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Oldham Business Awards 2024 returns for its 16th year

The Oldham Business Awards (OBAs), which recognise and reward excellence, acumen and entrepreneurial spirit among the borough’s business community, are now open for entries.

Every year, the OBAs steering group, a volunteer team of dedicated business professionals hailing from a diverse range of locally based enterprises, judges and selects the winners of 11 awards and the recipient of the Special Recognition Award.

This year, the awards have a new man at the helm following the retirement of the previous Chair, Steve Kilroy. The former BAE Systems executive has handed over the reins to David Wadsworth, the MD and founder of Cornerstone Design and Marketing, who was born and raised in Oldham.

Mr Wadsworth, an OBA finalist in 2012, 2018 and 2019, launched Cornerstone from the attic of his parent’s home 16 years ago and now employs 30 people at its base in Lees. OBAs Chair David Wadsworth speaking at the launch event

He says: “Over the years, the Oldham Business Awards have seen thousands of outstanding businesses and businesspeople nominated and shortlisted, with many going on to win much sought-after awards and accolades, demonstrating some of the best and most inspiring organisations and business individuals in the borough. 

“Together with our steering committee, I encourage all Oldham businesses and everyone involved in them to participate actively in the awards.

“We’re also proud to support two organisations which do great work and provide vital support services in our communities, so once again, we’ll be donating funds to Mahdlo Youth Zone and Dr Kershaw’s Hospice this year, with donations being handed over once the event is concluded in September.”

Last year, 500 people saw actor, comedian, and impressionist Jon Culshaw and Caroline Whitmore, Granada Reports’ entertainment correspondent, announce the winners.

The night culminated in the Special Recognition Award, which went to Krzysztof Zemlik for his sympathetic and sustainable restoration of Billington’s Dance Studio, also known as the ‘Ascroft Street Academy’, once visited by thousands of dancers who were nurtured for over eight decades by dance teacher Mrs Billington from whom the building takes its name.

Mr Zemlik welcomed about 120 guests to Billington’s for this year’s OBAs launch event earlier this month. Previous winners and sponsors spoke about their experiences and why the business awards are essential to them.

Renowned Oldham charity man, adventurer and school teacher Steve Hill MBE shared a messageSteve Hill MBE shares his experiences with the OBAs launch event audience with all businesses in the borough that echoed his motivation for doing what he does. 

“Our dreams should be so big they excite us so much that they frighten us. It’s something I’m really passionate about.

“So, follow your dreams, come out of your comfort zone and push your boundaries. That applies to all of us and in business as well.”

He revealed that his 2024 challenge will be running five marathons in Mongolia and then flying to Guatemala to climb five mountains, one of which is the highest peak in Central America.

Richard Eastwood of Albion House Wealth Management says: “Oldham is a big town from an entrepreneurial perspective; there are some astonishing businesses.

“The Oldham Business Awards is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your business; don’t underestimate the value they create.”

Following the launch, nominations and association sponsorship applications have been opened. The nomination and judging process will culminate in a glittering gala dinner at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Hall on Friday, September 13, 2024.

*Local businesses can visit the official Oldham Business Awards website to learn more about sponsoring this spectacular celebration and entering the awards.

If you have a story, I want to hear about it. I cover all things Oldham. Please mail me at arundhati@questmedianetwork.co.uk


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