Pair in the running for awards glory

The team at Checkpoint Safety
The team at Checkpoint Safety

TWO local firms have been shortlisted for the finals of a regional business awards competition.

Digital agency NuBlue, which is based at InfoLab at Lancaster University, and Carnforth-based wheel nut safety product manufacturer Checkpoint Safety are among 48 North West firms vying for glory in the E3 Business Awards.

The awards recognise successful and innovative companies from all sections of the business community.

NuBlue, which handles website development, design and hosting, was selected from hundreds of nominees across the North West to become one of four finalists in the Employer of the Year category.

The firm employs 20 people across all functions of web design and hosting and also offers work experience to young online professionals wishing to gain on-the-job experience.

It engages in a variety of activities that assist staff motivation and involvement in the business and involves its team members in its active corporate social responsibility programme.

Checkpoint Safety, which is based at the Kellet Road Industrial Estate, is one of four finalists in the International Business of The Year category.

The company, which is part of Business Lines Ltd, is the innovator behind the world’s first loose wheel nut indicator, a device designed to show clearly if a vehicle wheel nut is coming loose to allow intervention and prevent potential wheel loss.

Nu Blue managing director, Michael Ashworth, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted, gaining recognition for the employee programme that we operate.

“We have our fingers crossed and can now do no more than that.”

Checkpoint Safety’s director of international sales, Les Ford, said: “It’s fantastic to be nominated for International Business of the Year at the E3 Awards.

“Our export sales have grown significantly in recent years, and in 2012 we saw our largest single order to date of over two million pieces, from a German customer.

“Another successful market for us is the USA, where sales of the Checkpoint range have increased by over 50 per cent in 2012.

“It’s great to be acknowledged for our good work with partners and customers abroad, as well as government initiatives via organisations such as UKTI (UK Trade and Investment).

“It’s also a privilege that we’ve been recognised by the E3 judging panel as being a North West enterprise achieving success in tough global economic environment.

“We remain committed to contributing to not just the local economy, via creating jobs and improving safety on the road in the UK market, but also in the international market by working hard to develop and release products that can be used throughout the world.”

Speaking on behalf of Blackburn based 1 Events Media, which has developed and organised the awards, managing director Mubarak Chati said: “The E3 Business Awards are intended to recognise and reward the important contribution that forward-looking businesses and social enterprises are making to the regeneration of the North West.

“We’ve been looking for companies that have shown a real commitment to growth, job creation and the development or preservation of important skills – in other words, enterprise, education and employment: the three Es that give the awards their name.

“In this, the first year of the awards, we’ve been greatly impressed by the number and quality of entries and our independent judging panel, which is composed of entrepreneurs, business journalists, educators and business support professionals, has remarked on the very high standards of achievement that they have seen.

The E3 Business Awards ceremony will be held at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton on February 7.