YEOVIL-BASED Double First Ltd celebrated its 2016 Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade.

The award is in recognition of its export growth since 2008, with an official presentation ceremony at Haynes International Motor Museum, Yeovil.

Double First was joined by the Queen’s Somerset representative, the Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset, Richard Case CBE, as well as the Deputy Mayor for Yeovil, Councillor Recardo, among other valued guests and employees to celebrate the momentous occasion.

Arriving and departing on a branded vintage double-decker bus, the Double First team were welcomed and praised by the company’s management team for their commitment to the company’s success.

Barry Anns, CEO at Double First, then graciously accepted the award - the highest official award available for UK businesses - from the Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset.

Double First Ltd – an education software company - was successful in its bid for a Queen’s Award due to its exceptional levels of export growth in recent years, most significantly in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions, with sales to international schools now comprising in excess of half of its total activity.

Barry Anns said: “The journey to our Queen’s Award has been a long one for Double First. 

"Starting as a fledgling developer of accounting software for the independent schools that were located close to our base here in Yeovil, we have grown strongly, especially in the last decade.

"In 2008 we made a strategic decision to adapt our management information system, Engage, for international schools and it now serves as a critical platform for leading schools in 33 countries, across many of the world’s most important educational markets.

“We have achieved that growth thanks to our strong, innovative and hardworking team.

"They care passionately about Engage and the way it enables independent schools to use information to deliver better educational outcomes.

"Today is, above all, a celebration for all the staff, the great people that work for Double First. Thank you for all you have done – and all you will continue to do.”

Deputy Lieutenant for Somerset, Richard Case CBE, added: “With my history leading large businesses local to this area, I personally know and understand the challenges that have to be faced and the effort that has to be put in to grow a company from humble beginnings to a global standing.

"Double First is a great example of how to do this successfully, and also of how important a hardworking, talented, but most importantly, passionate, team truly is.”

One of Double First’s original founders was also present yesterday, David Upton.

Mr Upton had for 10 years been a Headmaster of an independent school in Yeovil, before turning his skillset towards building an accounts management package for local independent schools in 1987.

David said: “I am absolutely over the moon with the award.

"The software that Double First provides today is what I’d never dreamed was technically possible.

!It fills me with pride to know that the company I founded has won the highest accolade for a UK business, and to even see a few familiar faces still around from my time at the company.”

Double First employs over 40 staff at its Yeovil operational base, which is where its products are developed, as well as a number of people in satellite offices around the globe.