Another big backer joins the search for Wearside’s best businesses

The Bridges Sunderland
The Bridges Sunderland
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A big supporter in the search for Wearside’s best businesses is back for another year.

And we’re delighted to welcome back The Bridges which is a long-standing champion of Sunderland’s business community and supporter of the Portfolio awards.

The Portfolio awards are a great platform for businesses to show what they have to offer at a time when the city really is going to be in the international spotlight. We would encourage everyone to enter

Andy Bradley

The centre itself has had plenty to celebrate in the past 12 months.

The arrival in 2016 of leading national brands KIKO, Holland and Barrett, Smiggle and Footasylum helped boost an already impressive retail offer in the city.

And fast forward to this year with investment such as the refurbishment of Debenhams’ beauty hall which saw leading cosmetic names such as BUXOM and MAC take up residence, along with the River Island’s move into a unit three times its

size, showcased how Sunderland is positively viewed by the major retail players.

Officials at the Bridges say it has always played a major role in all of the events taking place in the city – and this year is no exception.

Along with being a sponsor for the Tall Ships Races 2018, the centre has become one of the 21 partners supporting the 2021 City of Culture BID.

Centre Director, Andy Bradley, believes there has never been a more important time to highlight the city’s businesses.

“These events will really put Sunderland on the map and show that the city is an exciting place to live and work.” he said.

“Everyone needs to embrace these opportunities because of the vibrancy they will bring, not to mention the economic value.

“The Portfolio awards are a great platform for businesses to show what they have to offer at a time when the city really is going to be in the international spotlight.

“We would encourage everyone to enter.”

Now’s your chance to put yourself in the running for this year’s competition.

State which category your nomination applies to from the list below and describe the reasons for your nomination. Do it in no more than 300 words.

Also include the address of your chosen nomination and provide details on how we can contact the company – such as their email and a phone number.

Post your nomination to: Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 5RA. Alternatively, you can email

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 Northumbrian Water, TTR Barnes, BIC, Sunderland BID, The Bridges, Sunderland College, Wessington Dental, Gentoo, Creo, The Fans Museum, Stagecoach North East and JB Skills Training.

The deadline for entries is Friday, September 8. After that, the judges draw up a shortlist. Then it is on to the grand final at the Stadium of Light, on Thursday, October 26.

There’s plenty of time for you to put forward your favourites – get nominating!

The categories are as follows;

Small Business of the Year.

Best Green Business Award.

Medium Business of the Year.

Best Training Provider.

Large Business of the Year.

Exporter of the Year.

Employer of the Year.

Leisure Award.

Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

City Centre Business of the Year.

Technology of the Year.

Creative Industries Award.

New Business of the Year.

Sole Trader Award.

Special Community Award.

Best Age Friendly Business.

Social Enterprise Award.

Corporate Social Responsibility Award.