More than 45 of the North’s most exciting and innovative exporting businesses have made the shortlist of a prestigious awards ceremony supported by Teesside University.
This year’s PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, powered by UMi, attracted over 120 nominations, from Manchester to Middlesbrough and South Shields to Sheffield; and the export turnover from the 48 finalists alone was in excess of £300 million in 2019.
The event was created in 2016 by UMi to recognise the North’s top exporters and celebrate their achievements in international trade, while also giving inspiration to others to consider exporting as a realistic opportunity for growth.
Now in their fourth year, the Awards – run in association with HSBC, Teesside International Airport and the Teesside University - celebrate the achievements and entrepreneurial flair of Northern exporters across nine categories.
UMi Chief Executive, Nicki Clark, said: 'The level of nominees and calibre of businesses are clear evidence of the ambition and global competitiveness that already exist across the North. But there’s much more to be done. At UMi we are on a mission to make it easier to run a business by taking the hard work out of finding and using the best information, expertise and finance. The Northern Powerhouse Export campaign does that by providing inspiration and easy access to the help that’s needed to expand your business’s horizons beyond the shores of the UK.'
Frans Calje, PD Ports’ CEO, said: 'As a maritime nation, the UK has a long and proud history of international trade. Our ports and maritime industries have been the backbone of our country’s position as a global trading power. Across the Northern Powerhouse we are seeing increasing levels of activity to ensure that trading power is equally balanced. In 2019 the UK’s export value was in excess of £645bn, with the North leading the way in terms of consistent net exports. 'The Northern Powerhouse Awards are a chance to celebrate the success stories of our great exporting businesses across the North. I am delighted to see a record number of entries this year as more businesses seek to increase exporting activity with global markets, building resilience, boosting economic growth and creating new jobs.'
Nick Missin, HSBC’s Head of Trade, Global Trade & Receivables Finance for the North, said: 'The North is home to some of the most innovative and intrepid exporters in the UK and we’re proud to support them as they take their goods and services to the world.
'I’d like to congratulate every business that has been recognised by being shortlisted for an award, they are all an inspiration to businesses across the region. At HSBC UK we have trade specialists on hand to help businesses take their first step into exporting or expand their operations to meet growing customer demand and find growth.'
Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise & Business Engagement), from Teesside University, said: 'Teesside University is delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Northern Powerhouse Export Awards. We make it our mission to work with innovative, ambitious companies to help them grow through R&D, skills development, being able to recruit the best talent and not least through networks and collaboration. Building export markets is a sure route to success. These awards are an excellent showcase for the many exporting businesses powering our economy, and for the drive, talent and business acumen that characterise our region.'
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: 'I’m delighted to be welcoming these fantastic shortlisted companies to Teesside International for the PD Ports Northern Powerhouse Export Awards, the first of what will be many events coming to our airport. These are all worthy businesses which are helping our economy by driving international trade, and I’m determined our airport will also play its part in doing so, as well as attracting inward investment to the region.'
The judging panel is made up of PD Ports, HSBC, DIT and Teesside University, and met recently to decide the winners of each category, to be announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday 19 March 2020 at Teesside International Airport.