Lancashire and Fylde coast's strong showing as business awards finalists are revealed

Winners of the BIBAs will be announced at a ceremony at the Tower Ballroom
Winners of the BIBAs will be announced at a ceremony at the Tower Ballroom
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Eight Lancashire businesses, including three from the Fylde, are in the running to be named the best in Lancashire.

The finalists for the Business of the Year category at the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs,have been unveiled along with those companies and individuals bidding to win its other 17 prize categories.

The firms in the running for the top prize include motor dealers Bowker Group and Hippo Motor Group, food firms Laila’s Fine Foods and Mellor’s Catering and Fylde plant hire company Fox Brothers.

Coolkit, a Burnley-based refrigerated vehicle specialist, flood protection experts, Storm Meister, and Blackpool-based Healthpoint, a health and beauty specialist, complete the shortlist.

Alistair Clayton, of the Aston Services Group which is sponsoring the Family Business of the Year category, said the quality of finalists was testament to the awards’ appeal.

He said: “The BIBAs is known as ‘the one they all want to win’ for a reason, it is a competition which pushes businesses to their limits to ensure only the best of the best come out on top.

“Having been involved as an applicant, winner and now as a judge of these awards, I know just how much goes in to the process and it makes me proud to be part of such a vibrant business community as we have in Lancashire. It was great to meet the applicants for the first round of judging and I cannot wait to meet the finalists for the Family Business of the Year category when we embark on a second round of judging in July.”

The second round of judging gets under way on June 19 when the Exporter of the Year category judges hit the road to visit finalists in their business premises, travelling almost 100 miles in the process.

In other categories up for grabs, current winners and former winners have returned to attempt to be named the best in Lancashire again.

Country and Commercial Insurance Brokers are among the finalists for the Micro Business of the Year, the title they picked up in 2016, whilst Blackpool-based UR Potential are seeking to retain the Third Sector Business of the Year.

The Winter Gardens venue in Blackpool is also on the shortlist for the Leisure Business of the Year, a prize they won last September.

Door 4, Laila’s Fine Foods and Fairbanks Environmental are also among the former winners which are bidding for success at the 2017 ceremony.

The list of finalists in full:

Business of the Year : Bowker Motor Group - Preston, Coolkit - Burnley, Hippo Motor Group - Blackburn, Fox Bros - Poulton, Mellors Catering Services - Skelmersdale, Healthpoint - Blackpool, StormMeister Flood Protection - Preston,Laila’s Fine Foods - Bispham.

Leisure Business of the Year: Cuffe &Taylor - Preston, Deltec Group - Preston, Holiday Inn Preston - Preston, Sunshine Events - Preston, The Wayfarer - Parbold, UK Media & Events - Preston, Winter Gardens Blackpool - Blackpool, Mellors Catering Services - Skelmersdale.

Small Business of the Year: WJF Technical Support - Blackpool, Bespoke Healthcare - Preston, Bevlan Office Interiors - Blackburn, Frederick’s Ice Cream - Chorley, Prestige Beds - Blackburn, Dantech UK - Burscough, Seriun - Burnley, Energy Cost Management - Kirkham, Micro Business of the Year, Country &Commercial Insurance Brokers - Longridge, Perfect Recruitment - Chorley, Raine &Bea - Clitheroe, KW Designed Solutions - Adlington, 3D GB IRE - Chorley, Group 55 - Preston, Catering Elite - Blackpool, The 8th Sign - Bretherton.

Employer of the Year: Bespoke Healthcare - Preston, Holiday Inn Preston - Preston, Rawcliffe & Co - Blackpool, Sunshine Events - Preston, novi.digital - Lancaster, E Thompson & Son - Preston, Hippo Motor Group - Blackburn, Cuffe &Taylor - Preston.

New Business of the Year: Lateo Global Solutions - Blackpool, Woodside Designs - Blackpool, Forth Wall Solutions - Chorley, CFE Lighting - Trawden, AZTEX Venue - Blackpool, Community Clothing - Blackburn, North West Financial Solutions - Blackpool, Excellence in IT, BAS Energy - Blackpool, Connect Childcare - Burnley, Freightlink Solutions – Walton Le Dale, HR Savvy - Preston, Jones Harris - Fleetwood, The Protein Lab - Blackpool, BedStateTracker.co.uk - Accrington, Wired Marketing - Burnley.

Business of the Year for Corporate Social Responsibility: Acorns of Lancashire - Accrington, AFC Fylde Community Foundation - Lytham, Burnley FC - Burnley, Smile Mediation - Burnley, Sunshine Events - Preston, Laila’s Fine Foods - Bispham, Bowker Motor Group - Preston, Barrie Wells Trust - Lancaster.

Exporter of the Year: Dantech UK - Burscough, Fairbanks Environmental - Skelmersdale, Freightlink Solutions – Walton le Dale, Gannon Oils - Blackpool, Group 55 - Preston, Scorpion Automotive - Chorley.

Family Business of the Year: Bowker Motor Group - Preston, Mellors Catering Services – Skelmersdale, Fredericks Ice Cream - Chorley, Links Signs &Graphics - Blackpool, Laila’s Fine Foods - Bispham, Prestige Beds - Blackburn, Star Tissue - Blackburn, The Wayfarer - Parbold.

Service Business of the Year: Connect Childcare - Burnley, Door 4 - Burnley, Healthpoint - Blackpool, WJF Technical Support - Blackpool, Freightlink Solutions –Walton le Dale, Fairbanks Environmental - Skelmersdale, E Thompson & Son – Preston.

Creative Agency of the Year: Door 4 - Burnley, HotFoot Design - Lancaster, Juicy Media - Preston, SQ Digital - Lancaster, T-PW Creative Design - Darwen, Wired Marketing - Burnley, YUDU Media - Clitheroe, novi.digital - Lancaster.

Manufacturer of the Year: Barking Bakery - Wesham, Coolkit - Burnley, Gannon Oils - Poulton, North West Water Jet - Chorley, Morgan Bros - Coppull, Star Tissue - Blackburn, Scorpion Automotive - Chorley, Laila’s Fine Foods - Bispham.

Medium Business of the Year: Coolkit - Burnley, Hippo Motor Group - Blackburn, Fox Bros - Poulton, Standfast and Barracks - Lancaster, Star Tissue - Blackburn, Watson Ramsbottom - Blackburn, Scorpion Automotive - Chorley, BAS Energy

Professional Business of the Year: North West Commercial Solutions - Blackpool, North West Auto Enrolment - Blackpool, Jones Harris - Fleetwood, Rawcliffe & Co - Blackpool, Sweeting HR – Blackpool, Thomas Consulting - Chorley, Watson Ramsbottom - Blackburn, Total CRB - Burscough

Third Sector Business of the Year: UR Potential - Blackpool, Lancashire Wildlife Trust – Bamber Bridge, AFC Fylde Community Foundation - Lytham, Burnley FC in the Community - Burnley, Blackpool FC Community Trust - Blackpool, Community & Business Partners - Blackburn, Preston Vocational Centre - Preston, Ribcaged Productions - Clitheroe

Business Person of the Year: Barrie Wells - Barrie Wells Trust - Lancaster, Ashley Hackett - Blackpool FC - Blackpool, Cameron Javed - Coolkit - Burnley, Lisa Brady - Perfect Recruitment- Chorley, Heath Groves - Sundown Solutions - Accrington, Rachel Birkett - The Wayfarer - Parbold, Mark Gannon - Gannon Oils - Poulton, Sam Riley - North West Skills Academy - Rossendale.

Construction Business of the Year: E Thompson &Son - Preston, Pinnington - Lancaster, StormMeister Flood Protection - Preston, Thomas Consulting - Chorley, Fox Bros - Poulton, North West Skills Academy - Rossendale.

See also: BIBAs hails creative industry