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NI nominees attend glitzy London ceremony for new awards

Two charitable organisations and a businesswoman from Northern Ireland have been shortlisted in the first annual UK-wide PwC Private Business Awards.

Bryson Charitable Group and Ulster Supported Employment, both based in Belfast, have each been nominated in the Social Enterprise of the Year category of the awards.

Cathy McCorry of Grafton Employment Group has been nominated as Private Businesswoman of the Year.

The nominees were selected from more than 300 entries submitted from all across the UK and they will attend the glitzy gala awards ceremony tomorrow evening in London's prestigious Savoy Hotel.

The awards are aimed at celebrating the best in the private business sector and underline its importance to the UK economy.

Paul Terrington, Northern Ireland regional chairman, said: "Private businesses and charitable organisations are all too often seen as less glamourous than listed companies, but in fact are the foundation of the UK economy and will be vital to future growth and prosperity.

"I am delighted that Cathy McCorry has been nominated in the Private Businesswoman of the Year category and that two social enterprises, Bryson Charitable Group and Ulster Supported Employment, have also made the final."

Sam Humphries, chief executive of Ulster Supported Employment (USEL), said: "I am delighted that USEL has been nominated for this prestigious recognition by an organisation in such high standing as PwC.

"Receiving such national recognition validates the 49 years of high quality service delivery this organisation has delivered as a vibrant, dynamic and viable Social Economy."

The Private Business Awards are sponsored by PwC, in association with HSBC Private Bank and in support of the charity LEAP.