A BUSINESS head-quartered in Darlington has been shortlisted for a national award to recognise its work in developing and supporting employees.

The Bannatyne Group, founded by Scottish businessman Duncan Bannatyne, and now based off Haughton Road, are in the running for an Investors in People award.

The Group, which employs more than 3,000 people across the UK, has been shortlisted by the Government-recognised body, in the Best Newcomer category, for companies employing more than 500 people.

The Investors in People awards recognise the organisations and individuals that highlight excellence from across the Investors in People global community.

Last year, The Bannatyne Group was recognised as an outstanding employer with a good work atmosphere, with Investors in People accreditation.

The Group received the award from the body, following surveys of staff who were picked at random.

Helen Seddon, group human resources manager at The Bannatyne Group, said: “Last year we were proud to achieve Investor in People accreditation the first time we applied for it, so it is amazing that we have been shortlisted for this award.

“The Bannatyne Group is committed to developing and training its members of staff.

"We are continuing to invest in our sites and expand our portfolio of health clubs and spas, but we would not be able to make this a success without capable, experienced and enthusiastic staff, which we have in abundance at Bannatyne.”

The group was founded by businessman Mr Bannatyne began in 1997.