Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shining Out: The Brightest Stars

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Shining Out: The Brightest Stars

Article excerpt

Byline: By Graeme King

The best businesses from across our region have entered the North-East Business Awards and now we are ready to reveal the shortlist for the Tyneside & Northumberland sub-region.

The judges have met, debated, and argued over the entrants' merits and finally we have the top three companies in each of the 11 categories, as well as the shortlist for our new region-wide award for cultural and creative businesses.

Tickets for our award dinners are selling fast but there are still a few places available. The Tyneside & Northumberland dinner will be held on Thursday, March 22; the Tees Valley event is on Thursday, March 29; the Durham & Wearside dinner will be held on Thursday April, 5; and the North-East Business Awards Regional Final will take place on Thursday, May 24.

Company of the Year

Sponsor: Eversheds

Aesica Pharmaceuticals, Cramlington.

Formed through a management buy-out from BASF in 2004, Aesica has since gone on to establish a strong reputation in the pharmaceutical industry. The company employs 240 staff at its base in Cramlington, Northumberland, and has also acquired a site in north London from industry giant Merck. This positioned Aesica as a company that was capable of "punching above its weight". The supply agreement which came with the site doubled Aesica's sales overnight.

Whelan, Newcastle.

The 100-strong construction business has seen massive growth over the last two years ( doubling in size. The company, newly relocated to Gosforth, Newcastle, recognised in 2004 while it enjoyed a good reputation for quality work, it was seen as old fashioned, small, steady and safe. It has now moved on substantially. One key development has been to move from a purely passive company, responding to tenders, to actively seeking out new work.

Wellstream International, Newcastle.

The oil and gas pipeline company has been operating under its present management since 2003 when it was bought from US multinational Halliburton. With 473 staff at its base on the riverside at Walker, Wellstream is a major employer in the city of Newcastle, and has recently grown in the global marketplace with a new production base in Brazil.

Small Business Award

Sponsor: Business Link Tyne & Wear

Acritas, Newcastle.

This five-year-old company is a full service business research agency that provides both qualitative and quantitative research for businesses. The company has seen strong growth and has a strong reputation for the expertise it can provide.

Airowear, Corbridge.

This 22-year-old business is a successful designer and maker of specialist equestrian safety equipment. It is recognised as an industry leader in equestrian body armour and sells to customers around the globe.

Raytec, Ashington.

This company makes both infra-red and white-light lights for the closed circuit television industry. Its many innovations have made it one of the world leaders in its field and it is seeing a strong growth in sales.

Innovation Award

Sponsor: HSBC

Fawthrop McLanders, Newcastle.

The marketing and design agency has created a software product which allows conference attendees to ask questions of the speaker and for the speaker to then choose which they want to answer or display, allowing several to be asked simultaneously and a record to be kept.

Jade Care International, Gateshead.

This small, two-year-old business has created a portable hand washing unit which needs neither plumbing nor electricity. The company has built up a reputation across Europe for the quality and value of its unusual product.

Workplace Travel Plan Company, Newcastle.

This company is the work of managing director Peter Wignall, new media specialist Phil Lindsay and training and customer support professional Diane Ward. …

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