5 Blackpool ladies take home coveted EVA Award

Five Blackpool businesswomen are over the moon after scooping top prize at a coveted awards ceremony

Jane Cole, of Blackpool Transport, Linda Irvin, of Home from Home Childcare, Rachel Ratcliffe, of Rachel’s Scrummy Yummy Cakes, Sheryl Armer, of Adcroft Hilton and Julie Maughan, of Woodhouse Opticians, are now proud owners of a 2017 Enterprise Vision Award (EVA).

Jane Cole from Blackpool Transport named Business Woman of the Year
Jane Cole from Blackpool Transport named Business Woman of the Year

The five winners fought off fierce competition to scoop the Business Woman, Customer Services, Hospitality, Financial Services and Retail Business categories respectively.

Fylde Coast-based Kila Redfearn, of the Winter Gardens and Joanna Taplin, of Sunshine for the Soul, were also the recipients of Highly Commended awards in the Customer Services and Health and Beauty categories respectively.

Coral Horn, organiser of the awards and founder of networking group, Pink Link Ladies, said: “What a superb event the EVAs turned out to be. “After learning of the news that the Empress Ballroom would be unavailable, we had to have a major turnaround to ensure the Pavilion was suitable and it certainly was.

“Our seventh year brought about the biggest turnout and it is safe to say the awards surpassed themselves once again. “Entries were at an all-time high and we had fantastic, high calibre entries from across the North West.

I want to personally congratulate each of the ladies and already, plans are underway for 2018!”

More than 650 people turned out in force to celebrate another EVA’s ceremony which took place in the Pavilion at Blackpool Winter Gardens where 16 awards were presented.

Guests enjoyed a three-course meal provided by Rowley’s and were left in the more than capable hands of MC Rebecca Jane, returning for her second consecutive year as MC. Rebecca, owner of a successful all-female private investigation company, which was set up in 2009 after she suspected her now ex-husband was having an affair, also has a TV drama scheduled for 2017 based on her story.

“After last year’s awards, I didn’t think the EVAs could get any better, but it certainly did,” she said. “I was delighted and honoured to return as MC for a second year. I’m a huge supporter of women in business and each lady thoroughly deserved their award. “It was excellent to see so many people supporting the awards, the atmosphere was electric and it was a pleasure to be involved in.”

The awards were founded in 2011. For the fifth year running NatWest has supported the EVAs as the headline sponsor. Heather Waters. Enterprise Manager at NatWest, added:

“The EVAs is a fantastic event celebrating the many successes of female entrepreneurs from across the North West and we are proud to support the awards for the fifth year in a row.

“The EVAs highlights the dedication that each woman has for their business and we believe it’s important to celebrate all of these achievements as part of our role within the local ecosystem.

Whether you were a finalist or a winner, each woman should be proud of themselves for being involved in the EVA process.”


Outstanding Achievement Winner Of The Year

Margo Cornishm Maggie’s Manchester

Retail Winner Of The Year

Julie Maughan, Woodhouse Opticians, Blackpool

Internet Industry Winner Of The Year

Annette Ritson, Net*, Kendal

Hospitality Industry Winner Of The Year

Rachel Ratcliffe, Rachel’s Yummy Scrummy Cakes, Poulton Le Fylde

Young Entrepreneur Winner Of The Year

Anastasia Kenyon, Palette Official, Manchester

Health & Beauty Winner Of The Year

Helen Townson, Definitions Beauty, Kendal

Business Woman Winner Of The Year

Jane Cole, Blackpool Transport

Inspirational Woman Winner Of The Year

Gemma Gardner, Direct Transitioning Help, Preston

Customer Services Winner Of The Year

Linda Irvin, Fairy Godmother Home From Home Childcare, Thornton Cleveleys

Training & Coaching Winner Of The Year

Melanie Doyle, Melvicmakeup Academy, Warrington

Professional Services Winner Of The Year

Lisa Jackson, Acorn Marketing, Penrith

Creative Industry Winner Of The Year

Amy Onyango and Claire Mansfield, Felltarn Friends, Kendal

Financial Services Winner Of The Year

Sheryl Armer, Adcroft Hilton Limited, Blackpool

New Business Winner Of The Year

Chantel Beech, The Park Hair Room, Chorley

Solo Business Winner Of The Year

Ami Sekhon, Cheshire Dog School, Warrington

Small Business Of The Year Winner

Amy Peters and Gemma Mcknight, Creature Comforts Cheshire, Runcorn