A tiny Birmingham firm has beaten off worldwide competition to win the UK’s biggest medals contract since the First World War – to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Jewellery Quarter-based Gladman and Norman have been awarded the £7 million order to supply medals to the armed forces, emergency services, prison staff and others celebrating next year’s anniversary of the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
The Brummie firm will work with two other Jewellery Quarter companies – Toye, Kenning and Spencer and Thomas Fattorini – to supply 450,000 medals from February 6 next year, the anniversary of the Queen’s accession.
The contract will see every medal produced for the Queen’s Jubilee manufactured in the Jewellery Quarter, leaving rivals across the world, including the Royal Mint, out in the cold.
Gladman and Norman owner Phil McDermott, who set up the company with just £120 in 1988, said: “These medals will be worn from everyone from the Duke of Edinburgh down to the youngest soldier in the Army. It’s a fabulous story for the Jewellery Quarter.
“All the medals, the packaging and the ribbons will be made in the West Midlands and all the manufacturing will be in the Jewellery Quarter.
“There was competition from overseas and we would have been up against the Royal Mint, who are massive. This is real David and Goliath stuff; it’s the biggest medals contract that has been put out by the Government since the end of the First World War.
“It’s brilliant for Birmingham and for the Jewellery Quarter in particular. This has secured the jobs of the people here for the foreseeable future.
“I believe the medals should be made in the UK for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and I can’t think of a better place than the Jewellery Quarter.”
Surviving holders of the Victoria Cross and George Cross and members of the Royal Household will also be eligible for the Diamond Jubilee medal.
Gladman and Norman were awarded a Royal Warrant in January 2008.