Five Blackpool businesswomen are over the moon after scooping top prize at a coveted awards ceremony.
Jane Cole, of Blackpool Transport, Linda Irvin, of Home from Home Childcare, Rachel Ratcliffe, of Rachel’s Scrummy Yummy Cakes, Sheryl Armer, of Adcroft Hilton and Julie Maughan, of Woodhouse Opticians, are now proud owners of a 2017 Enterprise Vision Award.
The five winners fought off fierce competition to scoop the Business Woman, Customer Services, Hospitality, Financial Services and Retail Business categories respectively.
Fylde Coast-based Kila Redfearn, of the Winter Gardens and Joanna Taplin, of Sunshine for the Soul, were also the recipients of Highly Commended awards in the Customer Services and Health and Beauty categories respectively.
Coral Horn, organiser of the awards and founder of networking group, Pink Link Ladies, said: “What a superb event the EVAs turned out to be.
“After learning of the news that the Empress Ballroom would be unavailable, we had to have a major turnaround to ensure the Pavilion was suitable and it certainly was.
“Our seventh year brought about the biggest turnout and it is safe to say the awards surpassed themselves once again.
“Entries were at an all-time high and we had fantastic, high calibre entries from across the North West.
“I want to personally congratulate each of the ladies and already, plans are underway for 2018!”
More than 650 people turned to celebrate the EVA’s ceremony which took place in the Pavilion at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 16 awards were presented.
Guests enjoyed a three-course meal provided by Blackpool-based Campbell and Rowley’s.
MC was Rebecca Jane, returning for her second consecutive year.
Rebecca, owner of a successful all-female private investigation company, which was set up in 2009 after she suspected her now ex-husband was having an affair, also has a TV drama scheduled for 2017 based on her story.
She said: “After last year’s awards, I didn’t think the EVAs could get any better, but it certainly did.
“I was delighted and honoured to return as MC for a second year. I’m a huge supporter of women in business and each lady thoroughly deserved their award.
“It was excellent to see so many people supporting the awards, the atmosphere was electric and it was a pleasure to be involved in.”
The awards were founded in 2011. For the fifth year running NatWest has supported the EVAs as the headline sponsor.
Heather Waters. Enterprise Manager at NatWest, added: “The EVAs is a fantastic event celebrating the many successes of female entrepreneurs from across the North West and we are proud to support the awards for the fifth year in a row.
“The EVAs highlights the dedication that each woman has for their business.”