The Journal and Evening Gazette host the biggest business party in the North East tonight as the The North East Business Awards 2014, Grand Final takes place at Hardwick Hall Hotel, Sedgefield, County Durham.
Follow our LIVE coverage here from 6pm. If you're at the event, tweet us using the hashtag #nebizawards - we'd love to see your pics!
The North East Business Awards 2014, Grand Final takes place tonight at Hardwick Hall Hotel tonight. LIVE coverage here from 6pm
Good evening and welcome to the Grand Final of the North East Business Awards 2014 at Hardwick Hall Hotel.
Apologies for the late start but we have been having a few technical problems, but hopefully we're back up and running for the evening.
If you're at the event, tweet us using the hashtag #nebizawards - we'd love to see your pics!
Guests are currently enjoying pre-dinner drinks before the event starts at 7:00pm. Good luck to all the finalists, we hope you have a great evening.
Hundreds of the region’s top business people have turned out tonight to celebrate the wealth of talent in firms of all sizes, spanning across a huge range of sectors.
The awards attracted a wide range of high-quality entries this year, the cream of which took the top spots in sub-regional finals for Durham and Wearside, Tyneside and Northumberland, and Teesside.
Tonight, the ultimate winners will be chosen in categories ranging from Innovation to Best Creative Business.
Here's a photo of all the finalists listening to Russell Borthwick, Regional Managing Director, Trinity Mirror North East
Tonight's guest speaker Monty Halls is keeping everyone entertained with his tales pf adventure from around the globe.
He is a former Royal Marines officer who worked for Nelson Mandela on the peace process in South Africa, Monty left the services in 1996 to pursue a career in leading expeditions.
From reading everyone's tweets it seems that Monty Halls was funny and inspiring and the highlight of his speech was the following fact:
"More people are killed by kicking vending machines each year than sharks." That's good to know!
The award ceremony will be staring shortly after David Laws, President of the North East Chamber of Commerce gives a speech
And if you need a reminder of the finalists - you can find them here: