The chairman of one of Lancashire’s best-known family businesses was handed a lifetime achievement award at the county’s top annual business event.
Ian Hall heads James Hall and Co, the Preston-based firm behind Spar retail stores across the North.
He was unveiled as the winner of the Lancastrian of the Year award, the highest honour at the Be Inspired Business Awards.
His son, Dominic, the group’s deputy managing director, accepted the award on behalf of his father in front of a sell-out crowd at the Blackpool Tower on Friday night .
James Hall and Co was founded in Southport in 1863 and is one of the county’s largest employers,
Ian Hall, who was out of the country, sent a thank-you message via a video recording and said he was thrilled to receive the award.
Babs Murphy, chief executive of organisers The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said Ian Hall was a worthy recipient and he and the company were great supporters of community activities and events.
Fylde accountancy firm Danbro was named Business of the Year. The Lytham-based firm moved into the former Land Registry building on the seafront last year and now has 66,000sq ft of office space, 200 staff and 7000 clients across the country.
Managing director Damian Broughton said:”This is fantastic. I have to say a big thank-you to all our employees and our clients.”
Blackpool-based social enterprise, Jobs, Friends, Houses CIC was crowned the Most Inspiring Business of the Year.
The Blackpool-based company, which trains and employs people in recovery from addiction, offending or family breakdown, wowed judges who visited one of its building sites where the team learn trades including plumbing and plastering while renovating properties and maintaining private residences.
CEO Steve Hodgkins said: “We are delighted to have won this award. It goes to show that ex prolific offenders, former addicts and alcoholics, and people written off as ‘no good’ can not only change, but make a real difference in their communities and be an inspiration to others.”
Leyland-based Cleanall Services were double winners.
The firm picked up two prizes on the night, the Excellence in Customer Service and Service Business of the Year categories.
Conlon Construction, based in Bamber Bridge, retained its Construction Business of the Year award.
Other winners included Louise Wilkinson, the owner of Nelson-based Lomeshaye Village Day Nursery, who was named Business Woman of the Year, South Ribble firm Evans Vanodine which collected the Exporter of the Year prize, and Chorley’s Scorpion Automotive, the BIBAs’ new Manufacturer of the Year.
Following the prize-giving ceremony hosted by former Dynasty actress Stephanie Beacham, guests were entertained by harmony group The Overtones.
Adam Armstrong, Transformation Leader for the awards’ headline sponsor, Saatchi and Saatchi, said: “As part of the judging panel for the Business of the Year category, I can honestly say that the calibre of businesses shortlisted for this year’s BIBAs was astonishingly high.”
“Many of the firms shortlisted in my category would have been a worthy winner and I believe that was the same story in the other categories.”
“Lancashire should be proud to have such a collection of creative, hard-working and inspirational businesses behind its economy, and I congratulate every finalist at this year’s BIBAs for their achievements.”
The awards’ winners will become the second group to be inducted in to the BIBAs Academy, set up with Lancaster University to deliver masterclasses with some of the world’s top business leaders, workshops to hone their skills, and the opportunity to network with leading firms.
Denys Smith-Hart, of sponsor Intersys Group, said: “By linking with an institution like Lancaster University, the BIBAs has again put itself ahead of the rest.
“The quality of applicants, finalists and winners at this year’s awards has raised the bar even higher and I am sure that entering the BIBAs Academy will further strengthen our economy.”