Burnley Business Awards

Burnley’s prestigious sponsorship funded Business Awards ceremony is organised by Burnley Council to reward and celebrate the entrepreneurship and achievements of our local businesses. The ceremony will take place on the 30th June 2022 at Towneley Hall.

Business Awards logo on dinner table

The Awards

Small Business Awards

Two Small Business awards are open to small businesses employing up to 19 and over 20-49 employees. The judges will be looking to hear about the company and its main activities, business performance, and what makes them a success. Innovation, great marketing, and potential for future growth are all factors which will be required by the judges. They will be looking for all round excellence in business: commercial success, growth and achievement, innovation, creativity, staff training and development.

Medium Business of the Year Award

This award is open to medium sized businesses (employing between 50 and 250 employees) demonstrating all-round excellence in business, evidence of commercial success, growth, achievement, innovation, creativity, staff development and training, and green initiatives.

Large Business of the Year Award

The Large Business award is for those companies with more than 250 employees. The judges will be looking to hear how large businesses have consolidated their growth and how they still keep employees and clients and the heart of what they do.

This will include staff training and development, innovation in partnerships, commercial success, key achievements and green initiatives.

International Trade of the Year 

Are your business horizons wider than the UK market? This award will recognise growth in international trade. Your entry should demonstrate a detailed understanding of the target market(s). Judges will be looking for evidence based on the following criteria:

  • Evidence of versatility, imagination and persistence in exploiting target markets overseas
  • Tactical ability in overcoming obstacles such as bureaucracy and exchange rates
  • Evidence of positive sales and market share performance
  • Open to businesses that are trading internationally – flying the flag for Burnley overseas.

Manufacturing Excellence Award

This award is specifically designed to recognise excellence and best practice in Burnley’s strong manufacturing sector – not only in terms of internal operations but also in terms of processes that involve customers and suppliers.

The judges will be looking for evidence based on the following criteria:

  • Sales performance and growth prospects
  • Product development, manufacturing innovation and the efficient use of technology
  • Quality standards and monitoring
  • Investment in people and equipment
  • Environmental awareness

The Innovation Award

his award will acknowledge successful innovation within a business. This may be demonstrated in innovative products, services, processes, design, workforce development or technology. For the 2022 awards, the Digital Impact Award will be incorporated into the Innovation Award.

Judges are looking for inspirational examples of digital innovation, technological robustness and creative originality in any project undertaken within the last 2 years. This award is open to both digital companies and companies who may not be predominantly digital but are embracing digital technologies and strategies to improve their business. In this category the judges will look for creativity and innovation in the use of digital. Entries can span all kinds of standalone and multichannel programmes, events, experiences and initiatives that have a digital element. The focus is on how the project shows novel thinking or a clever idea in the use of digital or where a problem has been solved in a new way using digital, even where the technology used is no longer considered “new”.

Judges will be looking for details on the performance of the project to the client and the intended audience. Eligible businesses include businesses embracing digital technologies, as well as  software developers and coders, those who provide digital marketing channels, social marketing, SEO operations and digital sales platforms.

Environmental Excellence Award

New for the 2022 Awards is the Environmental Excellence Award. Businesses need to take seriously the green agenda, not least because customers will increasingly demand the companies they work with are doing everything they can to meet carbon net zero targets and be more sustainable and responsible. Judges will look for evidence based on the following criteria: 

  • A plan for reducing carbon emissions and reaching carbon net zero targets 
  • Progress made so far to implement green strategies 
  • How environmental changes are at the heart of a business and not just an afterthought 
  • Positive impact on the business’s local community in regards to sustainability 
  • A responsible and ethical approach to business 

Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality Award

Entrants for this award should demonstrate their contribution to Burnley’s leisure and  tourism economy for residents or visitors.

We are looking for entrants who help bring in people from outside the area, and offer reasons for residents to stay and spend here. The judges will be looking for innovative ideas to attract new visitors and customers both externally and internally. This award category is open to hospitality and leisure businesses such as attractions, spas, sports venues, gyms, and hotels, events venues, pubs, bars and restaurants, farms or any other business that attracts people in and out of the borough to visit;. Judges are looking for a stand-out leisure business that can demonstrate a strong business model, excellent customer service and/or innovation in the workplace.

The Employer of the Year Award

This award recognises organisations that have created a stimulating and supportive work environment and a real commitment to the welfare of its employees, resulting in high staff satisfaction levels and a well-motivated, ambitious and integrated workforce. Judges will be looking for:

  • Positive leadership and management
  • An integrated ethical culture across the company
  • A clear human resources policy that creates a stimulating and supportive workplace
  • How employees are engaged with company values and strategic goals

Able to demonstrate that are a youth-friendly employer, whether through KickStart placements, apprentices, work experience and supporting young people’s transition into the workplace.

Young Employee of the Year Award

Nominated by their employer, this category is open to a young employee or apprentice who has been employed by the company for up to 2 years and aged 25 or under. The nomination must demonstrate how the individual has had a significant impact on the business and made a personal contribution to a project or business as a whole. This might include career progression, relevant personal or professional qualifications or other training. This person’s company will need to support their entry in this category and confirm the positive impact they have made in their job role and to the overall business or organisation.

More information


  • For Entries: Friday 28th January 2022
  • Closing Date for Entries: Friday 8th April
  • Shortlisting: Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th April
  • Finalist Interviews/Presentations: Wednesday 4th May and Thursday 5th May
  • Burnley Business Awards Ceremony: Thursday 30th June 2022


All entries must be submitted online – a link to the nomination form will be here soon. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to give a short presentation to the judging panels giving businesses their time to shine and impress the judges.


Tickets are £95 each, full table booking discounts are: Table for 10 – £900, Table for 12 – £1,090.Your ticket includes: Champagne Reception, Table Wine, Dinner, Entertainment, Award Presentations, After Party


For ticket, entry advice and any other information, contact Event Organiser, Rachel Bayley on 07583 121120 or rbayley@burnley.gov.uk