The UK’s North East furniture manufacturing scene was alive with excitement on Thursday evening at the Hilton Gateshead Hotel, as the annual Insider Made in the North East Awards 2024 unfolded.
Armitage and Wilson Furniture, established in 2020, found themselves competing for the Manufacturing Start-Up Award alongside two other promising contenders. To the delight of over 350 members of the Engineering and Manufacturing community present, they were announced as the deserving winners. The event celebrated the best of the region’s manufacturing industry, showcasing quality products and services and the skilled people behind them.
This award stands as a testament to the resilience, innovation and hard work that define the operations of this young company. Led by the visionary trio of Gavin, Martyn and Vince, alongside their dedicated team, Armitage and Wilson Furniture has swiftly risen in the ranks, carving a niche for themselves with their bespoke furniture creations. Gavin Wilson, Managing Director, remarked, “Winning an award for pursuing my passion is truly remarkable, but receiving recognition for simply doing my job is equally fulfilling. Achieving these milestones in less than three years? That was beyond my wildest imagination.”
Established amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, Armitage and Wilson Furniture faced initial hurdles, particularly with their heavy reliance on the hospitality sector. Yet, they quickly adapted, securing premises and expanding their workforce.
After overcoming initial setbacks, A&W now operates from a spacious 3,200 sq ft facility, which includes a design studio/showroom for client interactions. The company prides itself on crafting a diverse range of bespoke furniture, including fixed banquette seating, sofas, armchairs, beds, headboards and footstools.
Armitage and Wilson Furniture passionately craft handmade furniture pieces and have amassed a clientele including prestigious venues such as Newton Hall, and have undertaken hospitality projects including The Aspire Lounge at Newcastle International Airport. The judges found their client list and partnerships with renowned hospitality groups, in just three years, hugely impressive.
Vince Armitage, a founding non-executive Director, expressed his elation, saying: “Absolutely thrilled that A&W won this award. It felt like a win when we were nominated.

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The whole team are so deserving of this recognition from the manufacturing fraternity in the North-East.”
As they celebrate their victory, it’s evident that this triumph signals not just past accomplishments but also promises of future success. Their journey from humble beginnings to award-winning status embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and resilience in Aycliffe’s business community.
While their victory is indeed cause for celebration, it’s essential to acknowledge the collective efforts of all nominees in their category. Each contender represents a testament to the region’s entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to excellence, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the North East’s business landscape.
To their loyal supporters, clients and well-wishers, this victory underscores their belief in the company’s vision and capabilities, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between business and community.
Moreover, as winners of the North East category, A&W is now shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Made in the UK Awards 2024’, which will be held in Liverpool in June. This recognition elevates their status and further highlights their excellence and reputation for quality on a national stage.
Additionally, A&W has just been announced as finalists in the Aycliffe Business ‘Make Your Mark Awards 2024’ in the ‘Newcomer of the Year’ category, with the ceremony scheduled for May at Hardwick Hall. This achievement underscores their rapid rise and solidifies their reputation as a formidable newcomer in the Aycliffe business community.
Martyn Massey, Production Director, shared, “Being acknowledged for our achievements is a major source of pride for me and the whole team. We’re passionate about providing first class quality products to our existing customers and expanding our business with new ones. Heading to the national finals and the chance for more recognition has us really looking forward to what’s next.”
As they embark on the next phase of their journey, armed with these prestigious accolades, Armitage and Wilson Furniture relish in the possibilities of their future.