A prominent Calderdale businessman has spoken of his pride after being included in the Queen's New Year's Honours list.
Steven Leigh, Head of Policy for the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, has been awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for Services to Local businesses and the Economy in Yorkshire.
A spokesperson for the group said: "Steven is a highly experienced and respected Businessman who has resided in West Yorkshire for almost 30 years.
"He has had a very impressive business career, including the flotation of his Company to a full listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1993, and running the PLC as Chief Executive.
"The Company was engaged in the manufacture and sales of pipeline corrosion-protection products for major oil and gas pipeline projects throughout the world, and it was the proud recipient of the Queens Award for Export Achievement.
"Steven made acquisitions and opened subsidiaries around the world, including in the UK, USA, Brazil, and Singapore, as well as successfully negotiating a manufacturing joint-venture in Langfang, China."
Steven said: "I am flattered and deeply honoured to have received this award. I am pleased to have been able to help the Chamber to play a very important part in helping businesses to develop in West Yorkshire, and to have provided a voice for businesses whilst lobbying over the years for Governments to introduce business-friendly policies in order to promote investment and economic growth. Chambers of Commerce throughout the UK are very important to the promotion and smooth-running of businesses.
"Chambers such as ours provide essential Export documentation and Certification Services, and our highly-skilled team facilitates the smooth operation of millions of Pounds worth of Export transactions - services which are likely to be critically important to the Country in the post-Brexit era.
"I would like to say a big thank-you for the many kind messages I have received since the announcement of this award.
"It’s been an amazing few days - humbling, flattering, and quite overwhelming. All the very generous congratulations I have received mean a great deal to me.
"I genuinely believe that It is the business community of the UK who deserve the congratulations. Businesses create real wealth and employment, and sit at the heart of local communities.
"Serving those businesses on behalf of the Chamber is a great honour in itself.”
At the Local Elections in May last year, Steven was elected to Calderdale Council as a Conservative Councillor for the Ryburn Ward.
He is the Shadow Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Developments and Chairman of the influential Place Scrutiny Board.
Scott Benton, Leader of the Conservative Group on Calderdale Council, said:
“I’m delighted for Steven and his family. This award recognises his immense contribution to business, through running significant International organisations, and more recently through his contributions to the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
"The award is greatly deserved and everybody in the local Conservative Party could not be happier for Steven at this very proud moment”.
Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley, said:
“Steven has had a fantastic career in business, and being a passionate advocate for business and investment in our region through his role at the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.
"He has made an instant impact as a Councillor in Ryburn following his election in May and I’m sure that this award for his work in the Calderdale and regional business community over many years is very well-deserved recognition of his efforts. I’m so pleased for him and his family”.