A PROMINENT East Lancashire businessman has spoken of his delight after landing a prestigious award.

Khalid Saifullah, managing director of Star Tissue, received the Arte Et Labore Award for his commitment to making Blackburn with Darwen a more prosperous place to live at the Hive Business Awards at King Georges Hall.

Mr Saifullah is a former Hive chairman and is on the board of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

He said: “I love Blackburn, it made me what I am today.

“It’s a great place to live and work. Community is our strength and I’ve always believed in Blackburn.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to work in Blackburn. There’s so many good things happening with Blackburn BID, Blackburn Rovers and what’s happening in the town centre with new businesses coming in.

“I have always considered Blackburn to be the capital of the northern powerhouse and it’s becoming moreso.

“It was a mix of shock and joy when my name was announced and it’s just a massive privilege to be honoured in this way.”

One of the big winners of the night was Vampire Vape, who landed both the growth business award and the manufacturing, innovation and technology excellence.

Ian Brown, chair of the HIVE network, said: “The quality of the shortlisted companies and the winners are testament to the business community in Blackburn.

“We had a wonderful cross-section of manufacturers and supply chains in to hall on the night and there was a real positive vibe.

“Even the MC (Tez Ilyas) was from the town so it was a celebration of Blackburn with Darwen throughout.

“There are so many good stories coming out of the borough at the moment we just need to get them out there for the world to hear.

“It was a fantastic event and I’m absolutely thrilled how it all passed off.”


The Creative and Digital Award

Bigtank Video Productions Ltd

The Professional Services Award

Napthens LLP

The Health, Wellbeing and Social Care Award

Unit 2 Fitness for Women

The Buzz Award

Festival of Making CIC

The Manufacturing, Innovation and

Technology Excellence Award

Flavour Warehouse (Vampire Vape)

Highly commended - Rotalube

The Family Business Award

Pulford Farm Dairies

The Commitment to Blackburn and Darwen Award

Blackburn Rovers Community Trust

The Investing in Future Skills Award

Lancashire Deaf Service

The Growth Business Award

Flavour Warehouse (Vampire Vape)

The New Business Award

S&H Group

Highly Commended - Cryo Express Limited

The Hive Business School Award

Darwen Aldridge Community Academy

The Hive Rising Star Award

(Under 30 years old)

Melanie Thomas - Blackburn Youth Zone

The Hive Employee of the Year

Laura Diffey - The Mall Blackburn

Hive Small Business of the Year

(1-50 full-time employees)

Stones Young

Hive Large Business of the Year

(51-plus full-time employees)

Curtis Law Solicitors LLP

The Arte Et Labore Award

Khalid Saifullah

The Hive Chairman’s Award

Blackburn BID