TEESSIDE’S The Nicholson Group has been highly commended for its service levels at the North East Business Awards.
The Billingham-based group – which comprises several transport and logistics businesses – finished runner-up to shipping giant P D Ports in the ‘services’ category. This award recognises; service excellence, service differentiation, business growth and innovation.
The Group provides support, mentorship and guidance to help other businesses to thrive and prosper and provides mentorship to young entrepreneurs. It includes storage firm Box Clever; training provider Learning in Logistics; lorry mounted crane operator Nicholson’s Hi-ab; e-commerce furniture retail specialist J. N. Rusticus and Nicholson’s Transport, a founding member of the The Pallet Network.
Bob Forster, Chairman of The Nicholson Group, said: “It’s a fantastic honour to be highly commended in the prestigious North East Business Awards. We were up against some very high profile service businesses and there’s no shame in being runner-up to one of the UK’s biggest port operators.
“The honour recognises the hard work and dedication of every member of the Nicholson Group team and the clear vision and shared values that permeate through all of our operations.”
Well done to the Nicholson’s team – this is a great accolade
A TEESSIDE transport business is helping to sow the seeds of success for a fledgling horticulture entrepreneur.
Graduate Dan Robson launched Green Digit Gardening to supply herb and flower seeds in environmentally friendly packaging.
Dan recently secured an order for 10,000 seed dispensers from department store giant John Lewis and used Nicholson’s Transport to send the packages safely on their way.
But bosses at the Billingham-based business are also helping Dan to grow his business by providing support, advice and mentoring.
Dan, who is 26 and from Hartlepool, said: “It has been amazing to launch a business and have such an immediate impact. I was already supplying garden centres and independent shops, but the John Lewis order really took things to the next level.
“But it presented an issue where I had to safely transport 10,000 seed packages to the south of England to my distributor. Fortunately, the Nicholson’s Transport team has been amazing and has even advised me on managing the business and marketing and sales.”
Dan launched Green Digit Gardening after graduating with a Masters Degree in 3D Design from Northumbria University. While studying, he developed an interest in guerrilla gardening where ‘undercover’ gardeners tidy up and tend to neglected patches of wasteland or public green spaces.
Dan’s interest in ecological issues influenced his graduate design project where he developed an environmentally friendly seed dispenser which can be planted into the earth and produces no waste.
The patented seed cell is particularly appealing to children and visually impaired gardeners as it reduces the risk of tiny seeds tipping out from the packages.
Green Digit Gardening produces seed dispensers for a variety of herbs and flowers including jalapeno chillis, sunflowers, basil, parsley, sage and thyme. With the likes of B&Q, Homebase and Marks & Spencers showing a keen interest in the product, Dan hopes to soon expand his range while using Nicholson’s Transport as his distribution hub.
He added: “The whole ethos of the product is to be ecologically minded, minimising waste and energy use wherever possible. All of the materials are sourced and manufactured in the UK and it was important for me to use a local transport company and Nicholson’s has been ideal because they are on my doorstep.”
David Nicholson, Managing Director of Nicholson’s Transport, added: “When we were approached by Dan about transport, the innovation of the product and his enthusiasm really impressed me.
“He is a true ecological entrepreneur and we wanted to help in any way we can to help the business to grow. As Green Digit Gardening continues to prosper, we will be able to provide Dan with both warehouse storage space and transport to get his products safely to market.”