Forward-thinking rail firm Northern adds its weight to the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards

A rail firm which has ambitious plans for the North East is right behind the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 12:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 1:11 pm
Anna Weeks of Northern.
Anna Weeks of Northern.

Northern is backing this year’s competition which has attracted top-class entries. Judges recently drew up the shortlists which were of an outstanding standard.

And Portfolio sponsor Northern is itself planning exciting times for the region’s rail system.

Anna Weeks, Regional Director for Northern said, “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards for another year. The awards celebrate the inspiring and hardworking people and businesses involved in making the region so great. We’re really looking forward to a brilliant evening.”

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The sponsors for this year's Portfolio Awards.

Northern plays a vital role in the North of England by connecting tens of thousands of people to work, leisure, education and more every day.

It is committed to delivering transformation of local railways in the North, with a once-in-a-generation investment in everything from trains to how customers buy their tickets.

More than £500m is being spent on new state-of-the-art trains, the first of which are now in passenger service.

And more is being invested in refurbishing the existing Northern fleet to a high standard.

Customers will also benefit from improved facilities, more security on stations with extended opening hours, as well as services becoming faster and more frequent.

Anna added: "The introduction of new ticket vending machines and smart tickets has made it easier for customers to travel with us. In the North East, a new station will be in operation at Horden in 2020 and our newly refurbished trains will be unrecognisable to the ones you see today.

“We have made significant progress on our transformational journey, but there is more to do and the years ahead promise to be exciting for our customers, staff and stakeholders.”

Northern is one of a whole list of first-class sponsors of this year’s competition.

Sunderland City Council 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.It is also backing the contribution social enterprises make to the city in the Social Enterprise Award.Other sponsors are Gentoo, BIC, Station Taxis, Northern, Stagecoach, The Bid, Station Taxis, SAFC, Wilf Husband, Utility Alliance, Northern, Bradley Hall, Sunderland College and the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at the awards finale which will be held at the Stadium of Light on Thursday, November 7.

The Echo will be there to cover the event where more than 20 trophies will be handed out.

Watch out for full coverage online at and on social media on the night, as well as in the Sunderland Echo.

There will also be a post-event supplement in the Echo, filled with interviews and photographs of all the winners.