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Business Minister praises IOD North East Investor Director winner

Written by The Institute of Directors North East

Business Minister Michael Fallon has praised the winner of the Institute of Directors North East Investor Director award.

Brian Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Tharsus Group Ltd, received the honour at the IoD North East’s Business Leaders dinner. Highly commended were Ian Gilthorpe, Senior Partner at Square One Law and Mark Easby, Managing Director of Better Brand agency.

Nominations for its Investor Director award were invited by the IoD North East to provide an overview of business leaders taking on the challenge of driving the region’s economy forward.

Those shortlisted are contributing to the North’s economic security through a number of factors, such as investing in their organisations, attracting funds and finance to the region, and developing the area’s infrastructure or creating valuable jobs.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Congratulations to Brian Palmer for receiving the Investor Director Award.

“I visited Tharsus back in November to open their new manufacturing facility and this is a company which is looking to the future.

“I’m pleased that we have been able to support Tharsus through the Regional Growth Fund to help them recruit new apprentices and train more local talent.

“The additional investment and equipment will help them export to new markets and stay ahead of the global competition.”

Mr Palmer was judged to be the outstanding candidate among a shortlisted peer group of 14 with the listing supported by angel investment company Middleton Enterprises Ltd.

Since establishing Tharsus Group, Brian Palmer has implemented a calculated growth strategy, culminating in the creation of a state-of-the-art factory in Blyth. The 31,000 sq. ft site contributed to regional development, with the creation of 80 new jobs and apprenticeships.

The strategy was underpinned by more than £3m of investment in people and manufacturing capacity, and was supplemented by a £690,000 grant from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Subsequently, Tharsus has achieved hugely impressive results. An increase of almost 500% in exports’ value has coincided with the securing of a number of long-term contracts in the face of global competition.

Alastair Thomson, IoD North East Chairman, said: “The nominees all lead growing businesses who invest in the north-east, creating jobs and spreading prosperity.

“Exemplifying innovation, dedication and hard work, all those shortlisted have shown the ability to make a positive impact on the North East’s economy.

“Brian Palmer was selected as he epitomises entrepreneurial endeavour. He is an excellent role model, who has built up a successful company making a serious contribution to regional employment. “

Jeremy Middleton, who runs Middleton Enterprises Ltd, said; “The innovation, ambition and financial acumen of the North East’s business leaders deserves to be praised.

“The progression and success of the North East is dependent on the likes of Brian Palmer, and the other shortlisted candidates who possess the knowledge, drive and astuteness to lead the region to a brighter future.”

Ian Gilthorpe, Senior Partner at Square One Law said;” We launched Square One Law in 2011 and are delighted that the firm has been recognised for our entrepreneurial approach in how we deliver legal services. However, it is even better that one of our major clients won the award and all at Square One Law offer Brian and his team well deserved congratulations.”

Keynote speaker at the sell-out dinner, which was sponsored by public relations firm Recognition PR and which attracted an audience of more than 300 leading business executives from across the region, was World Cup winning, former England Rugby coach, Sir Clive Woodward.

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