Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards finalists announced

7 April 2017

Businesses across Blackburn and Darwen are celebrating after being named finalists in the third annual Hive Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards.

Successful businesses have had their written entries validated and scored against strict criteria to be named one of four finalists in each category.

Finalists will now face an interview and presentation stage with judges made up of sponsors, business leaders and independent experts. The dedicated judging day will take place on April 27 at the Red Rose Suite at Blackburn Rovers Football Club.

Winners will be announced at the black-tie ceremony which takes place on May 10 at the iconic King George’s Hall.

Khalid Saifullah, chairman of the Hive Network and director of local manufacturing firm Star Tissue UK, comments: “The response to the awards has been very encouraging and the entry forms tell a very positive story about business in Blackburn and Darwen. We look forward to meeting the finalist businesses at the interview stage to learn more – our judging panels have a tough task on their hands.

“The awards do a great job in highlighting the fantastic businesses we have within the borough and we’re pleased they’ve taken this opportunity to shout about what they do and celebrate the extraordinary people working for them.”

Nicola Clayton, director of business development and external engagement at Blackburn College, said: “It’s a privilege for Blackburn College to be a headline sponsor of these awards for the third year. These fantastic businesses provide vital recruitment opportunities and contribute to the growth and prosperity of our economy.”

Brian Bailey, Director of Strategy and Funding at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said:

“Blackburn with Darwen has industry, inventiveness, skill and hard work woven through its history and shaping its future. The Hive awards will recognise the fantastic achievements which our companies continue to make. Congratulations to all of the finalists”.

There are 14 awards in total; including the Hive Chairman’s Award and the Arte et Labore Award as well as the The Young Entrepreneur and The Young Employee Award.
Other categories include; The Newcomer Award, The Family Business Award, The International Achievement Award, The High Growth Award, The Innovation Award, The Investing in Future Skills Award, The Creative and Digital Award, The Made in Blackburn and Darwen Manufacturing Award and, new for this year, The Buzz Award and The Commitment to Blackburn and Darwen Award.

The full list of finalists can be seen below. Tickets and tables for the event can now be booked through the website –

Headline sponsors of the Hive Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards 2017 are Blackburn College, Capita and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Other sponsors are the Business and Enterprise Trust, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Empine Print, Forbes Solicitors, Heritage Envelopes, Maple Grove Developments, Napthens Solicitors, Northcote at the Rovers, Parkinson Signs, Pierce Chartered Accountants, Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), Red Rose Dry Lining, Westholme School, WEC Group and Whittle Jones, with media partners including Asian Image, 2BR, Lancashire Telegraph, Lancashire Business View and Square Cactus.


The Buzz Award – sponsored by Maple Grove Developments
• Blackburn Business Improvement District
• Friends of Blackburn Cathedral Flower Festival
• Fusion
• King George’s Hall

The Corporate Commitment to Blackburn and Darwen Award sponsored by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
• Napthens
• Square Cactus
• The Mall Blackburn
• Tyrrells and Embery

The Social Responsibility Commitment to Blackburn and Darwen Award
• Age UK Blackburn with Darwen
• Blackburn with Darwen Healthy Living
• Community & Business Partners CIC
• Personalising Freedom CIC

The Creative and Digital Award sponsored by Parkinsons Signs
• Bigtank Video Productions
• Source Creative
• Square Cactus
• TPW Design Consultants

The Family Business Award sponsored by Forbes Solicitors
• Crafty Vintage
• Gel-clear
• Hippo Motor Group
• rucomfy Beanbags

The Growing Business Award sponsored by Napthens
• Gel-clear
• Hippo Motor Group
• Multihog
• Watson Ramsbottom

The Innovation Award sponsored by WEC Group
• Community Clothing
• Exchange Coffee Company
• Gel-clear
• Heritage Envelopes

The International Achievement Award sponsored by East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
• Acorn Fire & Security
• Cardley Group
• Darwen Terracotta
• Northern Industrial

The Investing in Skills Award sponsored by Red Rose Dry Lining
• Darwen Aldridge Community Academy
• Herbert Parkinson
• PM+M 
• Training 2000

The Made in Blackburn and Darwen Manufacturing Award sponsored by Pierce CA
• Cardley Group
• Darwen Terracotta
• Educational Printing Services
• Heritage Envelopes

The Newcomer Award sponsored by Business & Enterprise Trust
• Evolution Childcare
• Personalising Freedom CIC
• S & H Maintenance
• Sunbird Records

The Business Person of the Year Award sponsored by Whittle Jones
• Elaine Hurn, Taylors
• Peter Jackson, Peter Jackson Jewellers
• David Lenehan, Northern Industrial
• Thomas Preston, Hippo Motor Group

The Young Employee Award sponsored by Heritage Envelopes
• Megan Gallacher, With a Twist
• Philip Johnson, Pierce CA
• Carley McKenna, The Mall Blackburn
• Lance Plachciak, Blackburn College

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