A West Cumbrian firm is the only one in the county to be recognised with the UK’s highest business honour.

Createc, based in Cockermouth, has been named as a winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for innovation, 12 months after it won its first Queen’s Award for international trade.

It is only one of six companies in the UK to be a double award-winner in 2019.

The radiation imaging specialist, established in 2010, won the innovation category for its 3D device which maps nuclear facilities.

It has been used at high-profile nuclear sites including Fukushima, to assess the extent of the damage caused in 2011, when a tsunami following an earthquake disabled the power supply and cooling of three reactors at the site.

Called N-Visage, the patented technology identifies the source of radiation within nuclear decommissioning sites, as opposed to simply reading a radiation level.

It means contractors can plan work more effectively and manage some of the risks in their work, Createc said.

It also enables the running of virtual projects to identify issues before they happen.

Dr Matt Mellor, managing director of Createc, said: “We are a problem-solving company. Firms come to us with an issue and we look at how we can solve it.

“People can regard us as a ‘Sellafield’ firm but our major customers are actually in Japan and the US.

“We are constantly investing in innovation. This system is constantly evolving – we launched a drone-deployed version last year and further additions are planned.

“This award means a lot to us, especially with our overseas customers.

“It shows we are one of the companies that is recognised in the UK for its work and that we are innovative.”

It won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise international trade category last year for outstanding sales growth.

Createc is based on Derwent Mills and employs 28 people.