Today is the big day, with just hours to go until this year’s in-Cumbria Business Awards is upon us.

The 2020 edition of Cumbria’s most coveted business prizes will take place from 7pm this evening in a unique one-off online experience.

Don’t forget to use the link below to join host Vassos Alexander and many other faces from the regional business community as we crown 11 people and company’s from across a number of different industries while celebrating the hard work down by thousands in Cumbria during a turbulent year due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Vassos Alexander, best known as co-presenter of the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio and host of the Parkrun podcast, will be keeping you all entertained from the comfort of your own living room.

As in previous years, one of the most keenly watched awards will be that for the Robin Burgess Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria, named after the late champion of Cumbrian journalism - which last year went to John Grainger, executive director of Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster.

This year will also feature the Best Community Involvement award - sponsored by the Cumberland Building Society - but with a specific focus on how businesses have helped their communities during the coronavirus crisis.

A new award, the Against All Odds Special Award - sponsored by BAE Systems, will celebrate businesses which have battled against the odds to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

The other prizes up for grabs on the night are Businessperson of the Year - sponsored by TSP Engineering, Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - sponsored by the University of Cumbria, New Business of the Year - sponsored by Furness College, SME of the Year - sponsored by Cartmell Shepherd, Large Business of the Year – sponsored by Brockbanks Solicitors, Family Business of the Year - sponsored by Lamont Pridmore, Professional Services Business of the Year – sponsored by LOCAL iQ and Green/Ethical Business of the Year – sponsored by South Lakeland District Council.

Vanessa Sims, regional group editor for in-Cumbria publisher Newsquest Cumbria, said: “I am very excited and extremely looking forward to the awards evening tonight.

“The support from our sponsors, and the work by our staff have both been tremendous, and that’s what’s allowed us to pursue this brand-new online format. I particularly want to thank our associate sponsors NRL who jumped at the chance to partner with us while the virtual event idea was still in its inception. They saw early on how vital it is to celebrate and share Cumbria’s businesses successes, even if it meant we could not have the usual evening or meet Vassos Alexander in person.

“Likewise, our individual awards sponsors need recognising, we are grateful to them for joining us as the in-Cumbria Business Awards breaks new ground in a unique way, making the most of an uncertain time.”

Taking place interactively via a live stream due to the Covid-19 global pandemic, this year’s unique event will start at 7pm tonight.

You can help recognise the best Cumbrian businesses by tuning in to watch the event here: