Business awards plough money back into Lancashire

Photo: David Hurst'The annual BIBA Awards held in Blackpool Tower.'Winners with Lancastrian of the Year, Eric Wright, centre

Photo: David Hurst'The annual BIBA Awards held in Blackpool Tower.'Winners with Lancastrian of the Year, Eric Wright, centre

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More than £140,000 has been spent with Lancashire firms by one of the county’s leading business awards, organisers have confirmed.

The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, will hold its annual prize-giving ceremony at the Blackpool Tower on September 11.

Everything from food and drink to table flowers is bought within the county.

It is the second year running the awards has spent a substantial six-figure sum in supporting local firms.

Lis Smith, principal at Preston’s College which is a sponsor of the awards, said the event’s spending was “a real vote of confidence” in the quality of Lancashire’s business community.

She said: “When you look at the list of suppliers from printing companies to florists, security to table arrangements, you get a sense of the diversity and quality of firms in our county.

“Preston’s College is delighted to sponsor the Employer of the Year award at the BIBAs which we see as a way of recognising the huge efforts local firms put in to supporting their workforces.

“As a provider of education for people of all ages, we want to work alongside businesses to help them keep on improving their people to boost their operations and the wider economy.”

The suppliers to the awards include Blackpool-based Northern Security and stage designer, Asets UK, Preston florist Margaret Mason and Blackburn-based photographer Sean Telford.

It has also bought insurance from brokers Rowland Hames, printing from Preston’s PPS and framing from the Fulwood Gallery.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce which organises the BIBAs, said it had spent a further £4,000 with other North West business.

This boosts the awards spending to more than £150,000 throughout the region.

She said: “We have bought some extra special effects and our table linen from companies outside Lancashire, both of whom are Chamber members.

“I think spending £140,000 in Lancashire for the second year running is evidence the BIBAs backs up its talk of supporting Lancashire business with pounds and pence.”

The BIBAs will hand out 19 prizes to businesses and business leaders from all four corners of the county.

The special lifetime achievement prize, Lancastrian of the Year, WILL also be handed out.

This prize has been selected by a panel made up of former winners of the award.

Last year it went to Eric Wright, the founder of construction firm, the Eric Wright Group.