Specialising in work for building companies, Abel employs 60 people. It recently moved from Jarrow to larger premises on the Barrington Business Park in Killingworth.

“I've been running Mercedes vehicles ever since I set up the company five years ago,” says head of plastering, Wayne Lascelles. “I started with a second-hand Vito and traded it in a year later for a Sprinter van with 123,000 miles on the clock. It's now done about 200,000 and is still going strong.”