A FAMILY run business in the North-East has beaten competition from across the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to make it through to the finals of a national competition.

Andrew James, based in Bowburn, County Durham won the regional final of the HSBC Global Connections competition, which rewards business growth, innovation and investment in staff development.

They will hear in September if they have scooped the overall award.

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Cousins Andrew Tomlinson and James Buckle started the kitchen and home products company in 2005.

After twice moving to larger premises and regularly doubling turnover they now employ about 80 staff, and are planning a move to a new 130,000 sq foot distribution centre at East Durham in 2015.

Mr Tomlinson said: “We are now investing heavily in training and qualifications for our staff and are always looking for new technology to make our distribution and communications more effective. We always seek to give our employees a voice, and listen to good ideas from within the company. We also recently launched a new website, which has opened up another sales channel for us. This is definitely an exciting time to be involved with Andrew James.”