Fylde accountancy firm Danbro has been named the best in Lancashire by one of the county’s leading business awards.
The firm, which is based at Jubilee House in Lytham St Annes, collected the top prize, Business of the Year, at the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which was held at the Blackpool Tower.
There was also success for Blackpool-based social enterprise Jobs, Friends, Houses CIC which was named the Most Inspiring Business of the Year.
Other winners included The Cartford Inn, based in Little Eccleston, which won Leisure Business of the Year and Poulton-le-Fylde-based equestrian supplier Kabo Equestrian which won New Business of the Year.
Blackpool-based Jobs, Friends, Houses trains and employs people in recovery from addiction, offending or family breakdown, wowed judges who visited one of its building sites where the team learn trades including plumbing and plastering while renovating properties and maintaining private residences.
CEO Steve Hodgkins picked up the award, cheered on by his management team and more than 950 other Lancashire business people.
We are overjoyed and humbled to be named leisure business of the year at Lancashire’s most illustrious, rigorously judged business awards in such a competitive categoryPatrick Beaume
He said: “We are delighted to have won this award.
“It goes to show that ex prolific offenders, former addicts and alcoholics, and people written off as ‘no good’ can not only change, but make a real difference in their communities and be an inspiration to others.
“To win a BIBA is great recognition of our business credentials; because while we work to empower people with complex backgrounds, we also employ them in a strong, sustainable business.
“We’re delighted that our passion and innovative approach has been recognised at such a high level.”
Patrick Beaume of the Cartford Inn at Little Eccleston said: “We are overjoyed and humbled to be named leisure business of the year at Lancashire’s most illustrious, rigorously judged business awards in such a competitive category.
“Winning one of the region’s most coveted awards has been a boost for all our staff. It’s further inspiration for upcoming projects and our efforts to continuously enhance our offerings and contribute to the area’s outstanding leisure industry.”
Adam Armstrong, transformation leader, at the awards’ headline sponsor, Saatchi and Saatchi, said: “As part of the judging panel for the Business of the Year category, I can honestly say that the calibre of businesses shortlisted for this year’s BIBAs was astonishingly high.”
“Many of the firms shortlisted in my category would have been a worthy winner and I believe that was the same story in the other categories.”
“Lancashire should be proud to have such a collection of creative, hard-working and inspirational businesses behind its economy, and I congratulate every finalist at this year’s BIBAs for their achievements.”
The evening’s lifetime achievement award, Lancastrian of the Year, was won by Ian Hall, chairman of James Hall and Son, the firm behind Spar retail stores across the North.
His son, Dominic, the group’s deputy managing director, accepted the award on behalf of his father in front of a sell-out crowd on Friday night.
Following the prize-giving ceremony hosted by former Dynasty actress, Stephanie Beacham, guests were entertained by hit musical act, The Overtones.
The awards’ winners will become the second group to be inducted in to the BIBAs Academy, set up with Lancaster University to deliver masterclasses with some of the world’s top business leaders, workshops to hone their skills, and the opportunity to network with leading firms.
Denys Smith-Hart, of sponsor Lytham-based IT specialists, Intersys Group, said: “By linking with an institution like Lancaster University, the BIBAs has again put itself ahead of the rest.
“The quality of applicants, finalists and winners at this year’s awards has raised the bar even higher and I am sure that entering the BIBAs Academy will further strengthen our economy.”
On the evening, awards’ organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, announced it was putting “at least £20,000” of profits generated by the awards in to its BIBAs Foundation.
The Foundation is a charity set up with the Lancashire Community Foundation to support enterprise projects across the county, and recently handed out its first grants of more than £7,000.
Full list of winners at bibas 2015 can be found here