Two North East businesses are celebrating after winning top exporting awards at the Board of Trade Awards, held last night (28/02/19) in Durham.

Supported by the Department for International Trade (DIT), the awards were held at Durham Castle to celebrate businesses from across the Northern Powerhouse that have displayed exceptional performance in international trade.

The Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox MP presented Gateshead-based Kate Wickham, MBE and Managing Director of Gate 7, with a Board of Trade Award for her company’s exceptional performance in international trade. Middlesbrough-based Bill Scott, OBE and CEO of Wilton Engineering, also collected an award, which stands as a globally recognised certificate of excellence.

Exporting accounts for almost 70% of turnover for Gate 7 – a specialist printer for construction machinery – which exports to Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the United States.

Wilton Engineering is a specialist manufacturer in the oil and gas industry, and has been reaping the benefits of growing overseas demand for renewable energy products in markets including Germany, Denmark, Belgium and the US.

Both businesses were selected by a panel of senior DIT leaders because of their contributions to international trade and positive impact on the North East economy.

In conjunction with the awards, Secretary of State Liam Fox was at Durham Castle to launch the national Export Champion Community.

Through this initiative, almost 1,000 businesses that have successfully entered overseas markets will encourage their fellow firms to start exporting, offering practical advice.

Launching the Export Champion Community at a reception for participant companies, International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade Dr Liam Fox MP said:

“The Export Champion Community is an important initiative and its members will play a vital role in creating the culture of exporting that my international economic department is building in Britain.

“By raising the profile of exporters in this way, we will help to normalise exporting across the country, expanding horizons, removing barriers to market access and facilitating expansion here in the UK.

“Supported by a community of the UK’s leading exporters, I am confident that our businesses will continue to grow their exports in the months and years ahead.”

Commenting on the Board of Trade Award winners, David Coppock, Head of Region (North East) at DIT, said: “It’s fantastic to see two North East businesses recognised for their exporting success. There’s huge international demand for UK products and we’re here to support businesses in the region looking to enter into new markets.

“Exporting does come with its challenges, including logistics and legal requirements, but there’s a host of support available for businesses from all sectors. I’d urge other businesses thinking about selling overseas to get in touch with our team of International Trade Advisers today and see how they can experience similar success trading internationally.”