Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Award Helped Lomax to Grow Market; NORTH-EAST BUSINESS AWARDS 2006 with Three Days to Enter the North-East Business Awards, James Barton Spoke to a 2004 Winner about Its Progress Since

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Award Helped Lomax to Grow Market; NORTH-EAST BUSINESS AWARDS 2006 with Three Days to Enter the North-East Business Awards, James Barton Spoke to a 2004 Winner about Its Progress Since

Article excerpt

Byline: James Barton

A TRAINING company has found the two years since winning the Small Business prize at the North-East Business Awards highly lucrative - adding more than pounds 400,000 to its annual sales.

Since picking up the trophy at the 2004 regional final, Sunderland-based Lomax Training Services has branched out from a training company specialising in helping qualified gas engineers improve, to enabling those looking for a career-change to enter the utilities sector.

Company secretary Roy Stephenson said: "The night of the awards was an unforgettable evening that set us on the road to further success.

"We didn't expect to win - although I remember one of my colleagues being more confident - but I was delighted that we did.

"It was the icing on the cake following a lot of hard work, particularly the fact that we won the overall regional small business category.

"We like to take part in these type of external awards, it is good business practice to let outside people come and look into your business - feedback is very important."

Lomax now also helps people from outside the industry gain recognised qualifications so they can enter any part of the utilities sector.

He said: "We have made great strides since scooping the award. It made us even more determined to implement our growth strategies, which we have done with confidence."

Founded by Jim Lomax in 1998, the company has now grown considerably, employing more than 30 staff, running four training centres - three in Sunderland and one in Newcastle - enjoying total sales of around pounds 1.7m.

Mr Stephenson said: "Since winning the award we have opened a utility centre in Newcastle called the Howden Utility Centre to complement our activities in Sunderland.

"At the new centre we employ eight staff who help people who work on utility infrastructure in the street - the people who work on gas and water pipes, and electricity cables - together with courses on the renewable fuels sector.

"We do a lot of work with NVQ programmes, enabling people to get into the industry - those looking for a new career who have perhaps been made redundant or are simply looking for a new challenge. …

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