MBESteven Leigh, head of policy at Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, formally received his MBE last week for his outstanding commitment to economic development, and passion for serving the local business community for the past thirteen years.

The award demonstrates royal recognition for individuals who go above and beyond to serve the country and was presented to Steven by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace in the presence of his wife, Linda, and two children, Daniel and Deborah.

Steven joined the Chamber back in 2006 and has lived in Yorkshire for over 30 years. He is a highly respected and successful businessman and in 1993, his multi-million-pound turnover company achieved a full listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Since joining the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce as head of policy and representation, Steven has featured as the Chamber’s spokesperson and become widely known as ‘the voice of business’ across the Halifax, Huddersfield and Wakefield districts, having appeared on local and national TV, radio and in the press. His depth of experience and knowledge has resulted in Steven being a regular contributor to regional media on a range of business topics, and he sits on the judging panels for numerous regional business awards.

Following his acceptance of his MBE, Steven commented: “I am deeply honoured to have received this award. The Chamber plays a very important role in helping businesses develop in West Yorkshire, I am pleased to be a part of it and to have provided a voice for businesses whilst lobbying over the years for Government’s to introduce business-friendly policies aimed at promoting investment and economic growth.

“I accept this award on behalf of all my Chamber of Commerce colleagues here in Yorkshire and throughout the UK – and of course with all the thousands of member businesses we represent. SME’s provide around 50% of employment in the UK and 33% of GDP, and they are the lifeblood of the economy.”

“I would like to say a big thank-you for the many kind messages I have received regarding this award – they have been humbling, flattering, and quite overwhelming.”

Mid Yorkshire Chamber managing director Martin Hathaway added: “We want to extend a huge congratulations to Steven on this award. Steven plays a pivotal role in helping the Chamber gain a better understanding of the business landscape in region, which in turn allows us to reach out, support and advise businesses.”

Director-General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Dr Adam Marshall also commented: “Heartfelt congratulations from all at the BCC on the news of Steven’s MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. I am delighted to see his hard work and passion over the years has been recognised.”