As we are just mere days away from crowning the winners of the 2020 in-Cumbria Business Awards, we continue focusing on the various prizes that will be decided on that special night this coming Thursday.

Vassos Alexander, best known as co-presenter of the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio and host of the Parkrun podcast, will be hosting this year’s awards and announcing the winners of the 11 prizes on offer over the event.

That will include the three we are putting the spotlight upon today, Businessperson of the Year - sponsored by TSP Engineering, Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - sponsored by the University of Cumbria and the New Business of the Year - sponsored by Furness College.

Our three finalists for the Businessperson of the Year is the chief executive of Wax Lyrical, Jacqui Gale; head of marketing and admissions at St Bees School near Whitehaven, Cera Hayden; and Theresa Harvison of Bowness Bay Suites.

Based at Lindal-in-Furness with 134 staff, during the pandemic Jacqui not only led the company through the challenging time, but was at the forefront of driving a significant transformation within the business. In March this year, Wax Lyrical put a hold on home fragrance manufacturing and developed an alcohol sanitiser formula proven to kill 99.99 per cent of bacteria and viruses. The business manufactured sanitiser products for local health services, businesses and the public to buy.

Cera Hayden has been nominated as she heads up the tough task of attempting to fill places in a tough market for St Bees School, which reopened in 2018 and has a new cohort of 53 students in September.

The school’s head of PR, marketing and communications, Karen Martin, said: “Ceara Hayden has led the admissions team into delivering the school’s message effectively all around the world.”

Bowness Bay Suites manager James Harris said of Theresa Harvison’s efforts: “I believe Theresa is the business person of the year as at the age of 78 she has worked non-stop every day to run the business, even through lockdown spending time to make rooms safe.

“Her dedication to the business and to customer satisfaction is exceptional and all customers comment on how much they enjoy their stays and the welcoming greeting she provides them. Everyone is immensely proud of her.”

Moving the focus onto the Apprentice/Trainee of the Year, the three finalists are 24-year-old Hannah Foster of Duke Hare Barbers in Carlisle and a pair of high-flying employees from Stan Sherlock Associates – Ellis Watret and Holly Fears.

Last but not least, the new business of the year category for companies operating less than three years was one of the most subscribed and the finalists are funeral director Jill Glencross of Dalston near Carlisle, Barrow-based luxury marine and outdoor bar suppliers Carabarlife and slate product manufactuers Coniston Stonecraft.

Taking place via a live stream, the 2020 in-Cumbria Business Awards event will start at 7pm on Thursday 12th November.

You can help recognise the best Cumbrian businesses by signing up to watch the event here: