Bright Spark vying for national award

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Selkirk-based Spark Energy is in the running for another nationalaccolade to add to the array it has won over recent years.

The fast-growing Dunsdale Road firm, a multi-utility provider to the lettings industry, has been shortlisted for the title of mid-market business of the year at the 2017 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

That plaudit recognises companies that have maintained consistent growth, driven by an engaged workforce under effective leadership, according to the awards’ organisers.

Spark chief executive officer Chris Gauld said: “This is a tremendous achievement, and I’m immensely proud of everyone who has contributed to Spark’s growth.

“The company is expanding rapidly, and our people are at the heart of what we do.

“The majority of our workforce come from the Borders, and through initiatives like our academy, we’re investing in Spark’s future by investing in our people.

“I’m ambitious for our future as a multi-utility provider, and I’m determined that we drive the business forward in the next few years.

“To allow us to achieve this, it is vitally important we continue to demonstrate to our customers, their landlords and our partners why we are the best supplier for them.

“This means saving time and hassle for our partners while providing our customers with excellent service and lower prices.”

The finalists were chosen from hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18 award categories.

They are now preparing for live presentations to an expert judging panel to decide the overall winners, to be announced at a ceremony on Tuesday, November 14, at London’s Grosvenor House hotel.

Tom Broughton, group brand director for the awards, said: “Given the economic uncertainty over the past year, it is inspiring more than ever to see British businesses prosper.

“Through a thorough and comprehensive judging process, this year’s selected finalists demonstrate exceptional quality and diversity across a range of business sectors within the UK.

“We are now looking forward to the next step of the process and meeting some of the finalists face to face.”

Spark, founded in Edinburgh in 2007 but based in Selkirk since the year after, now employs more than 400 people, making it one of the biggest employers in the Borders.

Among those sure to be wishing Spark well for November’s awards are Borders MP John Lamont and MSP Rachael Hamilton, both recently invited along to its Selkirk headquarters to find out more about its plans for further growth.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Mr Lamont said: “I was very happy to pay another visit to Spark Energy as it’s one of the key employers in the Borders.

“Since its official opening back in 2007, this innovative company has really gone from strength to strength, and it was great to see that it still has plans to improve and grow.

“The UK Government’s Borderlands growth deal is a really exciting opportunity to improve our infrastructure in the Borders, which will benefit companies like Spark Energy and enable them to expand and provide further jobs.”

Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire MSP Mrs Hamilton added: “I was very impressed with the set-up at Spark Energy, and it was great to see a local business doing so well.

“Its training facility is a great example of a company working with schools, colleges and a growing apprenticeship programme to develop new staff and improve their skills.

“With the planned creation of a south of Scotland enterprise agency, we will finally have a dedicated support structure to help existing businesses like Spark and also help create other high-quality local jobs in the Borders.”

Mr Gauld added: “As a Borders-based company, we were pleased to welcome our local MSP, Rachael Hamilton, and local MP, John Lamont, to Spark HQ for a visit.”

“It was great to be able to show them the academy, talk about the investment we’re making in our people and discuss our plans for further growth.”