A BURNLEY businesswoman is in the running for a top industry award.

Kerian Barnes, who heads the team at Burnley’s Holiday Inn Express, will be representing Starboard Hotels at tonight’s Inspiring Women’s Awards final.

The event, run by the Inspiring Young Woman Foundation, will take place at Manchester’s Midland Hotel this evening, hosted by BBC and ITV presenter Andy Crane.

Now in its 23rd year the awards mark the contribution of women from all walks of life, business, community and individuals who demonstrate inspirational, motivational and leadership skills in the relevant fields.


Kerian has been selected as one of only two finalists in the Nurturing Female Talent award category, beating off fierce competition from leading businesses bidding to collect this highly coveted award.

The operations manager, who lives in Withnell Fold, has been in hospitality all her working life and said there has been a big shift in the male/female balance within the industry.

She said: “When I started in hospitality I was the only female general manager in a very male dominated industry and now I would say it’s a more even split.”

Kerian, who is chairman of the East Lancashire Business In the Community scheme, said: “Providing young female talent with the prospects of developing and growing their skills is an important factor for any business.

She added: “Winning the Nurturing Female talent award would be an incredible endorsement of the company’s commitment and desire to seeing real results for women in the hospitality sector.

“We want more inspiring young women to come through the ranks.

“Many people you speak to will have some background in hospitality, and the skills you learn are interchangeable.

”There will be a few of us going tonight and whether I win or not, we have created a winning formula for inspiring people.”

Paul Callingham, MD for Starboard Hotels, added: “We are delighted to have won through to the final of these important awards.

“It has been a fantastic year all around for Starboard Hotels and the Holiday Inn Express in Burnley as six months ago the team won an important European hospitality industry Developing People award.”