The Grand Old Duke is on his way to visit Vale firms

Prince Andrew unveiling a plaque to officially opening the new Northampton College Booth Lane site.
Prince Andrew unveiling a plaque to officially opening the new Northampton College Booth Lane site.

THE Duke of York is visiting Aylesbury on Monday to learn more about three innovative local companies.

He has personally selected a space technology firm, a company making personal monitoring devices, and Buckinghamshire University Technical College, for his day in the area.

Joe Bradshaw, assistant clerk to the Buckinghamshire Lieutenancy, said: “Two months ago the Duke’s office wrote to the Lord Lieutenant’s office to ask if there were companies that would be of interest to the Duke if he visited the area. He was keen to come here because of the entrepreneurial reputation of this county and Aylesbury in particular.”

Prince Andrew’s first stop will be at the Triangle Business Park in Stoke Mandeville where he will visit Com Dev Europe Ltd. The space technology company was set up 26 years ago and has created instruments which measure the height of ice caps in the Poles; produces equipment which has flown on American missions to Jupiter; and equipment which monitors global sea traffic from space.

Business development director Rob Goldsmith said: “We are very proud to have been chosen and are particularly keen for the Duke to meet the four graduates currently on our training scheme.”

The Prince will then move to Aylesbury College for lunch with invited dignitaries including Vice-Lord Lieutenant Alexander Boswell, High Sherriff James Naylor, the chairmen of Bucks County and Aylesbury Vale District councils and the Town Mayor.

In September 2013 Buckinghamshire University Technical College will open on the Oxford Road site, and the Prince will learn about this new type of educational establishment for 14 - 19-year-olds during his visit.

During the early afternoon the Prince will end his trip to the area with a visit to buddi ltd in Walton Street. The company produces personal alarm systems to help the elderly remain active and independent, and has also pioneered a secure monitoring service which is being used by some police forces and NHS Trusts.

Prince Andrew’s visit to the town is being made in connection with his role as the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, and is not connected to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Mr Bradshaw said: “It’s very good for Aylesbury businesses that the Duke has chosen to visit us. He can open doors that possibly wouldn’t be open otherwise. Overseas the Royal Family is highly respected.”