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Funding accelerates growth at North East awards business

25th June 2012

A North East awards manufacturer and distributer is investing in a new design department to accelerate its growth thanks to new funding from Yorkshire bank.

Killingworth-based Trendsetting Awards has launched an in-house trophy design department, a new e-commerce website and 300-page catalogue with the support of Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle Financial Solutions Centre (FSC) under its Investing for Growth initiative.

Now Trendingsetting Awards, which is part of Trend International Group and has posted three years of growth, is well ahead of its five-year expansion plan which aims to achieve £6m turnover by 2014.

The business, which supplies a wide range of sports and corporate awards from top goal scorer to best salesman, has recently created eight new jobs.

Founded in 1978 by former Newcastle United FC and Northern Ireland midfielder, John Cowan, Trendsetting Awards has more than 2,000 accounts; supplying small and medium-sized wholesalers, as well as direct to independent retailers: including sports, trophy and jewellery shops.

Trendsetting Awards managing director, John-Paul Cowan, 36, who succeeded his father in 2008 after a successful management buyout, said: “Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle FSC has provided us with a structured funding package that is helping us accelerate our five-year growth plan.

“We have moved our trophy and awards design facility to Newcastle from the Far East, meaning the designs are carried out in the UK where there is a better understanding of the needs of the end-user.

“Our growth strategy is putting us up with the market leaders by enabling us to stock up to 3,500 products. This eliminates the risk of having to provide substitute items and, in 98 per cent of cases we can deliver to retailers the next day, if orders are placed by 3pm.

Trendsetting Awards, which has 55 staff, has its core business in the UK but also supplies awards and trophies throughout Europe, Africa and The Middle East.

Yorkshire Bank’s Newcastle FSC business partner, David Gilroy, said: “Trendsetting Awards is among the market leaders in its sector, and has plans for impressive growth. We’re pleased to be helping them to grow and create jobs in the North East.”

Yorkshire Bank’s Investing for Growth initiative enables businesses to take advantage of loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments and extended loan and credit terms designed to take advantage of quality growth opportunities. Businesses signing up to the package can re-invest the cash into their operation for expansion, new staff, equipment, machinery and commercial development.

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