The North East Chamber of Commerce has been named UK Chamber of the Year 2023 in the British Chambers of Commerce Awards.

The prestigious award was presented to the Chamber for their continued efforts to build on the great support they had provided to their members throughout the pandemic.

Judges praised the Chamber for their focused and data driven approach to finding solutions. They were also lauded for the broad and diverse range of their initiatives, alongside the effort put into developing relationships with the national and international network.

John McCabe, chief executive, said: “This is a win for the region. Our role at the Chamber is to champion and support the North East and its brilliant business community.

“For us to be awarded Chamber of the Year truly is recognition of the spirit of collaboration between the Chamber and all parts of the region’s economy, and I couldn’t be prouder of the Chamber team for continuing to support, connect and represent for the region.

“What an exciting time, the North East has started to raise its aspirations for the future, there is a sense of excitement, of potential and of possibility about business in the region.

“This award acknowledges the Chamber’s commitment to supporting businesses on that journey, and I’m hugely optimistic about our future and what we as a region can and will achieve together.”

The Chamber - a leading partner in The Northern Echo's Levelling Up campaign - supports, connects and represents more than 2,000 organisations employing 40% of the region’s workforce. The Chamber network extends to 53 accredited UK Chambers.

Sarah Howard, chair of the BCC, said: “Every year the quality of the work carried out by Chambers, supporting businesses in the UK, seems to step up a notch.

“There is no doubt the UK and global economies still face tough weeks and months ahead, but businesses can be reassured that the Chambers will have their back and continue to fight their corner.

“The North East Chamber should take huge pride in this award as it was won in the face of incredibly tough competition. Congratulations to you all.”

The North East Chamber’s achievements in recent years have included: representation on the national Business Council; successful Local Skills Improvement Plans engagement and delivery; partnering with Isle of Man Chamber of Commerce; successful lobbying reflected in the Spring Budget 2023; and collaboration in securing a regional devolution deal.

The Northern Echo: John McCabeJohn McCabe (Image: Press release)

Other successes include the recent launch of the Digital Forum, an enhanced knowledge programme for all members, successful regional awards aligned with national BCC awards, as well as a 2023 corporate image refresh and launch of a strategy for change to build a stronger, fairer North East.

John Marshall, chair of the Chamber, said: “This award is reflective of the excellent team we have at the Chamber, who work tirelessly on behalf of all of our members.

“A huge well done to everyone in our Chamber team, who continue to impress me with their boundless enthusiasm and professionalism. I am so proud of all they have achieved, day in, day out, to support and advocate for our region.

“Thank you also to all our members and everyone who continues to support the Chamber. We are stronger and better for everyone’s huge contribution, which enables us to represent the views and needs of businesses of all sizes and sectors, regionally and nationally.”

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The Chamber Business Awards, now in their 20th year, are one of the showpieces of the business calendar, highlighting the role that Chambers of Commerce play in assisting firms to deliver growth and prosperity for the UK and local communities.

The awards provide an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the Chamber network, and the vital support Chambers provide to businesses.

The International Chamber of the Year, sponsored by BSI, was awarded to the Ghana Chamber of Commerce.