History: Firm grew fast from offering home-grown fishing fleet support to global engineering solutions
Ace Winches was founded at Montbletton, near Banff, in 1993 by chief executive Alfie Cheyne and his wife, Valerie.
It was set up as a small engineering repair workshop to carry out servicing and repairs for the Scottish fishing fleet.
The firm grew quickly. It had 10 employees in 18 months and made a breakthrough into the manufacture of deck machinery, with a winch built for the Scottish Fisheries Marine Laboratory vessel Scotia.
Decline in the fishing industry from 2000 brought a new set of challenges and prompted a change in direction into new markets, such as oil and gas, offshore marine and more recently renewables.
To date, the company has delivered engineered deck services for more than 2,500 projects in 50-plus countries.
As well as two Queen’s Awards, the firm and its CEO have won a string of honours over the years.
There were celebrations for Mr Cheyne and his workforce in September 2013, when the firm officially opened its new headquarters at Towie Barclay Works, near Turriff, after an investment of about £11million.
A highlight was a visit by the Princess Royal to open the site and present the company with its second Queen’s Award.