The founder of a Lancashire textiles firm which sells across the globe has been handed a lifetime achievement prize by one of the county’s leading business awards.
Tony Attard, who established Burnley-based Panaz more than 30 years ago, received the Lancastrian of the Year award at the Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, ceremony at The Blackpool Tower on Friday night (September 14).
The businessman and current High Sherriff of Lancashire established and developed a business which exports to almost 50 countries worldwide.
Utiligroup, which manages utilities for businesses across the world, picked up the Business of the Year award and Preston-based Sunshine Events and Blackburn’s Flavour Warehouse both picked up two awards, Creative Business of the Year and Service Business of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year and Exporter of the Year respectively.
The awards were handed out at a prize-giving ceremony in front of a sell-out crowd which was entertained by pop icon Lulu and her band – the awards were presented by television economist Justin Urquhart Stuart.
Francis Egan, of headline sponsor, Cuadrilla Resources, said: “For a further year, the BIBAs has shown us the quality of Lancashire’s diverse business community, across all sectors and all sizes of businesses.
“But, it is every one of the people who stepped on to the stage at the Blackpool Tower to collect those trophies who are the real heroes along with the many thousands of people who work every day in their businesses.
“We were very fortunate to meet some of these people as part of the BIBAs unique judging process which took us in to the offices and on to the shop floors of these firms and really understand what makes a business tick.
“The quality of businesses which made the shortlists made the decision to select a winner exceptionally difficult but is a ringing endorsement of the power of the engine behind our economy.”
The winners of the individual prizes handed out by the BIBAs were David Marks, a scientist and founder of Levity Crop Science, who won the Business Person of the Year and Henry Hargreaves, winner of the Most Inspiring Young Person award.
Morecambe-based sexual health testing provider Better2Know was named Small Business of the Year and Group55, which operates brands including pet care product Animology, picked up the Micro-Business of the Year award.
Positive Action in the Community, which works with communities in Pendle, Burnley and Rossendale, was named Third Sector Business of the Year and the Winter Gardens Blackpool retained the Leisure and Tourism Business of the Year which it won in 2017.
AND THE WINNERS ARE…
Lancastrian of the Year: Tony Attard OBE
Business of the Year: Utiligroup
Business Person of the Year: David Marks, Levity Crop Science
Most Inspiring Young Person: Henry Hargreaves
Creative Business of the Year: Sunshine Events UK
Employer of the Year: FTS Merit
Engineering Business of the Year: Pakawaste Group
Exporter of the Year: Flavour Warehouse
Family Business of the Year: First Trace Heating Direct
Professional Service Business of the Year: Hest Bank Dental Care
Manufacturer of the Year: Flavour Warehouse
Transport & Distribution Business of the Year: Next Day Freight
Construction Business of the Year: Pinington
Leisure & Tourism Business of the Year: Winter Gardens Blackpool
Third Sector Business of the Year: Positive Action in the Community
Service Business of the Year: Sunshine Events UK
New Business of the Year: JFN Integrated Solutions
Micro-Business of the Year: Group55
Small Business of the Year: Better2Know
Medium Business of the Year: Roccia – Tiles and Bathrooms