‘We must help Lancashire companies to thrive’

The Biba's at Blackpool Tower Ballroom
The Biba's at Blackpool Tower Ballroom
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Helping Lancashire firms flourish should be the main aim of the county’s business community, a leading academic has said.

Dr John Lonsdale, Director of Innovation and Enterprise at the University of Central Lancashire, said its support of a business development network set up by the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, could give growth-hungry businesses a boost.

The BIBAs Academy is run in partnership with the awards and the university to provide a series of workshops, masterclasses with leading business figures and networking opportunities for the awards’ winners hosted at the university’s business support hub, the Centre for SME Development.

Last week, the BIBAs completed its second round of judging to select the winners of its 18 prize categories last week and is now preparing to unveil its 2017 winners at a ceremony in September.

Dr John Lonsdale said: “A business awards should be about celebrating the best, inspiring others to strive to develop, but also helping all those who enter the process of an awards like the BIBAs to be the best they can.

“The launch of the Academy has helped the BIBAs to tick all these boxes and I am sure it was a major factor in the applications of many of the finalists and, of course, the winners. UCLan’s Centre for SME Development is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized enterprises grow and the BIBAs Academy is a perfect fit for this venue and the university. We cannot wait to meet the 2017 BIBAs winners and welcome them to the Academy.”

The winners of the 2016 BIBAs have benefited from a programme which included masterclass talks from Edwin Booth, the chairman of his family-owned supermarket chain, Booths, and textiles boss Tony Attard, as well as visits to prominent local businesses.