The search is on to find the best exporting success stories in the region.
The North East Exporters’ Awards aims to recognise the efforts of companies that are making a huge contribution to the regional and UK economies through their achievements in overseas markets.
This year has seen a stream of entries from companies keen to get in on the act. And with the May 1 deadline for submissions looming fast, there’s not much time left for other firms to push forward their credentials.
The awards will reward top exporters of all sizes in the following categories:
Export Team of the Year: goes to the group that has added the most value to its business through the adoption of innovative techniques, personnel development and implementation of the company’s export sales strategy. Medium and Large Exporter of the Year: will reward £25m-plus turnover companies that have demonstrated exceptional achievement. New Exporter Award: is open to businesses that started exporting within the last two years and can demonstrate significant export success. SME Exporter Award: for businesses that have a turnover of up to £25m and can demonstrate exceptional achievement in exports. Special Recognition Award: will go to a business that the judges feel deserves special recognition for its contribution to North-east exporting success. This award may be presented as an additional award to a winner of one of the other categories or to another organisation that the judges would like to commend. Supporting Export Award: open to businesses that play a key role in helping the region’s exporters to trade overseas. This can either be directly (through the provision of logistical support) or indirectly (through the provision of associated services).
The winners will be shortlisted for the Overall Exporter of the Year Award, along with winners of other export awards in the last 12 months. All winners, including the Overall Exporter of the Year, will be announced at an awards dinner on June 25 at the Ramside Hall Hotel in County Durham.
Last year electrical equipment maker A-Belco was crowned the overall winner as well as SME Exporter of the Year - a night of double success for the Ashington-based firm.
Middlesbrough-based CorDEX Instruments, a manufacturer of explosion-proof inspection and imaging devices, took the New Exporter Award while healthy food specialist Glanbia Performance Nutrition, also in Middlesbrough, came top of the Medium and Large Exporter of the Year category.
Darlington-based SOLO Thermal Imaging - which designs and manufactures the smallest, lightest thermal imaging cameras in the world - was named Export Team of the Year while the 2014 Supporting Export Award went to Middlesbrough freight forwarding firm Evolution Forwarding.
There’s little doubt that the region’s army of exporters are continuing to play a major role in boosting the economy.
Latest figures show that in the last three months of 2014, £3.3bn worth of goods was exported from the region, an 8.2% increase on the same period the previous year. The North East remains the only English region with a consistent positive balance of trade at £4.45bn.
The North East Exporters’ Awards is run by The Journal and its sister paper, The Gazette, on Teesside – with support from the NECC, UKTI, HSBC and PD Ports.