A unique, special and memorable in-Cumbria Business Awards.

That was the verdict of the 30-plus finalists and hundreds of others who tuned in to watch renowned TV and radio presenter Vassos Alexander – best known most notably as the co-presenter on the Chris Evans morning breakfast show on Virgin Radio – host and help celebrate Cumbria’s business prowess.

The 2020 in-Cumbria Business Awards has been a real success despite the difficulties of having to do a first ever virtual awards ceremony in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Starting at 7pm on Thursday night and lasting just over an hour and a half, the live stream was full of entertainment with many people joining the conversation via the chat and #ICBA2020.

A big thank you to our sponsors, without their support this year’s awards would not have been possible.

An a huge well done to the winners and compliments to the runners-up who made the judging process a tough affair.

A full supplement on the awards event and the winners will be released in the upcoming in-Cumbria magazine and sister newspaper titles from next week.

The winners were:

- Robin Burgess Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria Award – Sponsored by NRL's recruitment business in Egremont: Rob Johnston, Cumbria Chamber of Commerce chief executive.

- Businessperson of the Year - sponsored by TSP Engineering: Jacqui Gale, MD of Wax Lyrical, Ulverston.

- Against All Odds award of the Year, in response to the Covid-19 crisis – sponsored by BAE Systems: St George’s Residential Home, Millom

- Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - sponsored by the University of Cumbria: Hannah Foster of Duke Hare Barbers, Carlisle.

- New Business of the Year - sponsored by Furness College: Jill Glencross Funeral Director, Dalston.

- SME of the Year - sponsored by Cartmell Shepherd: Delkia Limited engineering consultants, Egremont.

- Large Business of the Year – sponsored by Brockbanks Solicitors: Sapphire Utility Solutions, Bamber Bridge near Preston.

- Family Business of the Year - sponsored by Lamont Pridmore: Strolling 4 Shoes, based in Penrith and Cockermouth.

- Professional Services Business of the Year – sponsored by LOCAL iQ: Armstrong Watson business advisers & accountants, based across Cumbria.

- Best Community Involvement of the Year - sponsored by The Cumberland Building Society: Oxley Group, Ulverston.

- Green/Ethical Business of the Year – sponsored by South Lakeland District Council: Another Weigh, based in Penrith and Kendal.

Vanessa Sims, Newsquest Cumbria’s regional group editor, said: “Wow, quite simply what an event to watch and be a part of. With Vassos Alexander presenting in his usual style and charm, and Hardwicke Circus performing some great songs to entertain us all this has been a special success.

“A big thank you to our sponsors, without their support this event wouldn’t have taken place against the backdrop of the Covid-19 global pandemic. And a special well done to all the winners, especially Rob Johnston for receiving the lifetime achievement award. It was a great way to celebrate the successes of Cumbria’s hard-working business community, I hope you enjoyed the awards as much as I did.”