BIBAs businesses prove they are the toast of the coast

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Blackpool and the Fylde coast showed it means business by coming away with some of the top titles in the county’s biggest awards – the BIBAs.

Four firms starred among a wealth of talent on show at Blackpool Tower proving that the area can take on the best.

Glamorous evening: The annual BIBA Awards held in Blackpool Tower where Peter Andre entertained the crowd

Glamorous evening: The annual BIBA Awards held in Blackpool Tower where Peter Andre entertained the crowd

The coast had 18 finalists from among the Blackpool business community and 14 from the Fylde and Wyre areas at the glittering sell-out ceremony as more than 1,100 people gathered at the Tower Circus before being treated to entertainment headlined by pop star Peter Andre in the Tower Ballroom.

The awards were hosted by Kevin Roberts, the Lancashire-born global chief executive of creative agency, Saatchi and Saatchi, with former Radio One DJ, Simon Bates, as the ‘Voice of God’ for the ceremony.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of awards organisers, the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The BIBAs has been raising the bar for Lancashire’s business community for many years and it has achieved this yet again.

“We have not only selected the very best of the best from the more than 1,200 firms which applied for our awards, we have thrown the spotlight on the wealth of talent our county has.

“Our business community is rarely recognised for the crucial role it plays in our communities, providing jobs and investment and an opportunity for entrepreneurial talent to be realised, so we believe passionately in celebrating businesses’ contribution to Lancashire.”

Marton’s Chelsom were the stand-out winners, netting two awards.

Robert Chelsom, managing director said: “In our very first year of entering the prestigious BIBA awards, I was utterly thrilled to win Exporter of the Year and then overwhelmed moments 
later to win Creative Business of the Year as well. Given the strong competition from 1,200 companies, the two awards are a wonderful recognition for all the dedication, passion and hard work put in by the whole Chelsom team.

“There is in fact a connection between the two awards in that, because we understand our interior design marketplace so well and because we continually strive to create exciting and unique products for our clients, the global marketplace appreciates Chelsom and the exports have followed.”

The team at Blackpool Zoo are used to picking up tourism and visitor awards but they were delighted to be recognised as a great business, too.

Della Belk, marketing and PR manager at the zoo, said: “We are delighted to have won Leisure Business of the year at the BIBAs.

“This recognises our continued investment strategy and the hard work of all our team that has resulted in a great business growing visitor numbers, revenue and profit every year.”

Tangerine Holdings won the award for Manufacturer of the Year.

Chairman David Haythornthwaite said: “We are both surprised and delighted to receive this award.

“This is the first time we have entered the BIBA’s, so to be shortlisted in two other categories and to win the prestigious Manufacturing of the Year Award says a lot about the great people we have at Tangerine.

“We thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and will be entering again next year.”

The winners

Lancastrian of the Year: Eric Wright, Eric Wright Group (Bamber Bridge)

Business of the Year: Chemical Innovations (Bamber Bridge)

Most Inspiring Business of the Year: The Foxton Centre (Preston)

Business Woman of the Year: Janet Thornton, Inspired Energy (Kirkham)

Entrepreneur of the Year: Steve Pearson, Remvox (Bamber Bridge)

Employer of the Year: Magma Digital (Preston)

Exporter of the Year: Chelsom (Blackpool)

Manufacturer of the Year: Tangerine Holdings (Lytham)

E-Business of the Year: Connect 2 Cleanrooms (Lancaster)

Service Business of the Year: Preston Bus and Springhill Care Group (Preston and Accrington)

Small Business of the Year: Suresite Group (Preston)

New Business of the Year: The Networking People (Lancaster)

Creative Business of the Year: Chelsom (Blackpool)

Medium Business of the Year: Scorpion Automotive (Chorley)

Construction Business of the Year: Conlon Constuction (Bamber Bridge)

Micro-Business of the Year: The Little Big Voice (Preston)

Excellence in Customer Service: Springhill Care (Accrington)

Leisure Business of the Year: Blackpool Zoo (Blackpool)

Professional Business of the Year: Magma Digital (Preston)