Today is the day when we reveal the businesses which have made it into the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 for 2013 – the comprehensive list of the North-East’s fastest-growing private businesses.
Sponsored by leading law firm Ward Hadaway and backed by The Journal, the list highlights and celebrates private companies and organisations in the region showing the strongest growth as a way of rewarding high achieving companies and encouraging others.
The 2013 Fastest 50 contains businesses from a wide range of sectors from engineering and offshore industries to retailing and food.
Colin Hewitt, Partner and Head of Commercial at Ward Hadaway, said: “Once again, the Fastest 50 has delivered a fascinating snapshot of the North-East economy.
“The sheer variety of companies represented in the list demonstrates the continuing strength and vibrancy of the region’s business world and gives us all something to feel proud about.
“Here are 50 reasons to feel optimistic about the future of the North East economy as we look to build on the early signs of recovery.
“All the businesses listed here are forging ahead and seeing their turnover grow whilst remaining profitable – they are real trailblazers who deserve our support, encouragement and our applause.”
Experts from St Chad’s College/Durham Business School were drafted in to help compile the list, making it even more authoritative.
Following today’s publication of the Fastest 50, an awards ceremony will take place at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead on Friday, October 4 when the winners of the Fastest 50 will be revealed. There, awards will be given to the fastest growing small, medium and large business, as well as an overall award for the fastest growing business of the year.
HERE IS THE FASTEST 50 FOR 2013 IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Barbour, SOUTH SHIELDS
Outdoor clothing maker Barbour is known across the world for its iconic wax jackets, famously worn by the Royal Family, and a range of celebrities. The family-owned business currently holds three Royal Warrants and has launched its own training academy.
BENFIELD MOTORS, NEWCASTLE
This independent family-owned motor dealership was established in 1957 and is now one of the best-known motor retailers in the North East. It has also grown to encompass dealerships across Yorkshire and recently opened the UK’s first stand-alone Maserati showroom.
BERNHARD SCHULTE SHIPMANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED, NEWCASTLE
This international maritime and ship management services company opened its UK office in Newcastle in 2007 and was named Fastest Growing Small Company in 2012. The centre was established to improve access to vessels trading for established clients in the North Sea area and to attract new business.
BONDS FOUNDRY, BISHOP AUCKLAND, CO DURHAM
Bonds Foundry produces finished valve, pump and general engineering castings up to 12 tonnes for a wide range of industries. It supplies some of the leading companies in the valves, pumps, crushing and marine sectors in the UK and internationally.
BRITISH ENGINES LIMITED, NEWCASTLE
Based in Newcastle, British Engines operates six separate divisions, manufacturing and supplying items ranging from valves to fire safety products. In July it was awarded £800,000 from the Let’s Grow fund to expand its BEL Valves division.
CJ LEONARD & SONS LIMITED, GUISBOROUGH
Working across a broad spectrum of industries, this family-owned company was established in 1964 and sells a wide range of used commercial vehicles and machinery as well as offering plant hire and spare parts.
CLARKES OF STILLINGTON PLATE & PROFILES LIMITED, STOCKTON
Clarkes is an independent steel stockholder and processor which supplies steel plates and profiles of various grades to a wide range of customers throughout the UK.
COREPEOPLE RECRUITMENT LIMITED, DURHAM
Established for over 20 years, this Durham-based company is a multi-disciplinary recruitment agency, providing specialist and volume recruitment services via two trading divisions.
COWIE TECHNOLOGY GROUP LIMITED, MIDDLESBROUGH
This company designs, develops and manufactures products supplying a diverse range of industries worldwide including laboratory, pharmaceutical, process chemistry, bio-chem, electrical, flow, temperature measurement, aerospace, general engineering, cryogenics and level sensing.
CRABTREE OF GATESHEAD
Crabtree of Gateshead is a leading manufacturer of metal decorating presses and coating machines used to make products such as Rose’s chocolate tins. The company’s products are sold in over 90 countries worldwide and Crabtree can trace its origins back to 1849.
CROWN CARE, NORTH TYNESIDE
Formerly Ladhar Healthcare, Crown Care was established in 1989 and operates 10 care homes across the country with a further three already being planned. Their homes provide residential care for the elderly including nursing and dementia care as well as shorter term, respite or convalescence care services.
EDEN FARM LTD, PETERLEE
This family-run frozen food and ice cream wholesale and distribution company operates from a base in Peterlee and sells major brand products to over 5,000 customers. It originally started in 1964 as a door to door seller of farm produce.
ELRING PARTS LTD, GATESHEAD
Elring Parts is a distributor which supplies outlets such as motor factors and engine re-conditioners with a range of automotive components from engine parts, gasket and sealing solutions, through to the latest electrical, ignition, and engine management technologies.
ESH GROUP, BOWBURN
This construction group operates via 13 different divisions encompassing everything from property management to social housing. Esh directly employs nearly 1,000 people and also sponsors the Newcastle Eagles basketball team.
FASTFLOW GROUP, WASHINGTON
Fastflow specialises in providing a range of specialist infrastructure services to the utilities and energy sectors. In May this year, it secured a place on a multi-million pound framework agreement with National Grid.
FINLEY STRUCTURES, NEWTON AYCLIFFE
Formed in August 2000, Finley Structures is a family-owned company providing structural steelwork to the construction industry. It has worked on a range of projects including Sunderland Olympic Swimming Pool, Rockliffe Hall and a four star hotel at Newcastle International Airport.
G O’BRIEN & SONS, EAST BOLDON
A leading demolition and dismantling contractor, this company’s vehicles are a familiar site at many building sites across the North East. O’Brien & Sons undertakes work nationwide in sectors ranging from offshore and industrial to residential, schools and hospitals.
GAINFORD CARE HOMES, CHESTER-LE-STREET
Established in 1995, Gainford Care Homes operates 13 care homes across the North East catering for young and elderly residents, as well as those suffering from physical or learning disabilities.
GRAINCO, SOUTH SHIELDS
GrainCo is the largest grain trading and marketing business in the North of England and Scotland. The company offers a wide range of marketing and grain trading opportunities, from marketing advice to pool marketing and financial support.
HAYS TRAVEL, SUNDERLAND
The UK’s biggest independent travel agent, Hays Travel has been sending people on their holidays for over 30 years. The company employs around 900 staff and has branches across the country as well as a growing online business.
I LOVE WALLPAPER, HARTLEPOOL
This family-run business has been running for 20 years and has an extensive online wallpaper retail operation, as well as a dedicated store in Hartlepool.
IT PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, GATESHEAD
Founded in 2000, ITPS specialises in advanced integrated IT consultancy, implementation, data centre provision and unified communications. Earlier this year, it was named as one of only ten strategic partners for Virgin Media Business.
JBT WASTE SERVICES, BEDLINGTON
This waste disposal company was established in 1972 and provides waste management and recycling services to Newcastle and the North East. JBT started off as a small family owned business and has grown to encompass two waste transfer and recycling facilities in Bedlington and Chester-le-Street.
KANS & KANDY (HOLDINGS) LTD, SOUTH SHIELDS
Formed in 2000, this company specialises in providing consumer goods producers with avenues to sell remnant or residual stocks within the health and beauty, food and household products marketplace. It has over 1,900 independent retail customers across Europe, America, the Middle East and India.
KOOKABURRA LTD, PETERLEE
Kookaburra started out in 1988 as a company supplying chilled and frozen chicken products to major UK food manufacturers. It has since broadened its range to include other meat products and also operates a special new product development kitchen at its Peterlee factory.
MOFFAT 2000 LTD, ASHINGTON
Subsea engineering specialists Moffat 2000 provide full design and fabrication services for pipeline products aimed at the petrochem, process, offshore, and subsea markets. Clients include Shell, Total, Halliburton and Esso.
MSB (MOTORING’S SUDDENLY BETTER) SKODA, DARLINGTON
This car dealership is based in Darlington and claims to offer the largest selection of used Skoda vehicles for sale in the North East as well as a range of new Skoda models and servicing.
NIFCO UK LTD, EAGLESCLIFFE
Nifco specialises in the design, manufacture and supply of precision injection moulded functional plastics parts, mainly for the automotive industry. The company supplies parts to Honda, Nissan and Toyota in the UK and exports to Ford in the United States and other markets in East Asia.
NORTH EAST CONVENIENCE STORES, BLYTH
This business runs a total of 21 convenience stores and Post Offices across the North East from Northumberland to Teesside. It has won a number of awards in recent years, including Best Regional Convenience Chain of the Year 2012 at the Retail Industry Awards.
ORCHARD INFORMATION SYSTEMS LTD, NEWCASTLE
Orchard is an independent provider of specialist software solutions to the public and social housing sectors. In July, the company acquired in4systems Limited, a leading supplier of asset management solutions to the housing sector.
OWEN PUGH, DUDLEY
Civil engineering and construction company Owen Pugh is a familiar sight on projects across the North East. The company has expanded its operations and now offers a full-range civil engineering capability throughout the region.
PARMLEY GRAHAM, GATESHEAD
Based in Gateshead with 12 branches across the UK, Parmley Graham specialises in providing industrial automation products to companies in a wide range of different sectors including manufacturing, food and drinks processing and defence.
PEARSON ENGINEERING LIMITED, NEWCASTLE
Pearson Engineering develops combat engineer systems and equipment to meet the needs of both British and foreign armed forces. The company specialises in the development and supply of specialised countermine and combat engineer equipment for armoured fighting vehicles and was named fastest growing large company in the 2012 Fastest 50 Awards.
PX GROUP, STOCKTON
Formed in 2002 following a management buyout of Enron’s power operations business on Teesside, px group has since expanded to provide engineering and design services, plant operation and maintenance and energy trading and commercial management services to clients across the UK and internationally.
THE PYEROY GROUP, GATESHEAD
Since its foundation in 1973, industrial coatings specialist Pyeroy has grown to become one of the foremost industrial services groups in the UK with an annual turnover of around £60m and employing 1,000 people. Major contracts include work for the MoD and painting the Forth Bridge.
With over 100 branches through the North East, Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales, Ramsdens is the largest independent pawnbroker in the UK. The company also sponsors Middlesbrough FC and plans to double in size by 2017.
ROYSTON LIMITED, NEWCASTLE
Royston sells, fits, maintains and fixes engines for domestic and industrial customers in a range of different sectors. The company operates via five different divisions – Marine, Power, Defence, Offshore and Australia, the latter opening up in 2008.
SILVERLINK SOFTWARE LIMITED, NORTH TYNESIDE
Silverlink Software is the developer of PCS, one of the UK’s leading Patient Administration Systems (PAS) for the NHS. PCS is installed at 11 Trusts in the UK and is used concurrently by more than 2,900 users every day.
SMH PRODUCTS LTD, SOUTH SHIELDS
This company specialises in the manufacture and sale of decontamination equipment for the asbestos removal, fire and safety industries. It has a manufacturing base in South Shields with branch offices in Newcastle, London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Southampton.
TECHFLOW FLEXIBLES LTD, CRAMLINGTON
Techflow Flexibles specialise in the design, manufacture and supply of hoses to the oil and gas exploration and production industries. The company moved into a new £3m factory earlier this year.
THOMAS SWAN & CO LTD, CONSETT
Chemicals manufacturer Thomas Swan exports to over 80 countries worldwide, with offices and warehousing in the UK, USA and China, serving a global network of distributors and customers. It secured Regional Growth Fund backing in 2013 towards a new technical centre at its Consett plant.
Online gaming specialist Tombola is one of the leading players in the UK online bingo market. Tombola and its associated companies have been involved in bingo for 50 years, initially supplying tickets to bingo halls.
Tynetec has over 30 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of Warden Call Systems, Telecare & Telehealth Solutions, Access Control Systems and Wireless Nurse Call Products for care homes, hospitals and other healthcare providers.
This company was originally founded at a petrol filling station in Fencehouses, County Durham, by John Shaw. John took the decision to diversify and sell tyres from the site. Over 30 years later the company now has nine branches across the region offering a range of tyre sales, fittings and related car services.
UNIPRES (UK) LIMITED, SUNDERLAND
Since beginning its operations in 1987, Unipres has been manufacturing components for the automotive industry including car body parts. It expects to create up to 200 more jobs in the next few years as demand from clients including Honda and Nissan increases.
VANTEC EUROPE LTD, SUNDERLAND
This company started providing logistics and warehousing services to Nissan’s Sunderland plant in 1990. Since then it has grown alongside the carmaker and is now Nissan’s preferred third party logistics provider, opening a new £22.5m factory in Sunderland earlier this year.
WESSINGTON CRYOGENICS, HOUGHTON LE SPRING
Established in 1984, this company designs, manufactures and installs a broad range of cryogenic storage vessels including ISO tank containers for the oil and gas, bio-medical and science and research sectors. Clients include the Ministry of Defence and NASA.
WILTON ENGINEERING SERVICES LTD, MIDDLESBROUGH
Part of offshore and petrochemical industry specialist the Wilton Group, this company provides high quality bespoke fabrications and associated services to blue chip clients in the subsea, marine, offshore and renewable energy industries. It was named Fastest Growing Large Business and Fastest Growing Overall Business in the 2010 Fastest 50 Awards and Fastest Growing Large Business in 2011.
WINN SOLICITORS, NEWCASTLE
Based in the Byker area of Newcastle, Winn Solicitors specialises in advising on motor vehicle accident claims and accident compensation. The firm was founded in 2002.
The companies in this list have been selected from the table of fastest growing profit-making, private, regional companies, based on turnover growth.
Information has been compiled by researchers at St. Chad’s College/Durham Business School using data which is publicly available at Companies House of UK listed companies.
The average turnover growth has been assessed on a percentage increase based on the difference between turnover figures filed for the last three years.
To qualify, companies must be trading entities and have turnover in excess of £1,000,000 in the last three years of filed accounts, which are up to date as at 31 July 2013.
Companies must also have made profits in each of the past three years’ accounts and must have filed new accounts since last year’s Fastest 50. Private limited companies which are subsidiaries of listed companies do not qualify.
Subsidiaries of foreign-controlled companies have been accepted if they have headquarters or a decision-making function in the region. Ward Hadaway and The Journal do not accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions.