BIBAs 2016: Cream of Lancashire businesses hailed at event

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A Lancashire businessman who created a firm which puts products in to millions of households across the country has picked up a prestigious award.

Mike Peters, founder of Kirkham-based Universal Products, was named the Lancastrian of the Year at the annual Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs.

His firm manufactured some of the best-known personal care and pharmaceutical products in the world before he sold it to global healthcare group, DCC, in 2014.

There were also wins for The Senator Group, the East Lancashire furniture firm which was named Business of the Year, and Blackpool community interest company, URPotential, which was named Third Sector Business of the Year.

Chorley financial planning firm True Bearing and Lytham’s Excel Fostering both collected two awards in front of a sell-out crowd.

Babs Murphy, Chief executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “The innovation, excellence and passion behind every winner goes to show the quality we have in our business community in Lancashire.

Lancastrian of the Year Mike Peters MBE at The North West Chamber of Commerce BIBAs

Lancastrian of the Year Mike Peters MBE at The North West Chamber of Commerce BIBAs

“The BIBAs provides a spotlight for every one of the individuals and firms which not only picked up trophies but also made it to the finals.

“Having seen the judges in action, I know that no-one gets one unless they are the very top of their class, so taking home a BIBA trophy is a huge endorsement to your business.

“I am sure I join everyone in the Lancashire business community when I congratulate every BIBAs winner for their achievements.”

The audience of Lancashire’s leading businesses were entertained by performances from 80s chart legend, Paul Young, and Sam Bailey, a winner of hit reality television show, X-Factor.

The Biba's at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

The Biba's at Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Actor Simon Callow, who appeared in Four Weddings and a Funeral, was the host for the evening which saw Phil Lawson of Skelmersdale-based Virtue Technologies collect the Business Person of the Year award.

Bamber Bridge building firm Conlon Construction picked up the Construction Business of the Year for the third consecutive year while Jake Adams, chairman of Blackpool Youth Voice, the resort’s youth council, became the first winner of the BIBAs’ Most Inspiring Young Person award.

All the winners...

• Lancastrian of the Year: Mike Peters MBE

• Business of the Year: The Senator Group

• Creative Agency of the Year: Door 4

• Best Use of IT: Pharmalogic Chemist

• Manufacturer of the Year: Standfast and Barracks

• Exporter of the Year: Nature’s Aid

• Small Business of the Year: Festive Lights

• Service Business of the Year: Excel Fostering

• New Business of the Year: Clifton Homecare

• Micro Business of the Year: Country and Comercial Insurance Brokers

• Third Sector Business of the Year: URPotential CIC

• Business Person of the Year: Phil Lawson, Virtue Technologies

• Leisure Business of the Year: Winter Gardens Blackpool

• Excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility: True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners

• Medium Business of the Year: Voiteq

• Construction Business of the Year: Conlon Construction

• Professional Practice of the Year: True Bearing Chartered Financial Planners

• Employer of the Year: Excel Fostering

• Most Inspiring Young Person of the Year: Jake Adams, Blackpool Youth Voice, Highly commended Samuel Womack