Banks Group backing awards to honour county’s unsung heroes

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group.
Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group.

One of Northumberland’s leading employers has signed up as the headline sponsor for a long-standing awards scheme that aims to honour the county’s unsung heroes.

North east property and energy firm the Banks Group is backing the 2013 Pride Of Northumberland Awards, which celebrate the extraordinary achievements of ordinary people from right across the county.

The awards, organised by Northeast Press, publisher of the News Post Leader, Morpeth Herald and Northumberland Gazette, and Tweeddale Press, publisher of the Berwick Advertiser, are now in their fifth year.

They encompass ten different categories, and cover achievements by both individuals and groups, as well as by people of all ages.

Categories range from student of the year, fundraiser of the year and sporting achievement through to community champion, green champion and role model.

Young people will also be honoured through the child of achievement and child of courage awards, with awards for the community group of the year and safer community categories completing the list.

The winners will be announced at a special celebration dinner at Linden Hall near Longhorsley on Thursday, September 12, and entries are now being sought for the competition.

The Banks Group currently employs more than 200 people at its two Northumberland surface mining sites, which contribute around £20m to the local economy every year, and has donated around £900,000 to community and environmental projects and amenity improvements in the surrounding area over the last decade alone.

Banks is also the company behind the creation of Northumberlandia, the world’s largest human landform, which has quickly become one of the county’s leading recreational sites and visitor attractions since its official opening by The Princess Royal in September last year.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, says: “As a local employer, we’ve maintained strong relationships with communities across Northumberland for more than three decades, and we’re pleased to be able to help recognise the many and varied achievements of the people and community groups that live and work here.

“Northumberland is a very vibrant and diverse place, and we’re looking forward to hearing the stories that we know are out there about the many local people whose valuable work contributes so much to the quality of life within the county.”

Stephen Plews, managing director of Northeast press and Tweeddale Press, added: “I am delighted that Northeast Press and Tweeddale Press are once again organising the Pride of Northumberland Awards.

“Northumberland has more than its fair share of modest unsung heroes and it is great to celebrate the achievements of some of the best of them in these awards.”

To make a nomination, fill in the form below and send it to Dawn Owens, Pride Of Northumberland, 17 Newgate Street, Morpeth NE61 1AW, or go online at

The closing date for entries is Friday, August 16.

For all sponsorship enquires, please contact Dawn Owens on (01670) 516066.