A LAUNCH event is being held for next year’s coveted Keighley and Airedale Business Awards.

TV journalist and presenter Harry Gration – who comperes the glittering annual awards night – will join organisers, former sponsors and winners to kickstart the countdown.

The launch will take place at Keighley College on Monday, November 6, from 7.30pm.

Since they were founded in 2013, the awards – which showcase and celebrate the cream of the business sector – have continued to flourish.

More than 230 guests packed into Keighley’s Victoria Hall for this year’s extravaganza, in June.

Accolades were handed out across 11 categories, plus the Overall Business of the Year honour.

The initiative is organised by the business community, with Bradford Council as a partner.

Keighley College has sponsored various aspects of the event since the start.

Its head of business engagement, Chris Stott, said: “We are delighted to be a sponsor and host the launch of the awards for 2018.

“We want to work with local businesses to ensure we’re delivering the appropriate skills and knowledge in a way that works for them.

“We’ve some great resources at the college and even manufacture the awards in our hi-tech Fab Lab!”

Bradford Council leader, Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, said the awards continued to go from strength to strength.

“The event gets better and better every year,” she said.

“The master of ceremonies, Harry Gration, is a star. He has a busy job but still comes along and supports the awards each time.

“And the hall looked stunning.

“Congratulations to the businesses for getting behind the awards and taking a lead in growing the event.”

Last month, the Lord Mayor of Bradford – Keighley councillor Abid Hussain – held a civic reception at City Hall in Bradford to honour winners and those involved in staging the venture.

At the launch of next year’s awards, winners will tell their stories and there will be a look ahead to the 2018 event – to be held on June 29.

Darren Burrell – from Silsden-based Snugpak, this year’s winner of the Overall Business of the Year accolade – said the response had been “fantastic”.

“Our staff were delighted to be recognised and many businesses made contact with us through social and mainstream media after hearing about our success,” he said.

“Snugpak continues to compete internationally, making quality insulated clothing that serves all kinds of users including the armed services. We’ve met orders from as far afield as Japan and the USA.”

Organisers say many sponsors will be involved again next year, but with new categories there will be more sponsorship opportunities.

For further details about the free-to-enter awards and to book a place at the launch, visit keighleybusinessawards.co.uk.