Fastest 50, 2014: North East's fastest growing companies unveiled today!

Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 celebrates growth among companies in the North East

Fastest 50, 2014
Fastest 50, 2014

Today is the day when the winners of the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 for 2014 are revealed.

Around 200 guests, including representatives of this year’s Fastest 50 companies, key members of the region’s business community and guest of honour Steph McGovern, BBC Breakfast business presenter, will gather at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead to find out the identities of the North East’s fastest growing businesses.

Colin Hewitt, partner at Ward Hadaway
Colin Hewitt, partner at Ward Hadaway

Awards will be handed out this lunchtime to the fastest growing small, medium-sized and large privately-owned companies in the region. An overall award will also be handed to the North-East’s fastest growing business of the year.

The Fastest 50 Awards are sponsored and organised by leading North law firm Ward Hadaway and supported by The Journal.

Colin Hewitt, partner and head of commercial at Ward Hadaway, said: “The Fastest 50 is always one of the most eagerly anticipated business events of the year and is one of the key dates on the North East’s business calendar.

“Highlighting and celebrating the achievements of those companies which have expanded their turnover the most in recent years is a great way to spread a positive message about business in the North East and encourage business confidence around the region.

“The identity of the winners remains a closely guarded secret, but every company which has made it into the Fastest 50 list for this year is in many respects already a winner, having achieved an impressive track record of business growth during some challenging years for the economy.

“Today’s awards look set to be a memorable occasion and we are looking forward to welcoming all our guests to Baltic.”

Steph McGovern
Steph McGovern

Steph McGovern of BBC Breakfast is the special guest at this year’s awards and the Middlesbrough-born business presenter will deliver the keynote speech at the lunchtime event.

Mr Hewitt said: “Steph is a very well known face and voice in business, not just in her native North East but across the country and she is well respected for her authority and insight into the issues which businesses face.

“We are delighted to have her on board for this year’s awards and I am sure everyone present will be interested to hear what Steph has to say about the North East and about the prospects for business across the region.”

Journal editor Brian Aitken will introduce proceedings.

The Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 highlights and celebrates the privately-owned profit-making companies and organisations which have shown the strongest annualised sales growth over recent years.

The awards have been handed out every year since 1998 and have helped to act as a barometer for the strength and diversity of the North-East economy.

The Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 2014 has been compiled with the help of researchers from St Chad’s College/Durham Business School.

A full report on the awards will feature in The Journal on Monday with a special supplement about the Fastest 50 appearing next Wednesday.


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