Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards finalists announced

Businesses across Blackburn and Darwen are celebrating after being named finalists in the second 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 28 at the Red Rose Suite at Blackburn Rovers Football Club.

Winners will be announced at the black-tie ceremony which takes place on May 26 at the magnificent Blackburn Cathedral.

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 sponsor these awards and be a part of the celebration of the fantastic businesses in Blackburn and Darwen.”

Brian Bailey, director of planning and prosperity 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 are Blackburn College, Capita and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. The awards are also sponsored by Business and Enterprise Trust, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Forbes Solicitors, Heritage Envelopes, Maple Grove Developments, Napthens Solicitors, Northcote at the Rovers, Parkinson Signs, Pierce Chartered Accountants, Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), Ronset, Tauheedul Education Trust, WEC Group and Whittle Jones, with media partners including Lancashire Telegraph, The Bee, Square Cactus and Lancashire Business View. The Buzz Award
  • Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID)
  • King George’s Hall (BwDBC)
  • The Mall Blackburn
  • Thwaites Empire Theatre
The Commitment to Blackburn and Darwen Award
  • Age UK, Blackburn with Darwen
  • Blackburn College
  • MGS Technical Plastics
  • Sporting NRG
The Creative and Digital Award
  • Bigtank Productions
  • Marmalade Toast
  • Thwaites Empire Theatre
  • TPW Design Consultants
The Family Business Award
  • A Ainsworth & Sons (Jewellers)
  • Bryan Lee Building Contractors
  • Cronshaw Electrical
  • Hobkirk Sewing Machines
The High Growth Award
  • BEK Enviro
  • Cardley Group
  • Cronshaw Electrical
  • Marmalade Toast
The Innovation Award
  • Capita Property & Infrastructure
  • Community Clothing trading as Norton & Sons
  • Heritage Envelopes
  • Mulithog 
The International Achievement Award
  • Linzi Jay
  • Northern Industrial
  • Precision Polymer Engineering
  • Verde Ceramica (UK)
The Investing in Future Skills Award
  • Cardley Group
  • CM Oxendale
  • Cronshaw Electrical
  • TPW Design Consultants
The Made in Blackburn and Darwen Manufacturing Award
  • Cookson & Clegg Apparel
  • Darwen Terracotta and Faience
  • MGS Technical Plastics
  • Pets Choice
The Newcomer Award
  • BEK Enviro
  • Darwen Terracotta and Faience
  • FD Recruit
  • Hussain Architectural Design
The Young Employee Award
  • Bootstrap Enterprises, Courtney Wright
  • Capita Property & Infrastructure, Rebecca Rawcliffe
  • The Mall Blackburn, Carley McKenna
  • With a Twist, Megan Gallacher
The Young Entrepreneur Award
  • Chocolat by Daniel Coletta, Daniel Coletta
  • Duffin’s Estate Agents, Sonia Duffin
  • Inkthreadable, Alex Cunliffe
  • Northern Industrial, David Lenehan