VENTURES linking businesses and the community such as the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards are vital for the success of the region’s largest college, its principal said today.

Blackburn College principal Ian Clinton was speaking in support of the Telegraph awards, the premier event in the East Lancashire business calendar.

The College is sponsoring two categories for the first time in the 2011 Awards – training and Development and Social and Community: Mr Clinton said: “As the largest FE college in the region we see ourselves as leaders in training and developing the next generation of skilled workers and business leaders for our region.

“We believe that training and development is a vital part of moving any business forward and we are committed to providing high quality training to employers.

“We see links with businesses and communities in the area are vital for the college’s success and we are happy to be sponsoring the Lancashire Telegraph business awards.

"Good luck to all entrants.”

The awards celebrate enterprise at its best and firms and individuals from all sectors are being urged to enter one or more of ten categories for a chance to be recognised and rewarded for their successes during the past 12 months.

Entries will be accepted up until Monday, September 12, and finalists will attend the glittering award ceremony at Ewood Park, Blackburn on November 11, hosted by BBC North West Tonight weather presenter Dianne Oxberry with after-dinner speaker, Lancashire consultant physician Dr Kevin Jones.

Other sponsors include United Utilities, BAE Systems, Cobham plc, Napthens and Hyndburn Enterprise Trust.