Two more leading business organisations are backing the rising stars of the North East at the 2024 BUSINESSiQ Awards.

The inaugural BUSINESSiQ Awards last year proved what a huge appetite there is for an event celebrating the teamwork and support this region is so renowned for and the pure business success that it is generating.

For 2024 we are going even bigger and better. The awards will take place at Ramside Hall Hotel Durham on Thursday 25th April, compered by the amazing Alfie Joey. Entry details are below, and if you want to be part of the event as a  sponsor, contact


Cummins is backing the Innovation award, reflecting its drive to change the way engines are used across a vast range of sectors around the world.

We asked them about their amazing progress and what made them back the Awards

  • Why did you decide to support the awards?

"After such a fantastic award ceremony last year Cummins had to be involved again. The awards are incredibly important and showcase the best businesses across the North East. They recognise that we are levelling up and doing this together. We must applaud and celebrate other companies across the region for their efforts and dedication over the year.

  • Why choose that particular category?

 "Innovation is a part of Cummins’ DNA, from the very beginning of Cummins there was innovation, the power of ideas and a shared vision of what ingenuity and hard work could achieve. This is still very much the same, we are constantly innovating with everything that we do. Whether this be building our new powertrain test facility or showcasing Green Power STEM activities in schools, inspiring the next generation.

  • The awards celebrate success – what is your opinion of the region’s own success?

"The North East is a great place for many reasons:    We have the right infrastructure and continue to develop it, whether it’s the airport, the free port or investment in our road network. Recent investment in train stations also help make it easier for people to travel directly to the North East. 

The Northern Echo: Join us at Ramside Hall Join us at Ramside Hall (Image: Newsquest)

  • Which North East business has particularly impressed you this year? Take a few moments to NOMINATE THEM HERE for a Northern Echo award 

"We have a heritage of engineering and manufacturing locally and a good supply of skilled workers, with expertise backed by leading education outlets such as universities and colleges  The work of the TVCA has helped put the Tees Valley on the map and they continue to drive forward investment and a vision for the region, in particular in relation to hydrogen.

  • What does 2024 hold for you and your organisation?

 "We have the opening of our new powertrain test facility this year in Darlington and the ongoing development of hydrogen internal combustion engine technology."

University of Sunderland

Over at the University of Sunderland, who are helping us find the Creative Business of the Year, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive Sir David Bell told us they wanted to help celebrate the top performers around the city.

"The awards present an excellent opportunity to support the region's businesses and celebrate their remarkable achievements," he said.

The University of Sunderland is dedicated to fostering a skilled workforce by attracting and retaining talent that significantly contributes to our local economy. Our Entrepreneurial Development Team has achieved national recognition for their work supporting graduate startups and we hope our students will also become future employers and active members of our vibrant business community.

The Northern Echo: There were plenty of networking opportunities at the 2023 awardsThere were plenty of networking opportunities at the 2023 awards (Image: Newsquest)

"There are ambitious plans to transform Sunderland into a hub for creative businesses and we are excited to be a part of this journey. Our thriving Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries offer popular courses in art and design, performing arts, and media and we are recognised as one of the top universities in the UK to study film and media production. Not only that, but we also proudly host a regional office of acclaimed production company, Fulwell73, on our campus.

"The past few years have been challenging for businesses everywhere, including here in the north-east of England. However, it is inspiring to see continued resilience in the face of economic difficulties. In Sunderland, the continuing redevelopment of the city centre, the rise of exceptional entrepreneurial independent businesses, and Nissan's forward commitment to its local workforce are all reasons for celebration."

Earlier this year, the university announced an ambitious £250 million investment over ten years across its Sunderland and London sites.

The first phase involved transforming the former Murray Library site on Chester Road into the state-of-the-art Murray Health set to open in March. Murray Health will house the School of Medicine, established in 2019, and the School of Psychology, preparing tomorrow's health professionals for future service in the NHS and beyond.