Fylde coast joy at business awards wins

The team from the Winter Gardens getting their 2018 BIBAs award
The team from the Winter Gardens getting their 2018 BIBAs award
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The Fylde coast featured strongly among the winners of the Be Inspired In Business Awards at the Tower Ballroom  at the weekend.

Among the winners was the Winter Gardens which retained its Leisure Business of the Year title it won last year.

Michael Williams said: “I am delighted for the team to win for the second year.

“The BIBAs is the one they all want to win and to get recognition across Lancashire is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the Winter Gardens team.”

He said the award reflected the progress made at the venue in recent years.

“New initiatives and new events, such as the international Soul festival in June have been a great success, the additional footfall, for example with the May dance festival with people coming from 65 countries, has been great not only for the Winter Gardens but also for Lancashire.

“The refurbishment that has taken place since it came into the ownership of the council is clear for all to see.” He added: “The work is well under way and the schedule for the conference centre was finalised last week with plans to open in Spring 2019.

“Together with the Spanish Hall refurbishment that will ensure the future of those spaces.”

The Lancastrian of the Year lifetime achievement award went to Wrea Green businessman Simon Rigby.

He was delighted and shocked to get the honour, given for his raft of work in business from energy to property and care homes.

He said: “Recognition is always most welcome but for the award for The Chamber of Commerce it is an Award from my Peers so is especially gratifying. While I was fortunate enough to collect this award I owe thanks to all the staff I employ who have made all my achievements possible.”

Other winners included Chelsey-Marie Baldwin, the Blackpool-based former gymnast who was forced to retire from the sport aged just 17, and who then set up her own academy teaching young people in South Shore.

Ashley Hackett of the Blackpool FC Community Trust was picked up the Business Person of the Year award.