Final countdown to the BIBAs

Glamorous: Lancashire businesses at last year's event

Glamorous: Lancashire businesses at last year's event

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Just 72 hours stand between a group of Lancashire’s leading businesses and one of the county’s top awards, the Be Inspired Business Awards.

A total of 19 trophies, known as the BIBAs, will be handed out in front of a sell-out crowd at the Blackpool Tower on Friday evening marking the end of journey which began seven months ago when a record number of firms entered the awards.

The awards include prizes for businesses large and small, new and long-standing as well as two special prizes, the Most Inspiring Business of the Year and the Lancastrian of the Year lifetime achievement award.

Tony Morgan, head of business engagement at the BIBAs’ headline sponsor, Superfast Lancashire, said he could not wait for one of the biggest nights in Lancashire’s business calendar to get underway.

He said: “For Superfast Lancashire, as headline sponsor of this year’s BIBAs, we have been alongside every business involved in the awards, every step of the way.

“From the entry phase, through the rigorous judging process which we were thrilled to be involved in, which included a series of unique visits to our finalists’ businesses, then finally picking the winners, it has really been an epic journey.

“I personally cannot wait to be in the Circus Theatre at the Blackpool Tower on Friday night when the winners are announced and the fabulous business community of Lancashire gets together to celebrate.”

Norman Tenray, vice-president of awards organisers the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said the awards would also get underway with its legacy projects following this week’s prize-giving ceremony.

It is launching the BIBAs Academy alongside Lancaster University Management School to deliver a top end support package to its winners, and the BIBAs Foundation, a fund made up of donations from leading members of Lancashire’s business community which will be handed to organisations and charities throughout the county.

Mr Tenray, the managing director of Longridge-based builders’ merchant, OBAS UK, said: “The BIBAs has been recognising and celebrating the achievements of businesses across Lancashire for many years, but this year is even more special.

“Far from handing out trophies and then leaving it at that, the BIBAs is continuing its support for its winners with a fantastic package being offered by the BIBAs Academy, and helping make Lancashire a better place through the BIBAs Foundation.”