RAwards21: Ceremony Report

By December 2, 2021Award Winners

Story by Catherine Smyth; Photograph by Liz Henson Photography

BUSINESSES delighted in being able to celebrate their survival as the 12th Rossendale Business Awards was held in person at The Ashcroft in Whitworth.

The main hall was filled with finalists, sponsors and dignitaries and welcoming everyone the Mayor of Whitworth Councillor Maureen Jones said: “It is great to see a houseful after so many dark days.” Deputy Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Anne Cheetham praised the way business had kept afloat and the support that had been offered to them throughout the pandemic. She added: “I think it is absolutely tremendous to see such a cross-section of age groups up for the awards.”


Scooping the top Valley At Work trophy for the most inspirational business, proved emotional for Dale Connearn, Business Manager of Dansworks Dance Academy of Performing Arts CIC in Bacup. The company had been named as a finalist in three categories, but to be picked to win the unique engraved trophy came as a shock.

Principal Karen Roe (Connearn) said: “I am speechless. The last year has been incredibly difficult. When we heard about what some of the businesses had achieved throughout the pandemic, we were so pleased to have been named as a finalist. We never thought we would win. When we finally got back into the studio, it was really different and the children didn’t know how to react, the classes were silent and it just felt strange. Now they realise they can go in a little bit early and they are congregating in small groups and the children are mixing again.” Dancers from Dansworks also provided entertainment during the interval.


The awards are organised by Valley at Work and this year was the last for chair Rob Carder and his wife Val as they have decided to retire from April.

Solicitor Ruth Winter, who will be taking over as chair, made a special presentation to them both of an engraved pen and flowers. MC for the evening was marketing guru Tracy Heatley, who was the first licensee of Business over Breakfast networking clubs, while Rossendale Radio broadcast live announcing and interviewing winners over the airwaves. For the third year, Lucardo Rawtenstall Escape Rooms picked up an R-Awards trophy. It was the attraction’s second Visit Rossendale award to add to the Invest in Rossendale title won in 2019. Director Simon Milnes said: “I am elated to have received this award especially as over the last 12 months the business was closed for three-quarters of the time, but the support we have had from the community has been phenomenal and we are now opening a new room. During lockdown, we went online and we played more than 300 escape room games by us wearing a headset and people directing us to solve clues.”


Another winner was Liz Hall, of Liz Henson Photography, Stacksteads, who two years ago won the part-time business category and in 2021 is full-time and won the Sole Trader trophy. She said: “I am pleased to have won. It has been a difficult time with Covid, a lot of my work just ended and stopped still, but people are still investing in marketing and I want to thank everyone for their support.”

RAwards 2021: Results

Valley at Work Award

Winner: Dansworks Dance Academy

Highly Commended Casked Ale House & Ginporium


Part-Time Business

sponsored by Winter Solicitors

Winner: Quality Time PA Services


Sole Trader

sponsored by Rossendale Free Press

Winner: Liz Henson Photography

Highly Commended: Spexbox



sponsored by Business Over Breakfast (North West) Ltd

Winner: Dearden Wood


Small Business

sponsored by Coaty Developments Limited

Winner: Cowpe Electrical Services Ltd


Made in Rossendale

sponsored by The Boo Theatre

Winner: Foremost Furniture Limited


Large Business

sponsored by Metis HR Ltd

Winner: Interfloor Limited


Invest in Rossendale

sponsored by Rossendale Borough Council

Winner: Framex Ltd

Highly Commended: Coffee Bagel Ltd

Highly Commended: Grow You, Grow Your Business


Hospitality Business

sponsored by Finlay Jude Associates Ltd

Winner: Casked Ale House & Ginporium


Enterprising Person

sponsored by Dawn Rose Contemporary Jewellery & Accessories

Winner: John Lord (SimTrainer UK)


Independent Retailer

sponsored by Rawtenstall Chamber of Commerce

Winner: The Soap Shack


Creative Business

sponsored by GrowTraffic Ltd

Winner: Brush & Pencil

Highly Commended: Scrap Local Ltd


Not for Profit

sponsored by Woodcocks Haworth & Nuttall

Winner: Rossendale Hospice


Service Business

sponsored by Tricketts Insurance Brokers

Winner: Milcare Ltd

Winner: Scrap Local Ltd


Visit Rossendale Award

sponsored by Rossendale Borough Council

Winner: Lucardo Rawtenstall Escape rooms


Workforce Development

sponsored by Nelson & Colne College Group

Winner: Interfloor Limited


Medium Business

sponsored by Metis HR Ltd

Winner: Hazelwood Homecare Ltd


Enterprising Young Person

sponsored by Rossendale’s High Schools

Winner: Eromi Navaratnam (Alder Grange)

Highly Commended: Sara Mir (BRGS)

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