The Keighley Business Awards went from strength to strength for their second year.
Hundreds of people filled Victoria Hall for a glitzy black-tie evening of food, prize-giving and networking.
Keighley Town Centre Association received much praise for their organisation of the sumptuous event.
And the hall itself, recently refurbished by Bradford Council, received plaudits from politicians and business people alike.
Award winners were clearly delighted to receive their glass trophies from TV presenter Harry Gration as they took turns climb to the stage.
Harry, anchorman for the BBC’s regional news programme Look North, said it was a privilege and pleasure to highlight the achievements of Keighley businesses.
He said fellow Look North team member Paul Hudson – one of Keighley’s most famous sons – had told him the town was the best place in the universe.
Harry told his Victoria Hall audience the hot-off-the-presses news that the Keighley News had that afternoon gained the “remarkable achievement” of a second prize in the Regional Press Awards.
Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, Bradford Council’s employment supremo, said the Business Awards highlighted Keighley’s thriving business economy and showed the town was a great place to invest.
The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Keighley man Khadim Hussain, thanked local businesses for creating prosperity and contributing to the health of society.
He said: “The success of Bradford city relies on the success of the towns and villages around the district – if Keighley is buzzing then Bradford will be buzzing.
“It is essential that all of us who live and work in Keighley get behind our local businesses and support our own products and services.”
Coun Graham Mitchell, attending his first engagement as Keighley’s new town mayor, echoed the thoughts of many when he said the second Business Awards looked like a true gala event.
He said: “Business is what Keighley’s economy depends on – these people and their hard work. They are the wealth generators of our town.”
Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said that in his role he had visited many successful businesses in Keighley.
He said: “People are making money, people are employing more people. It’s good to have a night to celebrate those endeavours.”
Speaking after the awards ceremony, Airedale Masterplan manager Paul North – one of the evening’s driving forces along with town centre manager Philip Smith – said the second Keighley Business Awards had been hugely successful.
He added: “To fill Victoria Hall with successful businesses is something the town should be proud of.”
Chris Woodhead, from headline sponsors Advanced Group Companies, said the enthusiasm from everyone at the awards evening had been wonderful whether or not they had won.
He said: “It shows that Keighley’s ‘got it’, whether it’s hairdressing or engineering, and it shows we can go further.”
Wendy Spencer, from Airedale Enterprise Services, said she was proud to see so many award winners who had received help from her organisation.
She said it was vital for many fledgling companies – both when starting out and beginning to grow – to seek support from such publicly-funded advice organisations.
She added: “They succeed because they’ve got the drive and determination, and because they’ve had the advice of business coaches.”
The winner of a £1,000 raffle holiday voucher, supported by Hayfield Robinson, was Alison Harding.
* See this Thursday's Keighley News for full results round-up and more pictures.