'It's a vital part of the city's landscape' - enterprise boss backs the new-look business awards

More firms have moved into a Sunderland business centre than at any time in the last 20 years.

Monday, 1st August 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 8:41 am

The coronavirus pandemic failed to dent the optimism in the city’s industry and it is being felt in the North East BIC in Sunderland, where accommodation rates are soaring to new highs.

The BIC was launched in 1994 with a mission to kick start new enterprise, employment and regeneration in a region reeling from the loss of heavy industries.

It has since supported over 4,000 companies to start-up, with the creation of 7,500 jobs across the region.

Paul McEldon who won the Special Recognition Award last year.

The BIC has grown from just 22 incubator units to a 14-acre site housing companies of all sizes and sectors, as well as an onsite business advice team.

Paul McEldon, who has been chief executive at the BIC since 2001, revealed that current numbers of businesses in the centre were up, and said: “We were concerned after the pandemic that things were going to take a downturn.

"But we have never been busier and our accommodation rates are much higher than at any point in the last 20 years.”

He said officials at the centre “were not naive” and realised tough times could lie ahead because of the effects of the cost of living crisis.

The Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards.

But he added: “One of the things that businesses can do is showcase themselves through events like the business awards.”

Once again, the North East BIC is on board as a sponsor as it has been and Paul added: “We see it as a vital part of the business calendar in the city. We have always supported it and always encouraged our businesses to enter and showcase themselves.”

The Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards are under way and Paul McEldon is a huge supporter of them.

Looking back, he said: “I had absolutely no idea. It was very humbling. I have attended these events on lots of occasions and been privileged to see some great people recognised in the city for their contribution. To be held in the same esteem has been mind blowing.”

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This year’s competition, now known as the Sunderland Echo Business Excellence Awards, has a whole host of fantastic backers including Sunderland City Council who are our partners in the competition and are the headline sponsors.

Also on board are the North East BIC, Chilli Mangoes, Marelli and Sunderland College. We thank them all for their outstanding support.

How do you enter? Just take a look at the categories below, choose the one which is the most appropriate for your business, and nominate using the link below.

Make sure you are in the running by putting your name forward. You can nominate your own firm or a company which you think deserves an accolade.

Get those entries in and you could be the next big winner.

For further information and to enter, visit the awards website at www.sunderlandbusinessawards.co.uk/

Closing date for entries is Friday, September 23. Judging will take place shortly after the closing date and the shortlist will be announced in early October.