Led by the Hive business leaders’ network, the Awards will take place on Thursday 26 May 2016 at the magnificent Blackburn Cathedral.

Presented in association with Blackburn College, Capita and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, it is open to businesses, organisations and individuals across 14 categories. Entries are now open, with a deadline of Friday April 1.

Khalid Saifullah, chairman of Hive and director of local manufacturing firm Star Tissue UK, said: “The Hive Business Leaders Network is pleased to announce that the Hive Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards is back for 2016.

“It’s a great chance for businesses, organisations and individuals to shout about what they do and celebrate the extraordinary people working for them. We look forward to receiving entries and celebrating with everyone on the night.”

Nicola Clayton, director of business development and external engagement at Blackburn College, said:

“We are delighted to be a headline sponsor of these awards for the second year.

“As a college we work closely with many local businesses and are constantly witness to their achievements and what they do for Blackburn and Darwen. This is a great chance for them to get deserved recognition for that.”

Ian Richardson, regional director at Capita, added:

“We are proud to be headline sponsors for the Hive Blackburn and Darwen Business Awards for the second year running.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to develop closer relationships with local businesses and shout from the rooftops about the great things they are bringing to our local economy.”

Commenting on the awards, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough council, Councillor Mohammed Khan said: “2016 is a significant year for Blackburn with Darwen’s business community, with many investments either completing or due to start.

“We’re delighted that the council is able to play a full role in supporting the awards and we look forward to recognising businesses’ commitment to the borough.”

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.

For more information about the Hive Blackburn with Darwen Business Awards and full details about each category click here. To enter now, please click here.

Other sponsors include: Business and Enterprise Trust, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Forbes Solicitors, Heritage Envelopes, Napthens Solicitors, Pierce Chartered Accountants, Precision Polymer Engineering (PPE), Ronset and Tauheedul Education Trust, with media partners including Lancashire Telegraph, The Bee and Lancashire Business View.

The campaign will focus on driving entries through the website until the closing date of 1 April.