North East Business Awards RECAP: updates from the final at Hardwick Hall Hotel

Live updates from the final of the North East Business Awards at Hardwick Hall Hotel

The Gazette and Journal North East Business awards final 2015 at Hardwick Hall Co Durham
The Gazette and Journal North East Business awards final 2015 at Hardwick Hall Co Durham

All the action from the North East Business Awards final, live from County Durham's Hardwick Hall Hotel. We'll be revealing the winners as they're announced, and featuring pics, updates and some of your tweets.

Don't forget to keep up-to-date by following #nebizawards on Twitter!

18:30
Welcome

Hello and welcome to our coverage of the North East Business Awards final 2015!

We'll be bringing you up-to-the-minute news from the evening, and featuring some of your tweets, pics and opinions of how the night is going.

Good luck to those nominated - hope you all have a fantastic time

18:33
Setting up

Our events team have been hard at work and definitely not taking advantage of today's weather at all, as this tweet from Lesley Hampson shows

18:34
Setting up

...it's fair to say that they've made the venue look fantastic though:

18:39
First guests arrive

ELM EV are up and raring to go. They're the first of our guests to tweet us from Hardwick Hall. Bonus points for them

18:44
Company of the year

We'll be bringing you up-to-speed with tonight's nominees before the awards are handed out. We'll start with the big one. Company of the Year. Awarded for a number of different factors which can more or less be summarised as 'being brilliant. Finalists to follow...

18:47
Company of the Year: Andrew James

Family run business Andrew James UK Ltd started as a seller of niche products into the home grilling and kitchen market, and have since expanded their range to include more general appliances. Took home a hat-trick of awards at the Durham and Wearside heat – will they be as successful tonight?

18:51
Bari Tea

We are deligh-tea'd to be joined by you tonight Caroline

18:53
Company of the Year: Visualsoft

Stockton e-commerce marketing firm Visualsoft took home the 'Company of the Year' award at the Teesside heat. They are the second of our nominees for what is looking to be a hotly-contested Company of the Year award.

18:59
First photos

First photos in already, thanks to our dedicated and speedy team of snappers. Everyone's looking rather nice and enjoying the sunshine:

The Gazette and Journal North East Business awards final 2015 at Hardwick Hall Co Durham.

19:01
Company of the Year: AAF Ltd

AAF Ltd supplies air filtration solution to an international client base. Their Cramlington office impressed the Tyneside and Northumberland heat judges enough for them to crown them Company of the Year. Will the repeat this success? Stay tuned to find out...

19:05
Guests arriving

The hall is filling up rather fast, reports our man on the ground Robert Gibson

19:08
Meanwhile...

Journal Business boss Graeme Whitfield addresses some of the nights most pressing concerns

19:13
Digital and Social Media Award

The next award category we'll take a look at is the Digital and Social Media Award, for companies whose digital presence is something out of the ordinary.

19:14
Evening under way

Compere Kim Inglis kicks things off with pizazz. On the down side, some of our reporters might be getting ideas:

19:20
Selfie sticks

Reports are surfacing that someone has been handing out selfie sticks. That's all we have for now - more info as we get it.

19:23
First photos

The Gazette and Journal North East Business awards final 2015 at Hardwick Hall Co Durham.
 

19:26
Digital and Social Media Award: Lane7

Boutique Newcastle bowling venue Lane7 has two ping pong tables, a karaoke room, three fully-stocked cocktail bars...and a fantastic social media presence. They impressed judges at the Tyneside and Northumberland heat, and are our first Digital and Social Media Award nomineee.

19:29
Opening speeches

NECC president Dave Laws has been talking about how much the region has to offer businesses. We'll drink to that.

19:33
NECC 200th anniversary

Sponsor NECC's film on its 200 years of history is going down well

19:36
Digital and Social Media Award: Andrew James

It's Andrew James...again. The family-run kitchenware specialists who scooped a hat-trick of awards at the Durham and Wearside heat are the second Digital and Social Media Award nominee.

Journalists

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