Bells of Lazonby has won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise – Innovation Award 2006 – for allergy-friendly bakery pro-ducts under its Ok Foods and Village Bakery brands.

The Cumbrian family firm was the only bakery company among 145 award winners, announced as the Queen celebrated her 80th birthday last week. Its gluten-, wheat- and dairy-free products were commended as an outstanding achievement in innovation.

MD Michael Bell told British Baker: “We are so delighted. We have worked tremendously hard over the past six years to reinvent our business. I don’t know any other bakery company which has ever won this award.” He added that he had never been as excited by the food industry and its diversity as he is at the moment.

Michael Bell will be presented with a handmade crystal bowl on behalf of The Queen, by a representative of Her Majesty, later this year. The Awards are made each year by The Queen, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is assisted by an Advisory Committee that includes representatives of government and the trade unions.

An Award is held for a period of five years from the date of its announcement. The only other bakery company to have won a Queen’s Award is Walkers Shortbread, which has won three Awards for Export Achievement.