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North East family business Gate 7 whose MD is Kate Wickham, 35 have recorded a record 38% upturn in sales.  Supplying internationally, the company is an innovative UK based specialist component manufacturer with their head office in the North East, supplying decals and vehicle livery worldwide to the automotive sector to Bobcat, Volvo, Komatsu and JCB etc. In addition to running the business with a team of 44 employees, Kate Whickham leads the overseas export in Europe, North America and India, currently accounting for 60% of Gate 7’s revenue.  Recently awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise International Trade 2018, Kate Wickham attributes receiving the award for the second time for their upturn in sales.

MD Kate Whickham, who was originally brought up in Sunderland and is now based in Newcastle said “It’s a huge honour to receive this award for the second time especially following the recent and significant increase of sales of 38%. When Gate 7 last received the award In 2005, it was the spring board for the company’s success and credibility in a competitive exporting market. It is a credit to the team at Gate 7 and all the hard work they have put in and also testament to how far we have come. We expect continued growth through 2018/19 with our current customer base and new business acquired in 2017”.

In the past year, Gate 7 expanded to include an additional 8,000 sqft of warehousing space and 3,000 sqft of manufacturing space allowing them to invest in new equipment and machinery to increase both their capability and current capacity. They expect continued growth through 2018-19 with their current customer base and new business acquired in 2017. With a specific product supplied to a niche market the key to long-term success has always been in exporting. Maintaining a strong domestic market provides the foundation to expand further into Europe, USA and Asia.  The growth strategy is heavily dependent on innovation and investment to continually move the business forward and make the most of opportunities ahead.  Gate 7 also utilise worldwide exhibitions as an opportunity to present and market Gate 7 and their products. Citing these as excellent ways to meet potential new customers, research new markets, new products, competition and to showcase Gate 7.  Support from trade organisations such as UK Trade and Investment and the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) are integral to Gate 7’s growth strategy by offering support through funding, contacts, advice and support.