A NORTH-EAST housing business been named the most gay-friendly employer in the UK. 

Sunderland-based Gentoo has topped the list published by equality charity Stonewall, becoming the first North-East winner of award. 

Peter Walls, Gentoo chief executive officer said: "Winning this award is an amazing achievement.

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"It truly is the people at Gentoo that make this business great and it is vital that everyone feels able to be themselves at work and give us all they’ve got. This award will motivate us to continue to find new ways of working towards our vision.

"Our success is the result of long term, sustained commitment. It’s been an incremental journey over several years, and we’ve worked closely with Stonewall and learnt from best practice examples along the way.”

Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity, said: “Gentoo and every single employer in the Top 100 has performed remarkably this year as competition for a place on the list of gay-friendly employers has never been fiercer.

"This commitment from organisations - across 38 different industries - is changing the face of workplaces for the better for all staff - regardless of their sexual orientation.”

The Top 100 list is based on the results of Stonewall’s Workplace Equality 2014, the tenth published by the charity. The Index is based on a range of key indicators which include a confidential questionnaire of lesbian, gay and bisexual staff, with over 9,700 participants. This consistently revealed that employees from organisations ranked in Stonewall’s Top 100 exhibited higher levels of staff satisfaction and loyalty. 

Full results of the Stonewall Top Employers 2014 will be announced at a ceremony hosted tonight (January 15) by Tate Britain.