A Hartlepool businessman has spoken of his pride in receiving an MBE for the impact he has made to the local economy.
Alby Pattison, 59, the founder of international company Hart Biologicals, has received the award as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Alby has grown the business from a small start-up in 2003 to an award-winning medical diagnostics company which exports to 39 countries, with a team of 43 staff.
The company has already been recognised for its work, having received several awards including winning the Business Leader of the Year 2016 at Hartlepool’s Business Awards, which is supported by the Hartlepool Mail.
The MBE recognises Alby for his services to international trade and the economy in the Tees Valley and to charity.
He said: “I don’t know where the nomination has come from but I am very proud. For someone to recognise the business in that way is very nice.
“It is difficult to use superlatives to describe how I am feeling.
“It just came out of the blue, I was not expecting it.
“I was away on holiday and came back home to find the envelope. When I opened it I found that I had missed the responde deadline by a day, but I sent it back and everything was fine!”
Hart Biologicals manufactures reagents which are used to investigate the blood clotting function in patients taking blood thinning drugs such as warfarin, patients bleeding acutely during or after surgery or trauma, and those with blood coagulation disorders.
Alby is part of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership Board which aims to ensure business growth remains central to the Tees Valley’s ambitions for the economy.
A keen fundraiser, he has raised thousands of pounds for a range of local charities including Hartlepool and District Hospice, Get Kids Going and the Stroke Association.
Alby is also a Governor at High Tunstall and a trustee at Ad Astra Academy Trust and is an ambassador for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
He was recently awarded the Freedom of the Borough from Hartlepool council.
Alby added: “I like to think that the town would be quite proud of it, although I know other people in the town who have honours. I am very passionate about the town and a lot of the work that I do reflects that.”