A Hartlepool businessman has received an MBE at Buckingham Palace for the impact he has made on the local economy.
Alby Pattison, the founder of international company Hart Biologicals, received the award as part of this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
At the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Alby was given his MBE by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
Alby has grown the business from a small start-up in 2003 to an award-winning medical diagnostics company.
It now exports to 39 countries with a team of 43 staff.
The MBE recognises Alby for his services to international trade and the economy in the Tees Valley and to charity.
Alby attended the event with his wife and family and has spoken to the Mail about how proud he is to have received an MBE.
He said: “It was a really nice day apart from the rain - it was pouring it down when we were having our photographs taken.
“It’s a very proud time to get an award like an MBE.
“It was totally unexpected when I found out I had been nominated for the award so the lead up to it has been quite an interesting time.
“When you got to the palace for the award it’s a very proud moment to rub shoulders with some really inspirational people.”
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.
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.
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.
Over the years, the keen fundraiser has raised thousands of pounds for a range of local charities including Alice House 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 has also been awarded the Freedom of the Borough by Hartlepool council.