TWO East Lancashire council leaders have urged firms to showcase their enterprise in the region’s biggest and best business awards.

Both Blackburn with Darwen and Burnley councils are among sponsors of the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards 2013 – the premier event in the area’s business calendar.

There are 11 categories, including the prestigious Business of the Year title, and other awards recognising manufacturing excellence, innovation and technology, export achievement, deals, environment, training and development, retailing, team of the year, social and community and the small business of the year.

Burnley Council leader Coun Julie Cooper said: “Sponsoring the innovation award enables Burnley Council to promote Burnley’s strengths in manufacturing and innovation, and promote the importance of innovation for Burnley’s economy and the wider Lancashire economy.

“Manufacturing is the backbone of Burnley’s economy and the importance of innovation in manufacturing cannot be emphasized enough.

“It does not only refer to production of innovative products that are different from those offered by the competition but it also refers to innovation and creative approaches to production processes, design, services and workforce development.

“We recognise the success of our businesses fuels Lancashire’s economy and we are proud to sponsor the innovation award to help showcase Lancashire as an innovative business location and look forward to celebrating outstanding performance and underlining business confidence going forward”

Coun Kate Hollern, leader of environment category sponsors Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “When I talk to residents, one of the things they more often than not tell me is the importance of living in clean and green areas. Everyone has a responsibility to make sure the borough is kept neat and tidy and I am extremely pleased to say businesses are doing their bit.

“I am looking forward to seeing examples of businesses who are making a real difference to the environment and are truly environmentally aware.”

Other award sponsors are Blackburn College, Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrol Papers, worldwide business experts Deloitte, Hyndburn Enterprise Trust and legal firm Napthens.

Companies of all sizes need to submit their award applications before August 29. Businesses can enter as many categories as they wish at no charge. Go to to download a form today, email or phone 01254 298381.

Winners will be announced at a glittering awards night at Ewood Park, Blackburn on November 15 hosted by Lancashire entertainer Norman Prince.