Lancashire’s most impressive businesses - including a hospice, a vaping firm which sells products around the world and one of the county’s most iconic tourist destinations - have been honoured at special awards evening.
The Red Rose Awards, now in their ninth year, were held at Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens and played out in front of an audience of more than 1,000 business owners, employees and public sector figures.
Trophies - crafted especially for these awards by Nelson-based Pendle Engineering - were handed out across 26 categories, honouring a diverse range of sectors from legal services to digital to not-for-profit.
Four companies, the leisure group James’ Places, Clitheroe-based recycling firm Silverwoods, Blackburn’s Vampire Vape and Accrington’s Advocacy Focus, scooped a pair of awards each.
The Lancashire Business View award, which has no strict criteria but is presented to the year’s most captivating story, was earned by Sunshine Events. The Preston company hires out equipment for large parties, corporate days and even TV shows. Its rapid growth in recent years has seen it build a client list including Eddie Stobart, Google and Tesco.
Before collecting their award on stage, each company was first selected from hundreds of nominations. A shortlist was made up of the most promising entrants, who then made pitches to panels of judges. More than 60 experts were involved in judging.
Oliver Burton, chief executive of headline sponsor Forbes Solicitors, said: “We’ve supported the Red Rose Awards since it launched in 2011 and were honoured to do so once again in 2019.
“The whole process has been a fantastic experience and the event was once again an amazing night and one to remember. The awards are a showcase of success for so many Lancashire businesses and the real highlight of the calendar.”
John Stanworth, head of corporate banking at headline sponsor Barclays, said: “It is always a privilege to be associated with awards that unashamedly celebrate business success in Lancashire. The Red Rose Awards create a positive culture and a buzz across the county and the ceremony was yet again not one to be missed! Congratulations to all winners.
Richard Slater, publisher of Lancashire Business View magazine which hosts the Red Rose Awards, said: “The Red Rose Awards has been yet another fantastic showcase of the incredible businesses and the work they do right here in Lancashire.
“This is the ninth time we have hosted the awards and we continue to unearth ‘hidden gems’. This awards ceremony is our chance to shine a spotlight on these companies - as much as the familiar names - so that everyone throughout the county, and beyond, can celebrate their great work.”
Richard added: “The ultimate aim of the Red Rose Awards is to prove that you can - and should - buy everything you need right here in Lancashire. And anyone who was there on the night, or who has read through the list of winners and finalists, will be convinced this is true.”
The Red Rose Awards culminates in a black-tie dinner at the Winter Gardens. Guests were treated to locally-sourced entertainment from local talent Gravity Live, DFC Lancashire and Funtime Frankie’s and fine food by Lancashire Business View’s long standing catering partners.