Countdown starts to the North East's Fastest 50 event

The North East’s fastest-growing privately-owned companies will be revealed in the autumn

Jamie Martin, managing partner at Ward Hadaway
Jamie Martin, managing partner at Ward Hadaway

The North East’s pace-setting privately-owned companies will take centre stage this autumn when the definitive list of the region’s fastest growing businesses is revealed.

The Ward Hadaway Fastest 50, devised by leading North law firm Ward Hadaway and backed by The Journal, identifies and champions companies in the region who have achieved the most impressive performances in growing their businesses.

The Fastest 50 was started by Ward Hadaway, in association with The Journal, in 1998 to recognise and celebrate private companies in the region showing the strongest growth, with the aim of acknowledging the success of our high-achieving companies and providing inspiration for others to follow.

Since then, winners have included the likes of Bannatyne Fitness – now one of the largest leisure club chains in the UK – Shepherd Offshore Services and subsea industry specialist SMD.

Following the publication of the definitive list of the region’s 50 fastest growing companies next month, awards will be presented at a ceremony in October to the fastest growing small, medium-sized and large privately-owned businesses in the North East with the overall winner’s prize being given to the fastest growing company in the region.

Jamie Martin, managing partner at Ward Hadaway, said: “The Fastest 50 has become a real institution in the region so we are delighted to be once again helping to promote the considerable achievements of the North East’s pace-setting companies.

“The Fastest 50 celebrates all that is best about enterprise and business achievement in the North East and helps to demonstrate what a great place the region is in which to live, work and do business.

“The past year has seen our companies facing up to a variety of challenges as the economic recovery has taken hold and it is a great time for businesses emerging from the recession and the Fastest 50 is a terrific way to celebrate their achievements. In many respects, the companies which find themselves in the Fastest 50 are the trailblazers and pathfinders for the region so it is fitting that we mark their efforts and reward their endeavours.”

As in previous years, researchers from St Chad’s College/Durham Business School will be running the rule over the potential candidates and their figures to ensure the Fastest 50 2014 is as accurate as possible.

Colin Hewitt, head of commercial law at Ward Hadaway, said: “The Fastest 50 has become firmly established as a barometer for the health of the region’s privately-owned businesses and an important indicator of the overall health of the North East economy.

“Year after year, it celebrates business achievement and maps out the diversity, strength and ingenuity of the regional economy.

“It is always fascinating to compare those businesses that achieve a placing year after year with those which break through into the list and to discover the stories behind their successes.

“This year we will also see which sectors are leading the way in the region’s recovery from the economic difficulties of the past few years.

“We look forward to seeing those that have managed to rise to the challenge to achieve fantastic growth and to celebrating their achievements.”

The Fastest 50 awards ceremony will take place in October and will be introduced by Journal editor Brian Aitken.

He said: “The Fastest 50 really does put North East business growth on the map – and has been doing so for more than 15 years.

“It is a testament to the vision and commitment of Ward Hadaway to the region that they continue to support the region’s businesses in this way.

“It is vital for the region’s supporters like The Journal and Ward Hadaway to trumpet the North-East’s successes to the wider world and spread the word about the region’s capabilities, know-how and sheer business drive.

“This is exactly what the Fastest 50 does, year in, year out, and we look forward to the 2014 awards with great anticipation.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer