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Tharsus handed top honour at North East England Chamber of Commerce’s business awards

A robotics firm showcasing “the true meaning of social mobility” has been crowned business of the year at a flagship awards ceremony.

Blyth-based Tharsus picked up the accolade last night (Thursday, July 14) at the North East England Chamber of Commerce’s business awards.

The firm – which designs and builds advanced robotic systems, and is known for working with clients such as online supermarket Ocado – also won the larger company category at the Sage Gateshead-based event.

It will now go on to represent the region – alongside a number of fellow winners – at a British Chambers of Commerce ceremony later this year.

Brian Palmer, Tharsus founder [pictured, above, second from left], said: “It’s fantastic to receive this level of recognition, especially against such strong competition; there’s lots of brilliant businesses in the region.

“We’re so proud to receive business of the year – it’s a real testament to the staff and teamwork.”

Praising Tharsus, Darush Dodds, corporate affairs director at business of the year award sponsor Esh Group [pictured, above, second from right], said: “What really stood out is its ability to onboard relatively low-skilled people and develop them, giving them a career with lots of potential – the true meaning of social mobility.

“Privately-owned, and proud of its Northumberland roots, this is a North East business truly representative of what this region and it’s people are capable of.”

Other winners on the evening included Redrose Nutraceutical, which won the small business of the year award, and Citizen’s Advice Gateshead, which picked up the North East Times Magazine-sponsored business diversification award.

Believe Housing was handed the green business title, with Prima Cheese, based in Seaham, east Durham, walking away with the diversity and inclusion accolade.

LamasaTech secured top honours in the export business category, while Signpost Productions was honoured with the commitment to people award.

Everflow Group won scale up business of the year, Northumbrian Water was announced Chamber community business of the year, and entrepreneur of the year was Brenda McLeish, chief executive at Spennymoor-based training provider Learning Curve Group.

Andrew Haigh, Chamber president and Newcastle Building Society chief executive [pictured, above, far left], added: “The business awards celebrate everything we know makes strong, successful firms and employers.

“Whether that’s going green or grasping export potential, scaling up, developing skills or demonstrating excellence in diversity and inclusion, the ten award categories covered small and large businesses, charities, mutuals and social enterprises.

“This year’s winners represent exceptional diversity.

“And it is this diversity in business which is at the heart of a strong, successful, thriving North East economy, and which in turn underpins our strong, thriving communities.

“We thank all our sponsors, and in particular Bernicia, for supporting these awards and giving us the perfect opportunity to highlight so many of our regional successes.”