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A TOP US diplomat will be among the VIPs at an event to celebrate the achievements of the region’s top export champions.

The annual North-East Exporters Awards and gala dinner, sponsored by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), North-East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) and HSBC,will be held on Thursday, July 12.

Dozens of companies and individuals have been nominated for the awards and the winners will be announced at the event at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead.

Among the guests will be Barbara Stephenson, deputy chief of mission at the United States Embassy in London.

Compere for the evening will be television presenter Wendy Gibson.

● A HOUSING group and a charity have joined forces in a new partnership.

The North-East charity Norcare has joined Fabrick Housing Group to bring an even more focused approach to supported housing and benefit.

The Fabrick Housing Group includes around 15,000 properties.

It is now linking up with Norcare, which provides housing support and a range of other services for some of the most vulnerable groups of society including veterans, people suffering alcohol or drug addiction, those with mental health issues and victims of domestic violence.

● AN awards scheme to celebrate leading female entrepreneurs is still open for entries.

The NatWest everywoman Awards have attracted thousands of entries in their 10 years of operation, and commended household names such as Karren Brady, as well as other women whose businesses both large and small support Britain’s reputation as one of the best countries for enterprise.

This year awards organisers are appealing for women in enterprise across the country to put themselves forward.

The NatWest everywoman Awards are free to enter and nominations can be made by business owners or those connected to them by July 20.

Nominations can be made online at www.everywoman.com/ewawards until July 20 and will be judged by a panel of accomplished businesswomen and entrepreneurs.