More than 360 people attended the North East England Chamber of Commerce Business  Awards at The Sage in Newcastle last night.

The winner of business of the year was the Blyth manufacturer Tharsus which also won the larger company category. Its client list includes some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Europe including Ocado. 

Other successes include Redrose Nutraceutical, the small business of the year, Citizen’s Advice Gateshead, which won the business diversification award and believe housing, the green business award winner. 

Read more: Sales and exports hit in North East England Chamber of Commerce survey

The winner of the diversity and inclusion award was Seaham-based Prima Cheese.  While LamasaTech achieved top honours as the export business of the year and the commitment to people award was won by Signpost Productions. 

Learning Curve


Everflow Group won scale up business of the year and Northumbrian Water was announced the Chamber community business of the year. Special mention was given to Brenda McLeish, OBE DL chief executive, Learning Curve, who was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year.  

Eight category winners become an automatic finalist in the British Chambers of Commerce awards in the Autumn as well as regional recognition for their substantial achievements. 

The Northern Echo: Andrew HaighAndrew Haigh

Andrew Haigh, Chamber President (Newcastle Building Society) said: “The Chamber’s business awards celebrate everything we know makes strong, successful firms and employers. Whether that’s going green or grasping export potential, scaling up, developing skills or demonstrating excellence in diversity and inclusion, the 10 award categories covered small and large businesses, charities, mutuals and social enterprises.



"And this year’s winners represent exceptional diversity. And it is this diversity in business which is at the heart of a strong, successful, thriving North East economy, and which in turn underpins our strong, thriving communities. 

“We thank all our sponsors, and in particular Bernicia, for supporting these awards and giving us the perfect opportunity to highlight so many of our regional successes.” 

Brian Palmer, Tharsus founder said: “It’s fantastic to receive this level of recognition, especially against such strong competition, there’s lots of brilliant businesses in the room and region as a whole. We’re so proud to receive business of the year and it’s a real testament to the staff and teamwork at Tharsus.” 

Esh Group


The business of the year award was sponsored by Esh Group, Darush Dodds, Corporate Affairs Director, said: “What really stood out with Tharsus is, their ability to onboard relatively low skilled people and develop them, giving them a career with lots of potential – the true meaning of Social Mobility. Privately owned and proud of its Northumberland roots, this is a North-East business truly representative of what this region and it’s people are capable of.”