'Tremendous year' for East Yorkshire security firm Heald topped with MBE

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 3 Jan 2018

A “tremendous year” for East Yorkshire security technology firm Heald has been topped off with an MBE for managing director Debbie Heald.

The family firm based in Hornsea, has seen a successful 2017, with revenues increasing by 25 per cent as well as scoring a number of major new contracts overseas.

The latest major contract for the firm, which develops innovative barriers and systems to protect against terrorism and hostile vehicles, is for the city of New Orleans to protect Mardi Gras attendees.

2017 ended with even more positive news as the managing director was recognised with an MBE(Member of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for her services to STEM and export.

Heald Ltd, who manufacture hostile vehicle mitigation systems, protect some of the worlds most high profile locations including embassies, airports and shopping areas with their award-winning road blockers and bollards.

Rod Heald and a Commander roadblocker

She says the award came as a huge surprise, and has topped what has been a “tremendous year” for the growing Hornsea business.

“I was absolutely gobsmacked when I found out. I got a letter a few weeks ago and I thought it might have been one of those scam letters,” Debbie Heald said.

“The company has made significant advances with exports, which I think has been recognised, and I think it was also being a woman in this sort of industry.

“It’s really great for the business at the moment. We have really pushed the company over the last few years and have been able to get this steady growth.

“We had a young family and developed the business, but now we’ve really been growing much faster, all over the world, and it’s been tremendous.”

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She says the business has particularly grown over the past year in the export market, gaining more business in the USA.

As well as a new contract to supply securing equipment to New Orleans, has also installed its shallow mount road-blocker, the Raptor, outside the UN Building in New York.

Manufacturing taking place at Heald Ltd

Mrs Heald said: “We just secured an order to supply New Orleans with our new security bollards, which will be all around the main areas of ‘party central’.

“We are constantly innovating, and that is down to my partner Rod, who is the real inventor of the operation. Each year we have been putting out one new product, but next we are really developing and are going to introduce more than that.

“We already had a good business base in the Middle East, in Australia, in Europe, so it is great to break into that American market.”

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The firm recently launched a range of electro-mechanical and manual products which spans across the Matador range, which is the world’s first IWA 14-1 crash tested surface mount bollard system which can halt a 7.2 tonne truck travelling at 40 mph.

Heald, which manufactures all its products in the UK, says the growth will also support the firm’s plans to recruit for a range of roles including apprenticeships throughout the course of 2018.

Commenting on the plans, she said “It has been a tremendous year for Heald and we are proud that our products have been chosen to secure both buildings and people from the heightened risk of vehicle attacks.

“With this comes the opportunity for us to offer even more real career prospects for people in the local area”.

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