A NORTH-EAST air filter company has received a top industry award.

Walker Filtration, in Washington, Wearside, picked up a Queen's Award for Enterprise in International Trade from Lord-Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Nigel Sherlock OBE.

The family firm, which employs 220 workers, exports air filters and dryers to remove particles, oil aerosols and water vapour from compressed air so it can be used in the automotive food and drink industries.

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Founded by company chairman Brian Walker, MBE, and his wife, Carol, in 1983, they were succeeded by daughter, Lianne, who became group general manager in 2005.

It now has a turnover of £25m and exports about 90 per cent of its products to 69 countries, with overseas bases in Melbourne, Australia, and Pennsylvania, in the US.

The award was the company's fourth Queen's Award accolade, and Lianne Walker MBE, the group general manager, said she was delighted with their success.

She said: “This award is down to the commitment, hard work and teamwork of staff.

“Our levels of export are outstanding for the size of our operation and we are constantly seeking new overseas markets.”