A world-leading design, engineering and project-management consultancy group has become a key partner in the first BUSINESSiQ Awards.

Atkins, which employs more than 19,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Europe is sponsoring the Community Impact category at our big event on April 28th at Ramside Hall.

We will be celebrating the very best of North East business excellence during an evening hosted by Alfie Joey and featuring a keynote speech from Dragon's Den star Sara Davies.

  • To nominate someone for a BUSINESSiQ Award, CLICK HERE

John Rayson, Atkins Managing Director North – Engineering, told us Atkins was delighted to get the chance to support the awards, and said the business wanted to help level up infrastructure and communities.

"We recognise that our business, and the activities we undertake through our professional services, can make an important contribution to a more sustainable world," he said.

"On a global scale, this means an alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In real-world terms, this means ensuring that benefitting local communities, local environments and our people is at the core of our commercial performance and business success.

"Addressing the UK’s regional inequalities is of importance to us, and we recognise that, as an engineering consultancy, our role goes beyond ‘levelling up’ the infrastructure – we also want to ‘level up’ people and communities. The purpose of the Community Impact category aligns so closely with this ethos, which is why we wanted to be the sponsor."

John said the BUSINESSiQ Awards were a chance to shout even more loudly about the achievements of the region, and the bright future ahead of it.

"Events such as this are a great opportunity to highlight best practice as well as encouraging those across the North East to continue with their efforts. We held a roundtable at Durham University Business School recently, where local leaders and businesses came together to discuss regional rebalancing following the publication of our research into the topic.

"All agreed that the North East needs to keep shouting loudly about its opportunities and successes.

"These are tough times for people and the region is suffering like everywhere else with the cost of living crisis.  However, there is cause for optimism, with the major regeneration work at Teesworks - which we are involved with - just one example of projects across the region which speak to a brighter future.  The staging of the government’s Green Expo on Gateshead in November also indicated that the region is recognised as being at the forefront of a new, green, industrial revolution."

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Atkins is poised for another busy year, and having worked in the region for more than 50 years, there will be a big focus on the North East.

John said: "We’ll be focused on supporting the major projects currently in progress, which have the potential to transform the North East. There’s a huge regeneration happening in the region from the transformation of Teesworks and the neighbouring Net Zero emissions power plant, to the transformation of South Bank Quay and the creation of the UK’s largest freeport. We’ve had a presence in the region for 50 years now, and in that time we’ve also grown our global workforce to over 18,000 people.

"We’d like to use that legacy and experience of growth to help put the North East properly on the map. At the heart of these ambitions are our clients and the local communities; we want our projects to not just transform the built environment but also address the social, economic and environmental challenges being felt in the region so we can create a better place for people in the region to live and work."

We have already had a queue of nominations, but we still have room for more. If you have a business that is really making a difference here, CLICK THIS LINK  to nominate them.