SEVEN North East businesses and three individuals are today unveiled as the regional winners of the Queen's Awards for Enterprise 2010 - the UK's most prestigious business accolade.
The region’s sparkling performance was crowned by the UK’s only annual lifetime achievement award going to Doug Scott, the boss of Jarrow-based enterprise agency Tedco, for his efforts to promote enterprise.
And with the region’s reputation as a top exporter, it is little surprise that six of the winning firms were recognised in the international trade category.
Integrated Display Systems, a Wallsend company employing just eight people to develop equipment for electronic power assisted steering, was the only regional winner in the innovation section.
In addition to Mr Scott’s lifetime achievement award, just one of which is handed out nationally each year, former Vaux managing director Frank Nicholson and Nicholas Bowen, head of St Benet Biscop Catholic High School in Bedlington, received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion (QAEP).
Mr Scott, who has worked to promote enterprise at both local and national level, is the chief executive of Tedco, deputy chairman of the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies and serves on the board of UK Business Incubation.
He said: “I didn’t know anything about it. I understand it’s a process by nomination so I was gratified my peers nominated me. It will provide us with new contacts and new opportunities.”
Meanwhile, the six businesses recognised in the international trade category ranged from Washington-based Oil Consultants, which employs nine people, to ContiTech Beattie in Ashington, which has 95 staff.
Andrew Esson, managing director of ContiTech Beattie, which makes hoses for the oil and gas sector, said: “The award is a sign that our business performance is being given the highest possible seal of approval.
“We have improved our management culture, enhanced our operational capabilities and introduced planning systems, thus enabling our production teams to provide a first-class service to customers.”
Oil Consultants works in the same industry, specialising in the drilling, maintenance, servicing and repair of oil and gas wells.
Company founder Mark Cooper, himself a former oil industry engineer, said: “We send our technical specialists to work in just about every oil and gas province worldwide and over the years we have built up an excellent reputation in the industry for providing highly-qualified personnel.
“Such is the prestige of the Queens Award that we expect it to have a significant positive impact for our business in many areas and particularly in the former commonwealth countries of the Middle East and Africa where we export more than 60% of our services.”
Winners of the Queen’s Awards will receive a royal visit for the presentation of a crystal bowl and will be invited to a special reception at Buckingham Palace in July.
They can also use the Queen’s Award Emblem in advertising, marketing and on packaging for a five-year period.
Based in Hartlepool, the business employs 33 people and is part of the Diesel Marine International Ltd group. It makes charge air coolers and heat exchangers for the international shipping industry.
Part of the First Investment Group Co, Alperton International’s Spennymoor office employs 19 people. It is a merchant/export agent which arranges the export of UK engineering goods and services ranging from vehicles to training.
ContiTech Beattie in Ashington, which is part of Germany’s Continental AG group, makes hoses and systems for the oil and gas industry, employing 95 people
The Newcastle-based family-owned business makes products to stop aircraft freezing in the worst weather conditions and exports to more than 50 countries
The smallest business in the regional international trade list, Washington-based Oil Consultants has just nine staff providing engineering consulting services to the global oil industry.
Parker Hannifin Ltd (Domnick Hunter Industrial)
Part of the US Parker Hannifin Corporation, Parker Hannifin on the Team Valley has 53 staff manufacturing compressed air treatment and gas generation products for industry.
Integrated Display Systems
With just eight staff, Integrated Display Systems in Wallsend, won an innovation award for developing a belt tensioning system for electronic power assisted steering.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion (QAEP)
Lifetime achievement award – Doug Scott
The chief executive of not-for-profit enterprise agency Tedco in Jarrow was recognised for his impact on local enterprise development and youth enterprise in the North East for more than 20 years, in both a paid and a voluntary capacity. He put together an award-winning model for community enterprise coaching, enterprise in education projects and created effective partnerships to tackle the barrier between enterprise development and economic inactivity because of poverty.
Mr Bowen is the head teacher at St Benet Biscop Catholic High School in Bedlington, who has led the development of the school’s enterprise agenda since 2001. The school gained Specialist Business and Enterprise College status in 2005 and opened a Business and Learning Centre in 2006.
The former managing director of Vaux Breweries in Sunderland became involved in supporting young people to start and grow their own businesses in Sunderland in 1984. Vaux Breweries set up the Sunderland Youth Centre, which was succeeded by the Sunderland Youth Enterprise Trust which he continues to chair. It provides bursaries to young entrepreneurs.