The success of UAP – and its CEO – have been applauded with two top awards.
Beating stiff competition, including leading global brands, UAP was crowned Hardware Company of the Year at the National Fenestration Awards 2023. The business was set up in 1996 by CEO David Jennings who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to the fenestration industry.
Launched in 2013, the National Fenestration Awards aims to be the fairest, most inclusive fenestration event, rewarding the very best in the sector. Following nominations from people working across the industry, the winners received their awards at a ceremony held at Doncaster Racecourse on 28 October 2023.
Armed with just a computer, David launched UAP from his spare room. His idea was simply to manufacture installation-ready door knockers that were pre-drilled and finished. At the time, there was nothing comparable in the UK, marking the start of a journey which has seen UAP rapidly grow.
From humble beginnings, David has been instrumental in expanding UAP’s customer base and product portfolio both organically and through strategic acquisitions. Today, UAP stands as a £22 million business, boasting seven leading brands: UAP Locking Systems, UAP Fullex, UAP Intelligent Hardware, UAP Firemongery, UAP Trade Locks, UAP Security Hardware, and online specialist X-Fort.
Throughout his career, David has prioritised high-quality, market-driven products and championed innovation. As well as nurturing loyal partnerships with manufacturers across Asia, this strategy has seen investments in-house product development, including the recent launch of IONIC, an ultra-secure electronic lock.
David has also embraced new technology, investing in 3D printing to reduce waste during product development, demonstrating his vision for a more sustainable future.
As the UAP family has grown, so has David’s commitment to people. He has cultivated a culture of inclusivity through initiatives such as the UAP Training Academy and by developing talent and promoting internally. In 2019, he introduced a profit-sharing model, underlining his passion for treating people fairly and recognising their vital contributions to UAP’s success.
Beyond the boardroom, David has been a driving force behind the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities, from fundraising to build schools and a hospital in Nepal, to planting 50,000 trees, and donating PPE to local charities and community groups during the pandemic.
A leader beyond his business, David also serves as the Vice President of The Encephalitis Society and is the co-owner of the Manchester Thunder Netball team.
Speaking at the NFA Awards, Sarah Rogers, head of the NFA said: “This award celebrates the lifetime achievements of a man who has not only built a remarkable business empire, but left an indelible mark on the lives of countless individuals.
“David Jennings is a visionary, a humanitarian, and a true inspiration to us all. This Lifetime Achievement Award is a testament to his unparalleled dedication, and we thank him for sharing his vision and passion with the world.”
Commenting on his award, David Jennings added: “I feel very honoured to be recognised for my achievements and exceptionally proud of everyone in the UAP team. Their skills, hard work and dedication have been pivotal to our success and achieving the coveted Hardware Company of the Year award.
“When I set up UAP, I didn’t expect to have a particularly long career in hardware. It wasn’t long though before I realised how dynamic the industry is. New legislation and evolving customer needs are delivering constant change and creating vast opportunities for innovation. This has translated into many new products and initiatives at UAP and why I’m so passionate about the business and the wider industry.
“To also be recognised for life outside work is very humbling. I’ve always wanted to try and make a positive impact that extends beyond the corporate world and feel incredibly grateful to be in a position to do that.”