Cornish manufacturer Gripsure appointed ‘Export Champion’ by government department

Mike Nicholson, Export Champion 2023

Leading Cornish manufacturer Gripsure is celebrating after being appointed an ‘Export Champion’ by the Department for International Trade (DIT), it has been announced today.

The UK’s leading non-slip decking company, based at Higher Bugle near St Austell, has been recognised as a successful exporter dedicated to helping British businesses sell their goods internationally. Gripsure produces anti-slip decking for homeowners and commercial customers in the UK and across the world from its base in Cornwall and employs 18 staff. The company, established in 2004 by managing director Mike Nicholson, is now one of the best-known decking brands in Europe.

It has a wholly-owned French company and a manufacturing partner in Japan and is planning to establish its non-slip decking brand in 12 more countries. Gripsure’s team regularly attends trade shows all over the world and is looking at further expansion with its products being manufactured and sold in North America, Australia, and Japan. Gripsure produces 250,000 linear metres of hand-crafted decking boards in Cornwall every year and is now recognised as a worldwide business and global brand.

Export Champions are an appointed community of business leaders that work in partnership with DIT to inspire and encourage more UK businesses to sell their goods and services to the world. The community is currently formed of over 400 business leaders across England, 30 of which are based in the South West. As volunteers, Export Champions often speak at or host export events, drawing on their expertise and sharing insight on their international sales experience to boost export capability.

Gripsure Managing Director, Mike Nicholson said: “Being made an ‘Export Champion’ by the Department for International Trade is a real honour and this achievement is testament to all the hard work put in by the whole team to make Gripsure the successful business that it is today. We are delighted to be part of this prestigious group of ‘Export Champions’ and to be able to offer advice, share connections and mentor others. We have benefitted greatly from the help of the DIT and expand into territories that might never have imagined when we were starting Gripsure eighteen years ago. We are now investing heavily in developing our product innovation and growing in new international markets.

We are dedicated to helping other companies explore the opportunities that international exporting provides and assist them to open up in new markets around the world. We want to share our experience and knowledge with others and show how we turned our exporting ambitions into reality.

DIT is the UK government department responsible for championing open and fair global trading that drives growth, creates better jobs and higher wages, and improves living standards in this country and around the world.

Paul Shand, DIT’s Head of Trade in the South West, said: “As influential voices in the business community, DIT Export Champions play a pivotal role in encouraging and inspiring more UK businesses to sell overseas. By sharing their experience and expertise, the network helps other businesses realise there is a global demand for their products or services and that whilst there might be some challenges ahead, there is help and support available.

Businesses find it truly inspirational to hear from successful exporters like Gripsure – their insight and practical advice help businesses make the most of their potential to sell world class goods and services internationally.

Gripsure will be exhibiting at a leading trade show Carrefour International du Bois in France in June and at the American Institute of Architects conference in Chicago later the same month.

With a fast-growing consumer market, Gripsure has supplied decking to high-profile customers, including Center Parcs, Edinburgh Zoo, the National Trust, and Kew Gardens. The company was recently awarded two internationally recognised ISO accreditations for quality management and environmental management systems. It also holds a number of certifications and memberships for its exceeding excellence in leading industry standards.

For information on how DIT can support your business to grow in new markets, visit