Business leaders from across Blackpool and Fylde will pick the winners of one of the county’s leading business awards.
The Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, has unveiled the judging panels which will select the winners from the record number of entries it has received for its 17 prize categories.
They include Denys Smith-Hart, of Lytham IT experts Intersys Group, Mick Goode, of Kirkham architects Croft Goode, and Damian Broughton, boss of Blackpool-based accountants Danbro.
The 73 judges recently underwent training with experts from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) to prepare them for the process of selecting the winners.
Tony Morgan, head of business engagement at Superfast Lancashire, will chair the six-man panel which will select the prestigious Business of the Year category winner.
He said: “The judging panels for each award are experts in their relevant industries, so we have people who know what makes a great business picking the winners.
“It is never an easy task, especially as the BIBAs has once again attracted a record number of applications this year, meaning there is a lot of high-quality businesses to pick from.
“The judges face a near impossible task to find a winner, which is why they have spent time with the experts at LUMS to ensure they are as prepared as they can be.”
Superfast Lancashire, the body bringing high speed fibre broadband to 97 per cent of the county by the end of 2015, has signed up as headline sponsor for the BIBAs.
Other local representatives on the panels include Dawn Cheetham, a director at Commercial Kitchen Services on Cornford Road, Blackpool, on the Employer of the Year panel, Mike Gray, of the First Stop Group which has its head office on the Whitehills Business Park, and Gemma Vaughan-Hayes, of Lytham-based Cuffe and Taylor.
The panels will begin their deliberations from Monday, May 19 when the first round of interviews will be held at the Fylde offices of awards organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.
All applicants for the awards will discover if they have made it through to this phase of judging by Monday, June 2, with shortlisted finalists discovering their fate by Friday, July 4.