Creative boom must be encouraged, says Lancashire TV chief

The BIBAs business awards at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Chatting before the awards.
The BIBAs business awards at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Chatting before the awards.

A boom in creative entrepreneurship is being experienced in Britain , according to one of Lancashire’s leading creative businesses.

Mark Oulson-Jenkins, executive producer at East Lancashire-based RTR TV, said research was showing the creative sector was out-performing others in terms of the number of new firms being set up and jobs being created.

The study by Nesta, in partnership with the Creative Industries Council, showed creative industries employment had grown by an average of 11 per cent and was on target to create up to 1,000 jobs a week.

RTR TV is sponsoring the Creative Business of the Year award at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which is open for applications for its 18 prize categories.

Mr Oulson-Jenkins, pictured below, said: “The creative industries are a very broad church, stretching from architectural agencies through to film and advertising businesses, and the number of highly skilled jobs the sector is creating is booming.

“There are some great people out there with fantastic ideas to set up businesses and we have to do all we can to encourage these entrepreneurs to keep on growing and benefiting our economy.

“The BIBAs is a great way to throw the spotlight on the achievements of these businesses and that is one reason why RTR TV is delighted to be supporting these awards again this year.”

The 2018 awards opened for applications earlier this month with 18 prizes up for grabs at the awards ceremony in September.

In 2017, the winners of the Business of the Year category, Burnley-based refrigerated vehicle specialist, CoolKit, also collected the Manufacturer of the Year award, while Preston-based Sunshine

Events also won two categories, Employer of the Year and Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility.

Fox Brothers, which is headquartered in Poulton-le- Fylde, was the winner of the Construction Business of the Year, with Blackburn non-profit making body, Community and Business Partners, winning the Third Sector of the Year category.

Meanwhile, 2017 winners enjoyed a trip to Blackpool Transport.

It was part of their Academy programme to enhance their skills.

The winners of the BIBAs are automatically enrolled on the BIBAs Academy, an academy of excellence designed to boost skills, minds and bottom lines.

Through its partnership with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and national accountancy firm, MHA Moore and Smalley, all BIBAs winners will be offered a programme leadership masterclasses, site visits and growth workshops.

This eight-month programme aims to ‘make the best even better’.

For businesses it can be enlightening to visit other businesses and observe and reflect on how other people run their organisation. Previous site visits included BAe Systems, Tangerine Holdings, Farmhouse Biscuits and Cuadrilla Resources.

The Academy also provides a programme of masterclasses, workshops and networking opportunities.

This event is followed by the Winners and BIBAs Graduation Dinner.

It will also provide a fantastic opportunity to get to know fellow award winners, previous winners, meet with sponsors and experts from the Chamber, UCLan and MHA Moore and Smalley.

Previous masterclass sessions have included business leaders such as Kevin Roberts, former Chairman & CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide; Edwin Booth, Chairman of North West supermarket firm, Booths; Tony Attard, CEO Panaz & Chairman of Marketing Lancashire; Mike Blackburn; Regional Director BT & Chairman of the Manchester LEP.

For full details on how to enter the awards, and the key dates, visit

See the Post every Tuesday for all the latest BIBAS news.