Awards success for family business Wessington Cryogenics
A FAST-growing family business was last night named the Durham and Wearside Company of the Year in the regions biggest and best business awards.
Houghton-le-Spring-based Wessington Cryogenics took the top title in the first heat of the nebusiness awards, beating medical reporting service UK Independent Medical and 0800 Repairs, which fixes domestic appliances across the country.
Wessingtons success in the awards, organised by The Journal and Evening Gazette in association with Business Link, caps a strong 12 months for the 25-year-old manufacturer which has seen record results and moved into a new factory twice the size of its former base.
Director Gill Southern, her father Eddie Rowe and brother Paul Rowe, have led a turnaround of the business which was on the brink of bankruptcy five years ago.
The firm, which has 90 staff, has focused on new technology and building up its exports. It now sells 80% of its output overseas and was a finalist for the Export Award last night.
It is now a world leader in the manufacture of specialist gas storage tanks with annual revenues of around s10m and its customer list includes the Ministry of Defence, Nasa and Cern.
The company was just one of 11 which celebrated taking the top prize in their category at the black tie ceremony at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham last night.
Hundreds of executives packed the hotel ballroom to cheer on the finalists. All of the winners in this first of three sub-regional finals will go through with those from Tyneside & Northumberland and Tees Valley to the grand regional final at Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield on April 29.
There were hundreds of entries again this year for the North Easts biggest corporate awards, said Andrew Hebden, ncjmedia head of business, who gave last nights keynote address.
There may be some signs of economic recovery but businesses are working in an extremely difficult environment, he said. The successes we are celebrating tonight are all the more impressive for that.
He added: It more important than ever that we continue to provide a platform for North East businesses to showcase their strengths and achievements and remember their success.
The nebusiness awards for 2009 will once again prove that there are hundreds of businesses across the region doing great things, achieving impressive results and demonstrating world-class qualities.
Journalist, publisher and Loaded magazine founder James Brown regaled the audience with anecdotes from his colourful career at last nights dinner, which is one of four for the awards which will be attended by a total of more than 2,000 business people.
To find out more about the awards and book a table for the dinners visit the website www.nebusinessawards.co.uk or contact Kirsty Tarn on 0191 201 6072.