Are you a leader in your business field?

HARTLEPOOL’S most influential leaders are set to be honoured in a brand new category for the town’s business awards.

The organisers of Hartlepool’s prestigious event have come up with a new trophy - to honour the individuals whose leadership and acumen make them stand out.

Andrew Steel, Assistant Principal, Hartlepool College and Further Education, and Hartlepool Business Awards co-ordinator

Andrew Steel, Assistant Principal, Hartlepool College and Further Education, and Hartlepool Business Awards co-ordinator

Now, the search is on to find the people to fit the criteria for the Business Leader of the Year crown.

Awards co-ordinator Andrew Steel said: “Most of the other categories in the awards are geared around the company. This is around the individual.

“It does not have to be an employer. It could be someone like a development officer, anyone who has helped to develop the business.

“It is there for anyone who has a skill or an acumen, someone who gives advice.”

Tickets are now available for the awards night which will be held on Thursday, May 15.

They cost £35 to anyone who buys them before April and £40 after that.

There are ten categories to compete for, each carrying a prize worth £1,000.

And there’s the ultimate accolade of Hartlepool Business of the Year which this year carries a £2,000 prize.

The categories for the competition are;

Retail sector – sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Service sector – sponsored by Waltons Clark Whitehill.

Manufacture category – sponsored by Tilly Bailey and Irvine.

Most Promising New Business – Hartlepool Enterprise Centre and Brain Beaumont

Exporter category – sponsored by the North East Chamber of Commerce.

Community category – sponsored by the Hartlepool Mail.

Training category – sponsored by Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Innovation - sponsored by Digital City.

Tourism – sponsored by Hartlepool Borough Council.

Business Personality of the Year. The sponsor for this category is expected to be revealed soon.

The Business of Year title sponsored by HSBC.

Interested people can also take out differing levels of sponsorship packages for the awards, ranging from bronze to silver, gold and platinum.

For more details and application forms, visit the Hartlepool Business Forum website at http://hartlepoolbusinessforum.co.uk/