B&FC returns as judging partner for Red Rose Awards: “We love nothing more!”

Blackpool and the Fylde College will return as judging partner for the Red Rose Awards for the second consecutive year.

We spoke to Sarah Hall, the college’s head of business development, who shared her insight on the crucial role the event plays in the county’s economy, as well as divulging insider’s tips on how businesses can stand out and shine through their nominations.

The Red Rose Awards is open for entries until midnight on Friday, 13 December, and winners will be announced at a one of a kind ceremony attended by more than 1,000 guests, on 12 March at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.

RRA: How did B&FC first get involved with the Red Rose Awards?

SH: B&FC has for years nurtured mutually beneficial strategic relationships with hundreds of Lancashire businesses, including event organisers Lancashire Business View. And as one of the county's large employers ourselves, we have a lot of opportunities to put into practice lessons we learn from our regional counterparts. 

With those things in mind, it was logical to take the next step and celebrate the best of this magnificent region's businesses by lending our support to the Red Rose Awards.

RRA: What is the most rewarding part of being involved as a sponsor?

SH: It's astonishing how much passion and perseverance goes into brilliant businesses.

As a college that advocates for innovation and creativity among its students, we are accordingly proud when those aptitudes are demonstrated by commercial organisations. And it's most often where that combination of guile and determination intersect that you find exceptional businesses - the kind of company that wins recognition in the form of the Red Rose Awards.

Red Rose Awards judges every category nomination on merits, not P&L.

RRA: How do you feel that the Red Rose Awards benefit Lancashire?

SH: It's essential that businesses that disrupt and innovate are given recognition. And often the only way to find these organisations and to shine a spotlight on them is to create awards.

Lancashire Business View's Red Rose Awards is among the best of its kind. For proof of that, just look at the roster of sponsors - which includes Barclays, one of the world’s biggest banks. That's evidence of just how far the awards have come, and a testament to the strength of our local business scene for attracting such big names.

The diversity of these awards is also a huge benefit to the region and its industries. So often it's the smaller businesses that show the greatest potential for growth, yet in their early years 

they're often overlooked. But Red Rose Awards not only has a category dedicated to the SME; it judges every category nomination on merits, not P&L.

RRA: How do you feel that your involvement with the Red Rose Awards benefits B&FC?

SH: Connecting businesses is a huge benefit to us. As providers of cutting-edge training we need to stay abreast of everything that's happening across industry. The more we know, the more everyone grows.

We're renowned for our honest and simple passion for business. We love nothing more than playing a part in the success of any organisation - and where possible, we share those lessons with others. 

These days a buzzphrase talk is 'the circular economy'; our version is being part of a circle where everyone in Lancashire benefits from others' experiences which in turn grows the overall region and gets people across the UK talking about us.

RRA: What makes 'judging partner' the ideal match for B&FC?

SH: Every business in Lancashire can enjoy transformational change through specialist training, and having worked across the region for many years, we’re already supporting organisations matching the criteria for all Red Rose Awards categories. 

So instead of sponsoring a particular category, we will employ our breadth of experience to judge objectively all nominations. 

We will use our exemplary reputation as an award-winning college, one that empowers industry with up-to-date training and top-notch recruitment support, to champion winners since it is putting workforces and upskilling first that is critical in building winning businesses.

RRA: Do you have any words of advice for businesses who may be considering entering this year?

SH: The hallmark of any successful business is putting its people first. Being profitable is an essential component of doing business; but to get to that point you need a healthy, happy, upskilled workforce. When it comes to these awards, it doesn't matter the size of your business - what does matter is your ambition and how you'll support your people so they'll propel you there.