Judging is underway for the in-Cumbria Business Awards 2019.

The shortlist was revealed

for the prestigious awards this month, and our expert judges are hitting the road, with a Newsquest Cumbria representative, to grill the finalists and decide who will be victorious.

Our new judge, Phil Davies, low carbon development manager at Cumbria Action for Sustainability, was first out of the blocks for new category Best Green/Ethical Business.

He visited Ullswater 'Steamers' at Glenridding, Newlands Adventure Centre, near Keswick and H&H Reeds at Penrith.

He said: "Meeting the finalists was validation that in Cumbria we have got some real pioneers and role models in business, who are willing, able and super capable of developing the changes we need to make for our planet.

"These people are passionate about making a sustainable business work to make a difference to people and place.

"It's left me with a really positive sense that we have the businesses that can serve both as role models and deliver a real impact – there was no sense of a greenwash."

Best Green/Ethical Business is one of three new categories introduced at this year's awards. The others are Flying the Flag for Cumbria and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

This year’s awards boast a bumper 16 categories – including three new ones – which recognise the impact and success of individuals and companies spanning all sizes and industry sectors.

Judging for the Best Large Business, Best Tourism and Hospitality Business and Best SME are also taking place this week.

Our judges will be visiting finalists until the middle of next month and winners will be unveiled at a glittering awards ceremony hosted by news presenter, journalist and author Cathy Newman at The Halston, in Carlisle, on Thursday, November 14.