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Tees Valley literacy experts named as 2019 Northern Powerhouse Export Champions


Tees Valley literacy experts named as 2019 Northern Powerhouse Export Champions


"The Export Champion community is an important initiative and its members will play a vital role in creating the culture of exporting in Britain."
Dr Liam Fox MP



Sound Training, an award-winning Middlesbrough-based literacy training company, is celebrating after being named as one of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) Northern Powerhouse Export Champions for 2019.

Claire Preston, CEO of Sound Training, attended a prestigious trade event at Durham Castle joining, amongst others, the Rt.Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade and Baroness Fairhead CBE, the Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade.

The firm was nominated due to its continued export success to America and the Middle East. It was also recently recognised at the North East FSB Awards as one of four businesses shortlisted for International Business of the Year, and as Teesside Company of the Year at the North East Business Awards

Sound Training is an international company, based in the heart of Tees Valley. Its literacy programme, Lexonik, has been delivered to more than 60,000 students aged 10 and above, including adults, and has been proven to improve literacy and accelerate learning for people of all abilities.

It began work with DIT on a plan for international trade five years ago, and in that time has expanded its programme to include schools worldwide.

Claire Preston said: “It is an honour to be recognised as a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion by DIT and to have our successes in international trade recognised at such a high level. We have a great deal of respect for DIT, and our local advisor has been instrumental in supporting our development into the USA, the Middle East, and more recently taking initial steps into Europe.

“At Sound Training, we are focused on closing the achievement gap, and believe that everyone has the right to have a basic level of literacy, regardless of social class or geographical location. Reading opens so many doors in later life, it is fundamentally wrong that anyone should be denied these opportunities.

“We are incredibly grateful to DIT for supporting us to become a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion, and we will intend to use this in a the most positive way toward our vision of improved literacy. ”

Speaking at the event, Dr. Liam Fox MP, International Trade Secretary and President of the Board of Trade said: “The Export Champion community is an important initiative and its members will play a vital role in creating the culture of exporting in Britain. By raising the profile of exporters in this way, we will help to normalise exporting across the country, expand horizons, remove barriers to market access and facilitate businesses to expand here in the UK.”

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