BLACKBURN and Darwen’s ‘Hive’ network of 193 local business leaders will today be nationally recognised for its role in boosting the borough’s prosperity.

It has been commended in 2014 Enterprising Britain Awards to be presented by skills minister Matthew Hancock later today at the Federation of Small Business Seminar during the International Festival of Business in Liverpool.

The government-run awards celebrate good practice involving small to medium businesses.

Projects have to meet strict criteria including simplifying administrative procedures and easing access to new markets. Hive, chaired by Star Tissue boss Khalid Saifullah, is the only Lancashire organisation to be recognised and commended in today’s national awards.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “The Hive has quickly become a leading example of getting things done through partnership working.

“It is supported by well-known brands and some of the borough’s most influential business people.”

Borough regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “We are very fortunate in both Blackburn and Darwen to have some very passionate business leaders and other organisations who want to stand alongside the council to make sure we do everything possible to make this a successful area.

“One of the council’s main priorities is to create high quality jobs for local people and this network is playing a vital role.”

Anybody interested in hearing more about The Hive or to join visit