THE KEIGHLEY Business Awards have received heaps of praise from Bradford Council.

The growing success of the five-year-old competition was highlighted to the council’s Regeneration and Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee when it met in Keighley.

Regeneration officers told members of their belief the awards, which in 2017 expanded to the wider Airedale area, would continue put the best of local business in the spotlight.

The report was presented to the committee soon after the launch of entries for this year’s award categories, in readiness for a prize ceremony in June, to be hosted by TV presenter Harry Gration as in past years.

The report stated: “From an optimistic start in 2013 the event is now an example of a quality event, attracting both sponsors and entrants.

“There was no shortage of well-wishing organisations at the start, however, the growing success of the awards has been a credit to all involved.

“This is a vehicle that is designed to promote the telling of positive stories and achievements, something important for our region and business base.

“It creates a focused achievement that is not only commercially valuable for those quality businesses that are recognised, but also for both regional profile and self-esteem.

“There is no reason why the awards can’t continue to prosper as long as standards remain high. The process commands the respect of the business community, and our busy businesses continue to take the leap of faith to try their luck and enter.”

The awards process is driven by a group of local businesses and organisations that serve business interests.

The council report states that Keighley businesses have benefited from knock-on effects of award wins.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Abid Hussain, was so impressed with the businesses he saw at last year’s ceremony that invited them to a civic reception at City Hall in September.

Successive Lord Mayors and councillors have been asked to visit businesses following contact via the awards, to discuss issues ranging from transportation to skills.

And others have entered regional, national and trade awards, with companies like Airedale Springs and Feature Radiators achieving similar success.

The report added: “Businesses are often faced with clamour for their attention once achieving some success.”

The council last year gave £5000 to the Keighley Business Awards to help cover start-up costs in the months before sponsorship arrived.

The report added that many winners go on to sponsor the following year’s event and most previous sponsors agree to continue.