Fifty years of success - and they’re so proud to be Portfolio Awards winners

The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Berghaus.

The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Berghaus.

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The Sunderland Portfolio Business Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Make It Sunderland.

Winner - Berghaus.

It is 50 years and it is nice to have recognition for it. We have been a North East company from the beginning

John Carver

For 50 years, one Sunderland-based company has been at the forefront of outdoor clothes development.

Berghaus began life as a small shop on Newcastle’s Dean Street, set up by two climbers who decided to import and sell outdoor gear. It was so successful that they soon began to design, test and make their own.

In time, the company began to manufacture rucksacks from a new factory in Washington. Now, it has a suite of innovative products which it develops from its head office on Sunderland Enterprise Park.

Successes have included distinguished mountaineer Sir Chris Bonnington, who wore the brand to climb Mount Everest for the first time in 1985.

Awards have followed, including an international honour for innovation as well as the title of the best office fit out in the UK by the British Council of Offices, after its major refurbishment of the head office,

Now comes a Portfolio Awards trophy, and chief financial officer John Carver said: “It is 50 years and it is nice to have recognition for it. We have been a North East company from the beginning.”

HR director Sarah Middleton said: “People are very proud to come from this part of the world. This is another re-affirmation of that.”

The company and its workers, she said, was proud of what they do and winning the award “puts a spring in their step”.

Mr Carver said the awards success was “absolutely down to the people and the passion for our brand. We could not do it without them”.