The cream of business gathers for the Portfolio Awards finale tonight - as a sponsor praises the fantastic entries

Last year's Portfolio Award winners celebrate their success. Their successors are about to be revealed.
Last year's Portfolio Award winners celebrate their success. Their successors are about to be revealed.
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Tonight’s the night when Wearside’s very best businesses will find out if they have become award winners.

The finals of the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Business Awards are due to be held at the Stadium of Light this evening and around 20 honours will be handed out.

Maureen Berne, the Head of External Communications at Northumbrian Water.

Maureen Berne, the Head of External Communications at Northumbrian Water.

And as the big finale approached, a Portfolio Awards sponsor told of their delight at the standard of entries from Wearside businesses.

Northumbrian Water is a backer of this year’s Sunderland Echo Portfolio business awards and hailed the level of competition as “fantastic.”

Maureen Berne, the head of external communications at Northumbrian Water, said: “Northumbrian Water is delighted to support the Sunderland Portfolio Business Awards.

“It is fantastic to see so many high quality entries from businesses across the area. The city centre category was particularly competitive and demonstrated how entrepreneurs across the city are helping regenerate the area with innovative business ideas and a passion to succeed.

It is fantastic to see so many high quality entries from businesses across the area. The city centre category was particularly competitive and demonstrated how entrepreneurs across the city are helping regenerate the area with innovative business ideas and a passion to succeed

Maureen Berne

“We have our roots here in the North East and are immensely proud of this. We are also committed to investing in our communities and this was also demonstrated by many of the businesses who entered the awards this year.

“All entries were of a high standard and those who reached the final showed the type of excellence makes for a thriving business community in the heart of Sunderland.”

We have some fantastic backing for this year’s competition.

Make it Sunderland is again our headline sponsor, and will sponsor our overall Business of the Year Award, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award, which is in the sponsor’s gift.

Make It Sunderland is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award.

Other sponsors are Maxim, Quayside Exchange, K&L Groundworks, UKasl, North East Business & Innovation Centre (BIC), Gentoo, Age UK Sunderland, The Bridges, Stagecoach North East, TTR Barnes, Calsonic Kansei, Northumbrian Water and Sunderland College.

The competition’s next stage is the awards finals night which will be held at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland on Thursday, October 13.

Echo readers can follow our coverage on social media and in the Sunderland Echo on Friday, October 14. And watch out for a supplement the week after the awards, featuring photographs and interviews with all of the winners.