Birmingham family firm wins £11m military medals deal

Image caption,
Worcestershire Medal Service managing director Phil McDermott said he was "thrilled"

A family-run firm has won an £11m contract to produce military medals.

Worcestershire Medal Service (WMS) in Birmingham will make every military medal, award and badge except the Victoria Cross under the two-year deal.

The contract, worth about 40,000 medals a year according to the business, will secure jobs for its 50-strong workforce in the Jewellery Quarter.

WMS, which started with £120 worth of stock in 1988, beat The Royal Mint to secure the deal.

The Victoria Cross is made by the London jewellers, Hancocks.

WMS has already made the Operation Shader medal, the operational service medal for Iraq and Syria.

The first of these were handed out last week to British personnel.

Managing director Phil McDermott, who started WMS 30 years ago, said: "It was an exciting moment for us, something that I didn't believe would ever happen. I'm thrilled it has."

The company, which also has a site in Bromsgrove, has also previously worked on the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Ebola Medal and the Elizabeth Cross.

Image caption,
The firm has already produced the operational service medal for Iraq and Syria

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Medals symbolise the bravery, courage, and dedication of our service personnel.

"I am delighted that we have awarded this contract to a family-run business in the West Midlands, supporting local jobs, helping to develop specialist skills and manufacturing, and boosting the local economy."

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