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Home » MKM Co-Founder David Kilburn Made CBE In King’s Birthday Honours

MKM Co-Founder David Kilburn Made CBE In King’s Birthday Honours

The co-founder of one of Hull’s largest businesses has been recognised in the inaugural King’s Birthday Honours.

David Kilburn’s service to the construction industry, and to charity, has seen him made a CBE in the first list of the new reign.

Together with close pal Peter Murray he founded MKM Building Supplies back in 1995, taking it from a single city unit and a small team to what is now a £818 million turnover operation with more than 100 builders’ merchants branches nationwide. Still headquartered in Hull, and having been subject to two buy-outs, the success gave him a platform to help influence other businesses, playing a crucial role in the formation of local mentor organisation For Entrepreneurs Only, itself royally recognised in recent years.

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Commander of the Order of the British Empire is the highest ranking award below a knighthood, given for having “a conspicuous leading role in regional affairs through achievement or service to the community, or a highly distinguished, innovative contribution in his or her area of activity,”.

Mr Kilburn said: “It is a very moving experience, and I think of all the people who have contributed to what has been achieved. It is very humbling, that’s how I feel about it, and I’m very happy to receive it.

“This sort of recognition does not happen without the great people who have worked with us, the talent. I have been very lucky as without the support from lots of people, my wife Linda, and lots of others, it wouldn’t have been possible. It has been a very interesting journey and it is a very humbling experience.”

He said he CBE was for them as much as it was for him.

David Kilburn, right, as founding director, at the 2021 presentation of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to For Entrepreneurs Only, with Jim Dick OBE, then Lord Lieutenant of East Yorkshire, third left, Andrew Horncastle MBE, left, then chair, and Jan Brumby, chief executive. (Image: Andrew Crozier, Insight Photography) And the recognition from King Charles, with investiture to follow, comes as Mr Kilburn clocks up 60 years working in the industry – now in an ambassadorial role – with Bain Capital the majority shareholder in MKM.

Born in South Cave, he went to school in Willerby and then Marist College, the former Roman Catholic boys’ grammar school on Cottingham Road. He left at 16, having had “plenty of the stick,” working at Hull Savings Bank before entering the construction trade with Crossley Builders Merchants, then Graham and Harcros.

While with the latter at a branch in Grimsby, he was made redundant, prompting the decision to set out on his own with his “very good friend”.

Initial plans for one site quickly changed, with the model of having branch directors invested in the business’s success with a 25 per cent stake held up as a key differentiator, ensuring quality of service and care.

This weekend sees a first anniversary of the latest evolution, MKM Home – a heavily invested showroom set-up aimed at householders, having focused on trade for more than a quarter of a century. Recently Mr Kilburn joined the board of Hull KR, alongside Paul Sewell OBE, while the business has put its name to the home of his beloved Hull City, as well as Hull FC, supporting the place he is proud to call home.

The Children’s House directors Theresa Ellerby, left and Sylvia Tiffney, right. Both now have MBEs. (Image: Submitted photo) MBE for nursery director Theresa Ellerby has been awarded an MBE for services to children in North East Lincolnshire.

Theresa, joint owner of The Children’s House nursery, Stallingborough, with twin sister Sylvia Tiffney MBE, has been recognised with the honour, in acknowledgement of her lifetime’s achievements.

She has worked in early childhood education in Lincolnshire for more than 40 years, initially with the pre-school playgroup movement in the Seventies and Eighties, and then with other nurseries before opening The Children’s House in 2000.

Her honour also recognises the voluntary work she has undertaken within the sector and her pioneering role in bringing Montessori education to the area.

Theresa, of Great Coates, said: “I am overwhelmed and feel very privileged to receive an MBE. To have been involved in the development and learning of children in their early years has been the greatest honour.

“Early childhood is such an important phase of life both in its own right and for children’s futures. In particular Montessori education offers a deep respect to young children and I have been grateful to learn about this approach and share it with others in Lincolnshire and beyond.

“However, I could not have achieved any of this without my sister and co-director by my side, together with an extremely supportive team of colleagues who I have worked with over the years. I have enjoyed an incredibly rewarding career.”

The MBE is awarded for an outstanding achievement or service to the community. It recognises a long-term, significant impact and as an example to others.

Sylvia was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2019.

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