Sotech is cream of crop

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A PETERLEE firm is celebrating after being declared the best in east Durham.

Sotech, based on Whitehouse Business Park, took the title of East Durham Business Service Business of the Year at the Celebration of Enterprise Awards.

The firm also won the Best Brand category.

Managing director John Egginton hailed his success as a “great accolade” for the firm which is 29 years old and employs around 30 people.

He said it continued a great year for Sotech which makes bespoke rainscreen cladding and architectural fabrications.

It was chosen to clad the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton, south London, which has gone on to win the Stirling Prize – the most prestigious design honour in the UK – for its architect Zaha Hadid.

John said: “I felt that the company had something to say this year. Our name is now spoken about in industry all over the country.”

Two hundred people attended the awards at the Ramside Hall Hotel in Durham, where EDBS chief executive Peter Chapman welcomed guests and said: “We are very much committed to encouraging the success and endeavour of individuals and teams from across our area.

“We are delighted to showcase the expertise of the shortlisted companies.”

The evening saw 10 awards handed out:

l EDBS Business of the Year – Sotech, Peterlee.

l Best New Business Idea – What’s On 4 Me, Peterlee.

l Excellence In Innovation – Harland Corporation, Seaham.

l Apprentice of the Year – Tyler Foster, Easington Colliery.

l Apprentice Employer of the Year – Caterpillar, Peterlee.

l Best Brand – Sotech, Peterlee.

l Outstanding Customer Service – Shotton Gents Hair Salon, Shotton Colliery.

l Young Entrepreneur Of The Year – Nouveau Fitness, Peterlee.

l SME Business Of The Year – Lickety Split, Seaham.

l Employee of the Year – Leighanne Griffith, Harland Corporation, Seaham.

More details and photographs in next Tuesday’s Hartlepool Mail business supplement.