The Stockton firm was named North East Company of the Year in September, having won the same prize in Teesside earlier in the year.
The company, which was launched in 2011, recorded first-year turnover of £1.1m but has since grown to become a £60m operation delivering hundreds of containers every week, operating out of more than 15 depots across the UK. In June the company received investment from mid-market private equity firm LDC to support the next stage of its growth journey and it later launched two new divisions.
The Gateshead computer games firm formed by two school friends in the North East was this year named the region’s fastest growing company when it won the main prize at the Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 event.
The firm, which has shown average turnover growth rate of 121% over the last three years, is best known for games including Transformers: Battlegrounds and Jurassic World: Aftermath.
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Formerly known as Sphera, Seaham’s LCM (Low Carbon Materials) is a Durham University spin-out which came to global prominence this year when it was shortlisted for the Earthshot environmental prize.
The company has developed a carbon negative building material Osto which is made primarily from waste materials and by-products that would have otherwise been difficult to recycle. The company won backing worth £1.9m in February from Green Angel Syndicate, the UK’s largest specialist network of investors fighting climate change.
Inn Collection Group
The Newcastle firm has rarely been out of the headlines this year as it continues to add pubs and hotels to its growing portfolio.
Additions have included the landmark Park Hotel in North Tynesidem set to be renamed The Tynemouth Castle Inn as part of a significant refurbishment, and the art deco Midland Hotel at Morecambe. In February the company was sold to new owners in a deal said to be worth more than £300m.
The Newcastle company celebrated its 100th anniversary this year with a celebrity-studded party at the Sage Gateshead, a range of charity initiatives and a pledge to create 100 new jobs.
The group, which contains a number of businesses based around the North East, also returned to profitability after a difficult few years as a turnaround strategy began to bear fruit.
Any company that can make microchip is important in the current business climate, and Pragmatic Semiconductor has secured more than £100m from investors this year to further its work.
The company already operates a base at County Durham’s NETPark facility and has expanded its Cambridge site. It is now looking to redevelop its North East site to increase production capacity more than five-fold.
Newcastle tech firm SoPost, which helps brands run product sampling campaigns, has been hotly-tipped for a number of years.
2022 saw the company included on a list of Europe’s fastest-growing firms, win a Queen’s Award for International Trade and outline plans for overseas growth. Founder and CEO Jonathan Grubin was also named on the national LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders list.
Port of Blyth
The Northumberland port has been a key player in the region’s net zero agenda for a number of years and this year saw those efforts pay dividends with the highest turnover in its 140-year history.
The company also landed a number of key deals with major offshore players, the most recent being an announcement just before Christmas that power firm RWE would site its construction base for the Sofia wind farm in Dogger Bank at the port’s Bates Clean Energy Terminal.
Fresh from an investment deal with Marks and Spencer at the end of 2021, the Newcastle clothes hire business has gone from strength to strength with link-ups with fashion brands including Decathlon, Oasis and River Island.
In September, the firm was one of three North East businesses named on Tech Nation’s Net Zero 3.0 growth programme, and it was also one of the tech organisation’s 10 UK Rising Stars for the year.
What a difference new ownership can make for a company that had been treading water for some years.
The consortium that bought the club at the end of 2021 really hit their stride this year, with investment, positive leadership and better relationships with customers paying huge dividends. And that Bruno’s a bit good, isn’t he?
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