Barclays Corporate Banking has once again pledged its support for the Red Rose Awards, becoming co headline sponsor for the seventh year.
The event opens for entries on October 8 and will culminate in an extravagant ceremony, attended by more than 1,000 guests, on March 12 in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.
John Stanworth, head Lancashire and Cumbria, Barclays Corporate Banking, explains why his organisation continues to support the Red Rose Awards, how he has seen the event grow over the years and how it benefits Lancashire’s economy.
RRA: How did Barclays first get involved with the Red Rose Awards?
JS: The opportunity came to be co-headline sponsor with Forbes several years ago and we jumped at the chance. The Red Rose Awards are the most prestigious awards event to promote Lancashire businesses and I was delighted to accept the opportunity.
We were already closely involved with Lancashire Business View via the business magazine and had participated in a number of other events and roundtable debates so this seemed the next step in demonstrating how Barclays is supporting local firms.
RRA: What changes have you seen in the Red Rose Awards over the years that you have been involved?
JS: It just gets bigger and better. The judging has become really slick and there’s more opportunity at the event to network and meet new people. The awards themselves are more valued and we have seen more people entering each year.
RRA: What is the most rewarding part of being headline sponsor?
JS: My favourite part has to be meeting new people and hearing about the fantastic things they’ve achieved, both at the initial submissions stage and during the interview process.
RRA: How do you feel that the Red Rose Awards benefit Lancashire?
JS: They are all about highlighting the successes and achievements of the county. It brings the business community together and forges beneficial new relationships, which is a real force for good.
RRA: How do you feel that your involvement with the Red Rose Awards benefits Barclays?
JS: By meeting new people through the awards, we’ve created new business relationships and have gone on to see several of our clients win awards, which is fantastic to be a part of. We always encourage people to put in a nomination and it gives us the opportunity to add value to their business. In particular, we’re able to focus on the highlights from the last year and plans for the coming year. Of course, this our involvement also creates opportunities for Barclays to work with new clients, help existing clients to grow and continue to support the local economy.
RRA: Do you have any words of advice for businesses who may be considering entering this year?
JS: Give it a go. The key is to answer the question you are given in a clear format that demonstrates what you’ve achieved in the year of the awards. Make it easy to read, highlight your supporting data and keep it concise. You could also speak with previous winners to see how they differentiated their submission. When preparing for the interview, remember your aim is to ‘sell’ the story of your business in 5 minutes, so practice that elevator pitch.
More than anything, enjoy the event as I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time.