobile point of sale) solutions are helping some of the world’s largest enterprises implement tablet technology in a number of environments.

The company supports clients in a variety of industry sectors including hospitality, retail, leisure, automotive, casino, corporate and healthcare.

Customers include Amazon, Bentley, Legoland, Hard Rock Café, Hilton, McDonald’s, Mercedes-Benz, Nasa and the NHS.

Its latest innovation – unveiled last August in response to the global pandemic  – is a gesture controlled touchless kiosk.

Nine of the team at Ferndown work on design and innovation while eight are employed in sales.

Adrian, pictured left, who handed over the CEO role to Dirk Hendrickx last November as part of the company’s growth plans, said the presentation of the Queen’s Award was a “wonderful day and a wonderful achievement”.

He added: “It is a great honour to receive this, the most prestigious business award you can win in the UK.

“It’s a proud moment and a testament to the whole team.

“Dorset is an amazing place to live, and work, in the UK.

“How lucky and fortunate we are.”

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are given for outstanding achievement in:

  • innovation
  • international trade
  • sustainable development
  • promoting opportunity (through social mobility)

The winners pass a robust assessment process, judged by senior officials in Whitehall and experts from industry, academia and the third sector.

On that basis, each year the winners of The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are recommended by the Prime Minister.

Winners are permitted to fly The Queen’s Awards flag at their main office and use the emblem on their marketing materials.

Winners are also given a Grant of Appointment (an official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy.

The awards are valid for five years.

The 2022 winners will be announced next month.