Lancashire businessman Simon Rigby has spoken of his pride at being recognised with a lifetime achievement award.
Preston Guild Hall owner Mr Rigby was presented with the Lancastrian of the Year award at the Be Inspired Business Awards at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom on Friday night.
Mr Rigby said today: “Recognition is always most welcome but the award from The Chamber of Commerce is an award from my peers so is especially gratifiable.
“As a born and bred Lancastrian being named Lancastrian of the year is well spooky. I owe thanks to all the staff I employee who have made all my achievements possible.”
Mr Rigby owns a string of companies and The Villa brand.
He is credited with playing a major part in the revitalisation of Preston after “rescuing” the Guild Hall and pumping much-needed cash into it.
It was also a successful night for Preston-based Sunshine Events, which took two awards.
The firm tweeted: “What a night, what a team.”
The night and the contest was organised by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.
Francis Egan, chief executive at headline sponsor Cuadrilla Resources, said the calibre of finalists for the awards’ 19 prizes highlighted the depth of quality within Lancashire’s economy.
He said: “It is inspiring to see so many businesses and the individuals behind them being recognised for their enthusiasm, innovation and sheer hard work at the BIBAs.
“My congratulations go out to everyone who made it to The Blackpool Tower for another fantastic night.
“Every one of them is playing a crucial role in ensuring the economy of Lancashire continues to thrive.”
All the winners will now enter the BIBAs Academy, a package of workshops, masterclasses and networking.