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Northumbrian Water – which provides water and sewage services for almost 3 million people – has been named as the overall winner of the North of England Excellence Awards 2013. Northumbrian Water was named Business of the Year and also won an Excellence Award. Assessors had all-round praise for the business, from its efficient plant to the company ethos and highly motivated staff, and described their visit to the Durham headquarters as ‘enlightening, rewarding and a real privilege’.

Other Excellence Award winners were the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) artwork studio at Barnard Castle, County Durham, which provides packaging artwork for GSK’s pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare businesses, and Trent & Dove Housing, the Staffordshire-based housing association.

They were presented with their awards by Richard Else, Operations Director of Jaguar Land Rover, at the awards ceremony at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club.

GSK’s Barnard Castle studio also scooped two Special Awards – for Customer Service and Lean. The rail operator First TransPennine Express was another multiple winner, scooping four Special Awards – for High Growth, Learning & Development, Leadership, and Sustainability.

Other Special Awards went to AESSEAL plc, the Rotherham-based seal manufacturer (Special Award for Sustainability), ALPLA UK, which manufactures plastic bottles at its plant on the Wirral (Customer Service), law firm DWF LLP (High Growth), aircraft simulation training equipment provider EDM Ltd (International Trade), Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (Learning & Development), pump supplier Grundfos Manufacturing Ltd (Sustainability), the housing association Plus Dane Group (Learning & Development) and South Yorkshire Probation Trust (Customer Service).

David Teale, Chief Executive of North of England Excellence, said: “The 2013 awards have once again revealed some outstanding examples of best practice in business. These are organisations which are pursuing world-class levels of performance. No doubt they will use the feedback from assessors which they have gained from taking part in the awards to raise their game even higher.”

The full list of winners is:

North of England Excellence Awards

Northumbrian Water Limited Durham

GlaxoSmithKline (Pack Artwork Shared Service) Barnard Castle

Trent & Dove Housing Burton Upon Trent


Business of the Year

Northumbrian Water Limited Durham


Special Award for Sustainability – sponsored by URENCO UK

AESSEAL plc Rotherham

First TransPennine Express Manchester

Grundfos Manufacturing Ltd Sunderland


Special Award for Customer Service – sponsored by Customer First

GlaxoSmithKline (Pack Artwork Shared Service) Barnard Castle

ALPLA UK Ltd Wirral

South Yorkshire Probation Trust Sheffield


Special Award for High Growth

First TransPennine Express Manchester

DWF LLP Leeds, Liverpool,


Newcastle, Preston


Special Award for International Trade – supported by UKTI

EDM Ltd Newton Heath, Manchester


Special Award for Leadership

First TransPennine Express Manchester


Special Award for Lean

GlaxoSmithKline (Pack Artwork Shared Service) Barnard Castle


Special Award for Learning & Development

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Manchester

Plus Dane Group Liverpool

First TransPennine Express Manchester