EAST Lancashire businesses were amongst the winners at the BIBAs - Be Inspired Business Awards - last week.

The night’s big winners included CoolKit, the Burnley refrigerated van specialist, picked up the Business of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year prizes, with Connect Childcare in Burnley taking the gong in the Best Use of IT Category.

Blackburn-based CB Partners took the Third Sector Business Prize and the Hippo Motor Group, also from Blackburn, won the Medium Business of the Year prize.

All the winners will now enter the BIBAs Academy, a package of workshops, masterclasses and networking run by the awards and the University of Central Lancashire, aimed at further boosting the growth of some of the county’s leading lights.

Chorley-based Scorpion Automotive was named Exporter of the Year, Lancaster’s Hotfoot Design picked up the Creative Business of the Year prize and Chorley lightning firm Fourth Wall Solutions was the winner of the New Business of the Year category.

Simon Rigby, whose property empire includes the city’s Guild Hall, collected the Lancastrian of the Year award at the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, in front of a sell-out crowd at The Blackpool Tower on Friday night.

The businessman, who was born in to a farming family on the Fylde, has a diverse business portfolio including green energy and care homes, and has been credited with the revival of the Preston Guild Hall and bought a number of other properties in the city including Five’s bar and the Guild Tower office block

Francis Egan, chief executive at headline sponsor Cuadrilla Resources, said the calibre of finalists for the awards’ 18 prizes highlighted the depth of quality within Lancashire’s economy.

He said: “It as inspiring to see so many businesses and the individuals behind them being recognised for their enthusiasm, innovation and sheer hard work at the BIBAs.

“With the mark of quality which being a BIBA winner brings, I have no doubt those who walked away with trophies will continue to deliver growth, jobs and investment for the county.”


Most Inspiring Young Person of the Year: Chelsey Marie Baldwin

Creative Business of the Year: Hotfoot Design

Employer of the Year: Sunshine Events

Best Use of IT: Connect Childcare

Business Person of the Year: Ashley Hackett, Blackpool FC Community Trust

Exporter of the Year: Scorpion Automotive

Family Business of the Year: The Wayfarer

Professional Service Business of the Year: Thomas Consulting

Manufacturer of the Year: CoolKit

Excellence in CSR: Sunshine Events

Construction Business of the Year: Fox Brothers

Leisure Business of the Year: Winter Gardens Blackpool

Third Sector Business of the Year: CB Partners

Service Business of the Year: Fairbanks Environmental

New Business of the Year: Fourth Wall Solutions

Micro Business of the Year: 8th Sign

Small Business of the Year: Bespoke Childcare

Medium Business of the Year: Hippo Motor Group

Business of the Year: CoolKit

Lancastrian of the Year: Simon Rigby