New Year’s honour for boss of innovative Peterborough company

The boss of an innovative Peterborough company that is transforming mass manufacturing has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

By Paul Grinnell
Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:30 pm
HRH The Princess Royal visiting Photocentric at Oxney Road, Peterborough EMN-210920-142643009
HRH The Princess Royal visiting Photocentric at Oxney Road, Peterborough EMN-210920-142643009

Paul Holt, managing director of 3D printing specialists Photocentric, based in Oxney Road, has been recognised by the Queen with the award of an MBE for his contribution to international trade as well as his commitment to education.

The honour is also in tribute to the immense contribution of Mr Holt and his company to help overcome a dire shortage of personal protective equipment for frontline health workers at the start of the Covid-19 health crisis.

The award citation states that the MBE is for ‘services to International Trade, to Education, and to the UK’s PPE Supply Chain.’

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Peterborough Telegraph Business Excellence Awards 2021. Business Person of the Year winner Paul Holt EMN-211120-003435009

Mr Holt said: “I have accepted the award but I feel many other people deserve one more than me.

“I would prefer to receive future recognition for changing the way the world manufactures.”

Over the last 20 years, Mr Holt, who was named as Peterborough’s business person of the year at the Peterborough Telegraph Business Excellence Awards last month, has seen Photocentric grow from a fledgling business based in Peterborough Workspace, in Woodston, to a triple Queen’s Award-winning company employing about 200 staff.

The company will also be at heart of future innovation and skills development in Peterborough with a £3 million investment in a research and development centre at the city’s new university.

Photocentric, which is pioneering the use of digital 3D printing to mass manufacture items in various sectors from eyecare, dentistry to footwear and automotive, makes 50 per cent of its turnover from international trade.

It invests £1 million plus a year in research and development and recently created 100 jobs after winning a Government contract to mass manufacture two million protective face shields for health workers.

It has manufactured some 7.6 million items of protective gear for health workers in hospitals and health centres.

Mr Holt, who is also a director at Peterborough Workspace, mentoring the city’s entrepreneurs of the future, said: “I would prefer to receive future recognition for changing the way world manufactures in the coming year with what we achieve in the new research and development building here in Peterborough.

“If we do what I expect then it is akin to the fourth industrial revolution starting here.”

Other Honours winners in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire:


Professor James Diggle. Emeritus Professor of Greek and Latin, University of Cambridge. For services to Classical Scholarship. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Mark Richard Lloyd. Chief Executive, Local Government Association. For services to Local Government and to Charity. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)


Francis Butterfill. Head of Integrated Services, Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group. For services to the Royal Air Force. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Dr Ian William Campbell. Lately Interim Executive Chair, Innovate UK. For services to Innovation. (Spaldwick, Cambridgeshire)

Dr Ruth Eleanor March. Senior Vice President, Precision Medicine and Biosamples, AstraZeneca. For services to UK Science and the COVID-19 response. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Catherine Lynne McClure. Director, Cambridge Mathematics. For services to Education. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Sonia Walsh. Governor, H.M. Prison Wayland. For services to H.M. Prison and Probation Service. (Ely, Cambridgeshire)


Lynne Radbone. Principal Paediatric Dietitian, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. For services to Sick and Premature Babies. (Huntington, Cambridgeshire)

Lorna Havard Weston. Managing Director, Thera East Anglia. For services to People with Learning Disabilities. (Wimblington, Cambridgeshire)


John Douglas Gorée. Lately Operations Manager, Ambient Support. For services to the Disabled in Lincolnshire and the Midlands. (Spalding, Lincolnshire)

Elizabeth Lenten. For services to Music in Lincolnshire. (Spalding, Lincolnshire)

Lesley Margaret Rawlinson. Laboratory Manager, Imperial College London. For services to the Covid-19 Response. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

Irene Mary Richards. For voluntary service to Safeguarding and to the community in the London Borough of Enfield. (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)