A RUNCORN firm's investment in giving young people access to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics has been recognised with the Queen's award.

The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and the worshipful Mayor of Halton presented 2M with the award for Enterprise and International Trade during a visit to the firm's headquarters.

The honour, presented to founder Mottie Kessler MBE and Dr Maggie Kessler, co-owner, also recognises the significant Export growth by 2M.

When 2M was founded in 2004, it sold only into the UK. It now exports to more than 90 countries and includes seven subsidiaries worldwide.

Mottie Kessler MBE said: "Chemistry and science have no borders or boundaries, except those we set on ourselves.

"We are constantly seeking new opportunities to expand; we know we will continue to do so.

"We also know that you, our business partners and employees, will be there to support our growth and make it all happen."

The group is also celebrating 159 years since its first company, Banner Chemicals UK, was founded, and a year to the day since moving to the 2M House and dedicated STEM Centre.

In April this year, 2M was selected as Export Champion by the UK Government's Department for International Trade.

The Group has reached many new markets worldwide and credit DIT with much of its success in accessing overseas markets.

The Queen's Award presentation was attended by DIT Northern Powerhouse representatives, 2M’s employees from across the UK and Europe and customers and suppliers from the Chemical Industry.

2M’s logistic partners, Suttons Group, brought a demonstration deep-sea ISO-tank into the 2M HQ carpark, to the delight of guests, who were able to climb inside and learn about the safe transport of chemicals.

David Briggs, MBE, K.St.J, Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire told 2M's employees: "The Queen's Award is the highest business award which exists in this country.

"What you have done, together and as a team, is to win the UK’s highest business award. "

Dr. Maggie Kessler, export director and 2M co-owner said: "We give special thanks to the DIT, for the enduring partnership which has helped us grow our export and win the Queen's Award for International Trade.

"We join the DIT in sending a very strong and positive message to the UK Chemical Industry in the North of England."

Headquartered in the UK, the company has international presence in Benelux, Brazil, China, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Scandinavia. 2M export to over 90 countries.

It supplies a range of industries including personal-care, household and industrial hygiene cleaning, aerospace and aviation, coating, emission reduction, flavours and fragrances.