The first awards evening hosted by Edge Hill’s Productivity and Innovation Centre (PIC), brought together some of the finest SMEs and business partners from across Lancashire.

Pro vice-chancellor Professor George Talbot welcomed 96 guests to Stanley House in Mellor to celebrate the significant progress and improvements businesses had made since completing the University’s unique Innovation Sprint Programme; designed to help businesses develop strategies for profitable growth.

Professor Simon Bolton, creator of the Innovation Sprint Programme, said: “Our inaugural business awards are a testament to Lancashire’s most ambitious SMEs.

“Following completion of our 2018-19 programme, the businesses have implemented significant change within their organisations, which has resulted in profitable growth. We are delighted to share in their success.”

Business Development Manager for the PIC, Michael Banford, announced the awards, including Outstanding SME Award winner Home Instead West Lancashire and Chorley.

Director Gail Godson, said: “Winning the award was a total and utter shock, we couldn’t believe it. The entire awards evening was wonderful, we enjoyed celebrating the winners and being surrounded by so many successful Lancashire-based entrepreneurs and business. To us, any one of them could have been chosen as worthy Outstanding SME Award winners.”

Gail went on to describe what a delightful and humbling experience it was to win the award, which is why, she explained, they have since dedicated the award to all current and former Home Instead employees.

During the evening guests took part in a silent auction to win a range of prizes to raise funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice, a charity that Professor Simon Bolton has fundraised for by taking part in five 5K runs over five weeks. To date, PIC has raised more than £1,400 for the charity.

Professor Bolton added: “The PIC has established itself as a valuable source of business support within the region and is continuing to develop its offer of fully-funded programmes to enable SMEs to achieve their growth objectives.  Our aim is to embed the awards evening into the fabric of the business support landscape in Lancashire.”

Other awards presented on the night included the Technology Innovation Award, Product or Service Innovation Award, Business Model Innovation Award and Growth and Business Award.

The Productivity and Innovation Centre is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund to provide innovation support and advisory services to Lancashire-based SMEs.

Details of the winners are as follows:

Technology Innovation Award

Winner: LC Automation
Highly Commended: BEC Integrated Systems

Product or Service Innovation Award

Winner: Wolfenden Concrete
Highly Commended: Dimensions Curriculum and Nugent Sante

Business Model Innovation Award

Winner: Blue Wren
Highly Commended: Door4

Growth Business Award

Winner: VIVA PR
Highly Commended: Inscape Interiors Ltd

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