Find out which industry brings £220m a year into Sunderland and employs 13,500 people

The Auxillis team after winning at the North East Contact Centre Awards.
The Auxillis team after winning at the North East Contact Centre Awards.

This year’s superheroes of the contact centre industry have been revealed at the 16th annual North East Contact Centre Awards.

Auxillis was the big winner at the glittering event, which brought together the cream of the crop from the region’s contact centre industry.

The Auxillis team after winning at the North East Contact Centre Awards.

The Auxillis team after winning at the North East Contact Centre Awards.

The Peterlee-based firm scooped the overall “over 250-seats” Crowning Glory title.

The North East Contact Centre Awards, held at the Ramside Hall Hotel and organised by MAKE it Sunderland, which is delivered by Sunderland City Council, celebrated its 16th year with a superheroes-themed evening on Friday, February 8.

The prestigious, popular event attracted a full house from contact centres across the North East.

In Sunderland, the contact centre industry is one of the city's biggest sectors, employing around 13,500 people.

Organisers say the sector generates over £220m a year for Sunderland's economy, and has continued to thrive despite the ups and downs of the economic cycle.

Durham-based Atom Bank won the overall award for the over 50, under 250-seats category, while BGL customer services took home the Outstanding Contribution to the Community award.

Sunderland City Council leader, Coun Graeme Miller said: “The North East Contact Centre Awards is one of the most enjoyable events we organise. It’s great to see so much talent, skill and enthusiasm in our contact centre industry gathered together for this event.

“Congratulations to Auxillis, Atom Bank, and all the winners and shortlisted companies. They’re all doing a fantastic job, and are making our region one of the best in the world in this sector as a result.”

Leanne Chambers, client solutions director at greenbean, NRG, which was main sponsor for the awards said: “This event celebrates so many worthy winners across all sizes of contact centres, and highlights the individual contributions of their own superheroes, who make a huge contribution to the business and the community.

“We’re proud to sponsor the event, which is a refreshing, uplifting evening, and it’s fantastic to see how involved all the companies are in making the occasion a huge success.”

Alex Coxon, head judge said: “The North East is a superb showcase of the contract centre industry – housing some of the UK’s best. Our finalists demonstrated leading practices in a number of areas, making the judging of the categories a tough process. What is clear is that the region’s contact centres are getting better and better every year. All of our finalist should be incredibly proud of themselves.”

The awards were sponsored by greenbean by NRG, MAKE it Sunderland and Sunderland City Council, EC Outsourcing, Business Durham and Narrative Integrated Communications.

Winners of all categories are.

Contact Centre Adviser of the Year 2018:
Winner – Arun Malhotra, Sage (UK) Ltd
Highly Commended – Jonathan Gordon, Insure the Box

Multi Channel Adviser of the Year 2018:
Winner – Martyn Stokoe, BGL Customer Services
Highly Commended – Dean Alderson, Barclays

Sales Star 2018:
Winner – Amina Odukoya from Barclaycard
Highly Commended – Lynsey Heron, Sage (UK) Ltd

Customer Experience Champion 2018:
Winner – Laura Welch, Home Group
Highly Commended – Stuart Macpherson, Sage (UK) Ltd

Inspirational Leader 2018:
Winner – Michelle Mulligan from Sage (UK) Ltd
Highly Commended – Claire Braines - Barclays

People Development Heroes 2018:
Winner – The Organisational Development team at Insure the Box.
Highly Commended – Learning and Development Team, BGL Customer Services

Most Effective Implementation of Technology 2018
Winner: Operations Centre of Excellence –Northumbrian Water
Highly commended: Workforce Intelligence Project Team, AXA Insurance

Dream Team of the Year 2018:
Winner – The customer Service Team at Go North East
Highly Commended – Customer Services Change and Readiness Team, Sage (UK) Ltd

Outstanding Contribution to Community 2018:
Winner – The MI Community Team at BGL customer services.

Best Outsourcing Partnership 2018
Winner: Firstsource and TSB.

North East Contact Centre of the Year 2018, over 50 and under 250 seats:
Winner – Atom Bank
Highly Commended – Home Group

North East Contact Centre of the Year 2018, over 250 seats:
Winner – Auxillis
Highly Commended – Sky Newcastle Service