Three Lancashire firms among FSB winners

By Tim Aldred

07 Mar 2023

Fsb North West Celebrating Small Business Awards Winners 2023

Three Lancashire-based businesses have been named among the winners of the FSB North West Celebrating Small Business Awards 2023.

James Calderbank, chief executive of Transform Hub Group in Preston won the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. The organisation operates 20 women’s Transform Hub and men’s Hub locations around the UK. James created his first Hub in 2018 in his hometown of Preston after realising that his city had the highest suicide rates in the UK.

Today, its services include exercise, nutrition, mindset and community connection and the business has attracted support from Andy Bell and Fergus Lyons, founder and former managing director of FTSE 250 investment platform, AJ Bell. The pair have announced a £1m investment into Transform Hub which the team plans to use to secure 100 sites and employ 300 people by 2025.

Lune Valley Pods, based in Heysham, won the Service Excellence Award. The organisation has evolved from a small farm shed operation to a 35,000 sq ft factory with over 30 employees, delivering over 150 glamping pods annually.

Ability Consultancy (NW) of Preston won the Diversity and Inclusion Award. Claire Buckle. a retired para-athlete, has worked in the equality and inclusion sector for over 20 years and launched the business in 2019.

The company provides a range of equality and diversity education/training services, specialising in disability awareness and para-sport. The income streams for the business include a fantastic new interactive disability app, online training courses and bespoke company support.

The three businesses will now go on to fly the flag for Lancashire at the national UK final in Birmingham, held in May.

Holly Bonfield, FSB North West regional chair, said: "Many congratulations to the winners of this year’s FSB North West Celebrating Small Business Awards. They are the heartbeat of our economy and deserved to be championed at today’s celebrations in Manchester.

"There was such a strong field of amazing entrants so all the finalists and everyone who entered deserve the utmost recognition as leaders of innovation, tenacity and vibrancy that characterises our small business community."

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