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Blackpool awards interviews reveal diversity of business

The BIBAs awards ceremony at the Tower Ballroom Blackpool
The BIBAs awards ceremony at the Tower Ballroom Blackpool

The opening round of judging for one of Lancashire’s leading business awards has highlighted the diverse nature of the county’s economy, its headline sponsor has claimed.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla Resources – the firm behind the shale gas drilling operation at Preston New Road near Little Plumpton – said the applicants in the 18 categories of the Be Inspired Business Awards had also shown the quality to underline the strength of the economy.

The awards concluded interviews with hundreds of applicants and will unveil its shortlists next week.

Cuadrilla Resources is the headline sponsor of the BIBAs which holds its annual prize-giving ceremony at the iconic Blackpool Tower in September.

Mr Egan said: “The standard of BIBAs entrants benchmarks the vitality of the whole Lancashire economy and speaking to the judges who have met the applicants for this year’s awards, the County’s businesses are in rude health.

"Across 18 categories, you are meeting a huge range of businesses of different sizes and sectors and that type of diversity can only be a good thing for the whole business community.

“But, above all, the BIBAs celebrate the achievements of so many people and inspire many others to keep on pushing their business to be even better.”

Chris Hayes, Supply Chain Specialist at Cuadrilla, led the Business of the Year category judges which met applicants last Thursday and selected its finalists.

In two weeks, the Blackpool Gazette will unveil the full shortlists for the awards’ 18 prize categories.

Each finalist will then receive a visit from their judging panel. The initial round of face-to face interviews took place between May 14 and May 24 at the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce Fylde Coast offices at Squires Gate in Blackpool.

Following this, the finalists will be unveiled and the ‘BIBAs On Tour’ gets started on June 18 and runs until July 11, with the winners unveiled at the ceremony at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom in September.