A Durham company has been honoured with an award for their effective use of capital in a ceremony at Richard Branson’s Oxfordshire home.
Family-run online retailer Andrew James, based in Bowburn, was ranked 32nd in the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100 list of the fastest growing private companies in the UK earlier this year.
Representatives from these top 100 companies joined Richard Branson at his family home in the Oxfordshire countryside for a conference and awards ceremony.
During the conference, the attendees heard inspiring stories and advice from the people behind some of the country’s top businesses including Just Eat and BrewDog, as well as Virgin boss Mr Branson.
The awards ceremony that followed saw companies such as Tangle Teezer and Oak Furniture Land take home trophies.
Andrew James was awarded the accolade for ‘Effective Use of Capital’, having developed a new office headquarters and separate distribution centre by reinvesting profits and taking advantage of an injection of capital from the Business Growth Fund.
Director James Buckle, who accepted the award, said: “It means a lot to us to get recognition from some of the country’s leading business minds for all the hard work and capital investment we have put in to developing the new headquarters and distribution centre.”
The development of the new premises in Seaham represents a £10m investment for Andrew James.
The distribution centre at Foxcover Industrial Estate has been kitted out with state-of-the-art warehousing technology, which will allow the company to accurately and efficiently dispatch as many as 50,000 parcels per day.
Andrew James, who celebrated their 10th Anniversary in 2015, see this investment as not only an investment for themselves as a company, but an investment on behalf of the North East.
“The facilities at the new headquarters are going to be really top-notch.” Mr Buckle explained.
“We want our employees to work in an environment that will inspire them to contribute their very best, and to work together to drive the business onwards and upwards.”
Fellow director Andrew Tomlinson said: “We are keen to become a landmark organisation in Seaham, and this award for our enterprising and ambitious use of business capital is a real feather in our cap.
“We have already had staff assisting with Seaham in Bloom ahead of our move, and we see this level of involvement with charity and the local community as an integral part of our corporate responsibilities.
“A number of jobs will be created as a result of our relocation, which is great news for the region.
“We very much see ourselves as rooted in the local area, but with a global outlook, and we feel this high-level recognition of our plans is further evidence that after 10 great years, we are entering a new and exciting time for the organisation.”