A Cumbrian company has been judged the best in the UK, fewer than two years after it was set up.

Kendal Nutricare, a pharmaceutical research company which also produces baby formula, has been names UK business of the year 2017 at the Federation of Small Businesses and Worldpay UK Business Awards 2017.

The firm also won the ‘exporter of the year’ prize.

It took home £12,000 in prize money.

Its success comes just before its Kendamil infant formula is due to appear in 150 Morrisons supermarkets (for June 5), with other deals having been signed with Asda and Sainsbury’s.

Last year the company signed a £6m deal to sell Kendamil in China and has since entered other overseas markets in Africa, south east Asia and the Middle East. Kendamil is now stocked in over 8,000 mother and baby stores in China.

It has other products, which are sold in a variety of international markets.

The company is based in the former H J Heinz factory in Kendal and is set to expand following its latest successes.

Chief executive Ross McMahon said: “We could never have predicted that we would become the UK ‘Business of the Year’ in under two years. We are delighted to win both this award, and the FSB and Worldpay UK Business Awards’ award for Export. We have worked incredibly hard to get to where we are and there has never been a moment’s breathing time.

"We now look forward to making our listings in Morrisons and Asda a huge success, as well as launching our brand new products and attracting even more buyers.”