A fast growing tech firm has topped a record year by triumphing at the North East Business Awards.
Gateshead’s Aspire Technology Solutions is celebrating after scooping the top prize of Company of the Year at the Northumberland and Tyneside Business Awards.
The business was launched as a two-man operation back in 2006 by Chris Fraser and Nigel Begg.
Now it employs more than 150 people across its head office in Heworth Hall, Gateshead, and an office in London, having transformed the listed building into a modern office to support its ambitious growth plans.
Judges picked Aspire as Company of the Year after hearing how the firm, which specialises in connectivity, managed services and infrastructure solutions, smashed its five-year goal of reaching £20m turnover a year early.
The firm beat fellow Gateshead business Northern Gas & Power and Newcastle’s iamproperty to win the award at the event, the first of three regional heats being held to root out the best businesses in the North East.
Other heats will now follow for Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside, and in Teesside, ahead of a grand final in April at Hardwick Hall Hotel.
The company won the last award of the night at the black-tie event at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead Hotel, which attracted around 300 guests.
The evening, which was hosted by TV presenter Kirsten O’Brien, was launched by Graeme Whitfield, business editor at The Journal.
He said: “There are many things for us to celebrate. The announcement this week of 1,000 new jobs with alarm company Verisure moving to the Quorum Business Park was welcome, as are signs of growing activity along the banks of the Tyne.
“A number of North East firms were last week named among the country’s best places to work and
Greggs has continued its takeover of the world, one pastie at a time.
“The Journal dates back to 1832 and its main role throughout its history has been celebrating the best of the North East. Celebrating the best of this region is why we’re here tonight.”
The night also featured guest speaker Perry McCarthy, the British racing car driver who is best known as the original Stig from BBC’s Top Gear.
Other awards during the night went to Nebula Labs, winner of the Digital Technology award, and Houghton International, winner of the Apprenticeships, Training & Skills award, and Stablewood Coastal Cottages, which won the Tourism & Hospitality award.
Winners list in full
Newcomer of the Year – Hitmarker
Manufacturing award – Bedmax Ltd
Innovation award – Transmission Dynamics
High Growth & Ambition award – Bloom Procurement
Services award – RWO Associates
Tourism & Hospitality award – Stablewood Coastal Cottages
Digital Technology award – Nebula Labs
Small Business award – Erudus
Heart of the Community – Jam Jar Cinema
Company of the Year – Aspire Technology Solutions