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North East businesses are used to overcoming the odds when it comes to growth

Each year represents a new challenge, and 2022 is no different.

This year’s Ward Hadaway North East Fastest 50 demonstrates just how important people power is to the innovation, acceleration and progress of the region’s leading firms.

Today in the Journal we publish the 2022 North East Fastest 50 list which highlights the region’s fastest-growing, privately owned businesses, based on verified financial data from the last three years of trading.

Ward Hadaway’s Head of Commercial Damien Charlton

Commenting on the list, Ward Hadaway’s head of commercial, Damien Charlton said: “The 2022 list tells an impressive story of growth, continuous improvement and prosperity. From Berwick-upon-Tweed to Houghton-le-Spring and Stockton-on-Tees, businesses are continuing to expand, attract skilled employees and create a strong and resilient culture where workforces are passionate about the company they work for, share the same values and purpose, and are committed to enabling the business to grow.

“Despite hardship and the enormous challenges faced in recent years, our region’s businesses have excelled, adjusted to market shocks, and demonstrated the kind of dogged determination that makes the North East such a unique place to do business. Huge congratulations to all of those listed in this year’s Fastest 50. The work they’re doing is incredible and they deserve to be appreciated for their efforts, talent and success.”

This year, many high growth North East sectors are represented including manufacturing, construction and transport as well as technology, retail and wholesale industries and the combined turnover of the top 50 North East businesses is over £1.5bn. This is phenomenal given the external pressures faced by businesses across the region including economic uncertainty, political instability and a highly competitive marketplace when it comes to attracting talent and building a skilled, loyal and permanent workforce.

The North East Fastest 50 comprises four categories – fastest growing small, medium and large businesses of the year and the overall Fastest 50 winner. Each winner has one thing in common – a united, motivated and highly skilled workforce.

Gateshead-born video game developers Coatsink Software is the 2022 medium and overall Fastest 50 winner. Recognised for its incredibly rapid growth, with an average turnover growth rate of 121%, the company was founded in 2009 by Tom Beardsmore and Paul Crabb. Collaboration, connection and commitment form key elements of Coatsink’s culture as the expanding team rapidly approaches a triple figure headcount.

The fastest growing small business, The Storage Place

The small category winner, The Storage Place, is also headquartered in Gateshead. The Storage Place is a leading Amazon and ecommerce order fulfilment specialist providing complete pick, pack and distribution services. The company is the second fastest growing business overall, moving up seven places this year from 9th position in 2021. A strong culture and shared values is what binds the company together. The firm currently boosts a 96% average turnover growth rate and employs over 50 people from across the region.

The fastest growing large business, Casper Group

The winner of the large category is flying the flag for the region’s traditional industries. Hailing from Middlesbrough, Casper Group is a maritime services organisation specialising in shipping and logistics operations. Experiencing an 82% average turnover growth, the firm genuinely values its number one asset, its people, championing honesty, independence and proactivity amongst its workforce. The company was the fifth fastest growing business in the North East this year.

As you’ll see, the 2022 Ward Hadaway Fastest 50 does not disappoint, revealing the talent, innovation and tenacity of businesses from across the North East. Throughout the highs and the lows, our region’s businesses are continuing to push boundaries, break stereotypes and achieve.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be getting to know the people behind these businesses to find out more about their accomplishments. Please do join us as we discover their secrets to success.


Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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