The shortlist of finalists for the Durham and Wearside heats of the North East Business Awards has been announced.
The event at Ramside Hall near Durham on March 12 is the second of three sub-regional heats in our awards, coming after the Tyneside and Northumberland event on February 26 and before the Teesside awards on March 26.
Winners from each of the three heats will then go to compete at the regional finals at Hardwick Hall Hotel at Sedgefield on April 23.
Finalists have been selected in 12 categories, with a new category added this year with the Let’s Grow Award, which recognises companies that have boosted turnover and profit in the last 12 months.
Organised by The Journal and our sister paper on Teesside, the Gazette, the awards held in association with the North East Chamber of Commerce aim to highlight the inspiring work of businesses of all sizes and in a range of sectors throughout the past 12 months.
Topping the nominations in Durham and Wearside, with three, is Bowburn-based kitchen equipment supplier Andrew James. As well as nominations in the Digital and Social Media Award and the Let’s Grow Award, the firm will be competing against Learning Curve Group and Oil Consultants for the top prize, Company of the Year.
There was also two nominations each for Workwear Express, Redu, Haskel Europe and Hays Travel.
The guest speaker at the event will be former Olympic skier Graham Bell, who now works as a TV presenter and motivational speaker.
Tickets for the event are available by contacting Andrew Forster on 0191 2016430 or by going to the website http://www.nebusinessawards.co.uk/bookings/
Apprenticeship award (sponsored by Esh Group): Hodgson Sayers, Mitchells Grievson Ltd, Hays Travel.
Company of the year: Andrew James, Learning Curve Group, Oil Consultants Ltd.
Digital and Social Media Award: Andrew James, Orcuma, Redu.
Export Award (sponsored by UKTI): Haskel Europe Lrd, Specturm Brands (UK) - Rayovac Hearing Aid Batteries, Tekmar Energy Ltd.
Green Award: Alex Smiles Lrd, Durham Constabulary, Groundwork NE & Cumbria.
Heart of the Community Award (sponsored by Alex Smiles): Esh Group, Hays Travel, Signature.
Innovation Award: Eco EnerG Solutions, Lynch Healthcare, PolyPhotonix Ltd.
Let’s Grow Award (sponsored by Swinburne Maddison): Andrew James, Hadrian Technology, Workwear Express Ltd.
Manufacturing Award: Encoure Envelopes Ltd, Haskel Europe Ltd, Parsons Containers Ltd.
Newcomer of the Year (sponsored by Virgin Money): Chameleon Vocational Training Ltd, Durham Distillery, Redu.
Services Award: North of England Commissioning Support, Samwon Tech (Europe), Workwear Express Ltd.
Small Business Award (sponsored by University of Sunderland): FlooringSuperstore.com, Elm Electric Vehicle Charging Solutions, Lickety Split Creamery Ltd.