Fylde leads in tradition of county enterprise

Mike Peters wins the Lancastrian of the Year award
Mike Peters wins the Lancastrian of the Year award

Coast firms shine in glittering Be Inspired in Business Awards at the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Mike Peters, founder of Fylde Universal Products, summed it up best at the county’s biggest business awards – Lancashire has a tradition of enterprise stretching back to Victorian times and the quality of firms competing for the awards reflected that.

Voiteq  team members celebrate their award

Voiteq team members celebrate their award

He was speaking after picking up the achievement award – Lancastrian of the Year for his services to business.

His company manufactured some of the best-known personal care and pharmaceutical products in the world before he sold it to global healthcare group, DCC, in 2014.

He had just stepped down from the stage at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom in front of a packed auditorium where winners in 15 categories had been announced.

He said: “It was a tremendous surprise and a great pleasure. Lancashire has been at the forefront of enterprise, innovation and hard work for a very long time – since Victorian times.

The innovation, excellence and passion behind every winner goes to show the quality we have in our business community

“When you look at the businesses in this room you see that and that is what has made Britain great.

“I am glad to have been a part of that and proud now to be its ambassador.”

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce which organised the BIBAs said: “The innovation, excellence and passion behind every winner goes to show the quality we have in our business community in Lancashire.”

She said the quality of companies and the passion of their leaders had been impressive and the judges had enjoyed seeing the diverse rage of entrants and the excellence demonstrated.

UR Potential picking up their BIBAs award

UR Potential picking up their BIBAs award

The event was hosted by Four Weddings and a Funeral actor Simon Callow following a Lancashire themed gourmet dinner from Rowleys Catering based at Blackpool FC’s Bloomfield Road stadium.

During the meal the sounds of the Slovakian entry for the International Firework Competition could be heard outside on the Prom.

He said: “It is always a pleasure to come to Blackpool, but I did not expect you to lay on these fireworks for me.”

He announced the winners before the audience of Lancashire’s leading businesses were entertained by performances from 80s chart legend, Paul Young, and Sam Bailey, a winner of hit reality television show, X-Factor.

Actor Simon Callow hosts the BIBAS 2016

Actor Simon Callow hosts the BIBAS 2016

Among the winners was Blackpool teenager Jake Adams chairman of Blackpool Youth Voice, the resort’s youth council, became the first winner of the BIBAs’ Most Inspiring Young Person award.

The council is one of the beneficiaries of a grant from the BIBAs Foundation, a charitable arm of the awards set up to provide grants of up to £2,000 to support youth enterprise projects in Lancashire.

Jake, who set up his own cards and flyers printing business three years ago, said: “I would like to thank the BIBAs for this award and for all the support they have given for Blackpool Youth Voice.

“And I would like also to thank UR Potential for their support too. It is a real honour.”

Jake has grown his business this year and has launched a new initiative called Monkey Banners. “I have invested in a large format printer to focus on that side of the business.”

Other Fylde coast winners included Excel Fostering of St Annes which picked up two awards, Service Business of the Year and Employer of the Year.

Clifton Buying Group

Clifton Buying Group

Director Felicity Lacey said: “It is amazing I am really proud of the staff and the journey we have been on.

“We have 25 staff , more than 90 sets of foster carers, we support more than 150 children and it is wonderful that the BIBAs have recognised this important work our people do.”

Central Drive-based community interest company, URPotential, was named Third Sector Business of the Year.

Debbie Terras, director, said: “We have had an amazing year. Seen a lot of organisations in our sector lose funding. We have managed to diversify and build on what we do best. This is a tribute to our staff and the people we work with.”

Medium Business of the Year was Whitehill Business Park-based technology firm Voiteq.

Managing director Isabel McCabe said: “This past year has been phenomenal. New customers significant growth. It has been a team effort and we are delighted and grateful to have been recognised by the BIBAs in this way.”

Leisure Business of the Year was The Winter Gardens.

Managing director Michael Williams said: “To win this is amazing. We have been nominated in the BIBAs many times but have always been pipped at the post.

“This recognition of what we have delivered recently at the Winter Gardens, some fantastic events, big names. We are looking to bring bigger and better events.

“We have a fantastic team at the Winter Gardens and it is something Blackpool should be proud of.”

Clifton Homecare, of St Annes, was voted New Business of the Year.

Caroline said: “We certainly did not expect this. What we do would not be possible without the whole team. We have had an amazing year.

“We focus on delivering high quality cafe and we never want to lose sight of that and get so big that we can’t deliver that level of quality.”

Exporter of the Year was Kirkham’s Nature’s Aid.

Chris Morrey, director of commerce, said: “We have been in business for 35 years and only started exporting five years ago. Now we export to 40 countries around the world.

“I think everyone should consider exporting. Winning this award is unbelievable.

“I never thought we stood a chance with all the other well respected companies that we were up against.”

Winners

Lancastrian of the Year:

Mike Peters MBE of Kirkham’s UPL

Business of the Year:

The Senator Group of Accrington

Creative Agency of the Year:

Door 4 of Nelson

Best Use of IT:

Pharmalogic Chemist of Chorley

Manufacturer of the Year:

Standfast and Barracks of Lancaster

Exporter of the Year:

Nature’s Aid of Kirkham

Small Business of the Year:

Festive Lights of Chorley

Service Business of the Year:

Excel Fostering of St Annes

New Business of the Year:

Clifton Homecare of St Annes

Micro Business of the Year:

Country and Comercial Insurance Brokers of Longridge

Third Sector Business of the Year:

URPotential CIC of Blackpool

Business Person of the Year:

Phil Lawson, Virtue Technologies of Skelmersdale

Leisure Business of the Year:

Winter Gardens Blackpool

Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility:

True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners of Chorley

Medium Business of the Year:

Voiteq of Blackpool

Construction Business of the Year:

Conlon Construction of Bamber Bridge

Professional Practice of the Year:

True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners of Chorley

Employer of the Year:

Excel Fostering of St Annes

Most Inspiring Young Person of the Year:

Jake Adams, Blackpool Youth Voice

Most Inspiring Young Person of the Year – Highly commended :

Samuel Womack of Clitheroe