Brothers Brian and Alan Stannah have been awarded MBEs in recognition of their services to British manufacturing.
As Stannah celebrates its 150th year in business as a manufacturer and supplier of lifting products, joint chairmen, Brian and Alan today received their awards from The Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
With complimentary sales and engineering experience, the brothers – who have worked together for more than 55 years – were the masterminds behind Stannah’s most famed product; the stairlift. Together they worked tirelessly to produce and launch the stairlift in the 1970s, going on to sell over 600,000 worldwide ever since. From there, Brian and Alan developed the Maxilift, an innovative range of passenger lifts which quickly became extremely popular and a core product for the business.
Brian Stannah joined the family business in 1958, followed by his younger brother Alan in 1961. The early 1960s were a difficult time for the business, but the brothers, together, with their father Leslie worked hard to turn the company’s fortunes around, transforming Stannah into a household name.
The joint chairmen have committed their professional lives to excellence and innovation in British engineering and manufacturing, with every single Stannah stairlift chair and carriage designed and manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Andover, Hampshire. The Stannah business has long been respected in the industry for its quality engineering and strong customer service, something that the brothers played a significant role in developing, firstly with the British Standards Institute (BSI) and later the International Standards Organisation (ISO).
Over 50 years Brian and Alan have built a business that now turns over in excess of £200 million a year and has generated over £3.5 billion of turnover under their stewardship. Stannah employs almost 2,000 people, including more than 700 staff based in Andover. The business creates 10-15 apprenticeships every year, a tradition firmly supported by Brian and Alan who both benefited from apprenticeships in their youth. Today, Stannah operates in 40 countries worldwide, and with the support of the fifth generation of the family, is widely regarded as a pioneering, sustainable and vibrant business.
In parallel to their professional endeavours, the brothers have also spent the past 50 years supporting local charities. They have donated their time and considerable sums to causes such as Icknield Special School in Andover, Alton College’s Building futures Fundraising Appeal, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, Riding for the Disabled and The Prince’s Trust.
Speaking after receiving their prestigious awards at Buckingham Palace, Brian and Alan Stannah commented: “We are deeply humbled to be the recipients of such an honour. A steadfast commitment to innovation, quality and customer service has been the guiding principles of our family business and are as relevant today as they were when we joined the business. Our hard working and loyal colleagues have been integral to upholding these values over the years, and to them we are truly grateful.”
Jon Stannah, managing director of Stannah and Brian’s son, added: “Stannah this year celebrates its landmark 150th year thanks to the entrepreneurialism and dedication of our Joint Chairmen, Brian and Alan. Their MBEs are richly deserved and we are tremendously proud of their incredible achievements, both today and over the course of their 50 years with the business.”