Blackpool events and publications firm shows agility to beat the pandemic and win award

A Blackpool digital publisher has ended a strong year by winning an award, despite having to pivot the business to cope with effect the coronavirus lockdowns.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 10th December 2021, 12:30 pm

Barcadia Media of Edward Street won the 2021 Small Business category at the recent Red Rose Awards.

The firm which employs 20, has three focus areas, publishing, education and events, primarily in the financial services and property industries.

The firm launched in 2008 as a mortgage broker platform with its first office in FYCreatives in Blackpool town centre, supported by Blackpool Council’s Get Started scheme.

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The Barcadia Media team winning a Red Rose Award

But it morphed into publishing industry news and then staging events. Founded by James Lucas and Andy Shields is a family business with Andy’s sister Kirsty and both founders’ mums joining.

It now has three business to business news publications, four awards programmes and staging around 55 educational events around the UK each year plus two trade shows including Mortgage Adviser Event.

But the pandemic wiped out all the events and Barcadia had to put an entire year’s educational event calendar into a digital model along with its trade shows.

The firm said this maintained relationships with readers and customers, and improved what it could offer as a business. It also launched a new awards programme, Property Reporter Awards, with plans to make it a physical event in early 2022.

James Lucas, joint founding director, said: “We’ve always been enormously proud to be from Lancashire, and we invest in the future of Blackpool for exactly that reason - so to be recognised as an award-winning business in our home county was an incredibly special moment for the entire team.

“Not only was it a high point after a difficult couple of years for everybody where the business was constantly having to innovate and work twice as hard to stay ahead, it’s also hugely rewarding to have such an established awards programme recognise the work that everyone at Barcadia Media has put in for over a decade now.

“We’ve got so many plans for the next 12 months, and winning this award is a really exciting, galvanising moment as we look ahead to everything we’ve got to come.

“We’re looking to expand our portfolio of publications into a new market, build on our trade events, and some huge plans for investing in Blackpool-based businesses.”

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