THE cream of East Lancashire businesses took centre stage last night at the Lancashire Telegraph Business Awards.

More than 300 people attended the glitzy ceremony staged at Ewood Park, Blackburn, to celebrate the successes of entrepreneurs and their companies over the past 12 months.

Walking away with top prize, Business of the Year, was acdc LED, which is based in Barrowford.

Lancashire Telegraph editor, Kevin Young, praised the winners for their performance against the backdrop of the country’s worst recession for decades.

He said: “Throughout these tough times all kinds of firms in East Lancashire have battled on.

“It is testament to the indomitable spirit and character of people in this part of the country that despite the difficulties, new firms have continued to spring up and many existing businesses have continued to grow and thrive.

“We heard about businesses which have had the courage to invest, have put customer service at the heart of everything they do, and which have taken an holistic approach – not just concentrating on the bottom line, but also being prepared to look at sustainability and energy saving.”

Other award winners included Burnley-based national chain The Original Factory Shop, which took the title of retailer of the year, and Herbert Parkinson, which is based at Harvest Mill in Darwen and is part of the John Lewis Partnership, which won the environment award.

Guests at the ceremony, which was hosted by comedian Norman Prince, were treated to a three-course meal.

Mr Young added: “It was an excellent night and I want to congratulate all the winners and say well done to all those who were shortlisted.

“Without our sponsors and supporters the awards would not be possible and I would like to thank them for their generosity and commitment.”