A COMPANY tasked with project-managing the building of a billion-dollar, seven-star hotel in Dubai has won the Queen's Award for international trade.

Three North-East companies have shown that the region is a strong exporter after winning Queen's Awards for Enterprise.

Teesside-based K Home International - which is project managing the building of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai - Tracerco, based in Billingham, and Gate 7 in Gateshead all won gongs for international trade.

Dinah Bennett, of Durham Business School, clinched an individual award for enterprise promotion for her work in reducing barriers to business, particularly for women.

K Home's head office is in Thornaby where it employs more than 300 people, but it is project-managing overseas industrial projects including a magnesium smelting plant in Egypt, and Bahrain, and designing a drilling platform for a Texas-based oil company.

Andrew Home, of the family-run company, said K Home was also working on local projects, such as the Biofuels Corporation's bio-diesel plant in Teesside.

He said: "K Home is proud to support these local entrepreneurial companies."

Tracerco, part of Johnson Matthey Catalysts, has won its second Queen's Award in three years. The oil-and-gas service provider's award is in recognition of massive export growth in the past three years.

Gate 7, which was set up five years ago, makes self-adhesive name plates for excavation vehicles to comply with safety legislation. It employs 25 people. Overseas sales have increased by nearly 300 per cent in the past three years.