BLOOD, sweat, tears, bruises and a vision - that proved to be a winning combination that has led to the revitalisation of Rawtenstall Market.
The hard work was also rewarded when the market traders and lead Jane Boys were named as the most inspirational business at the 10th Rossendale Business Awards at The Riverside, Whitworth.
The hall was packed with finalists, sponsors, dignitaries and supporters as the winners of the 18 trophies were announced.
When it came to the Valley at Work award it was with shock that market table learnt they had won. Jane said: “I am really surprised, but I am really pleased for all the traders, it is recognition for all the hard work.”
Trader Karen Walker, from Nowt Poncy Food Company, said: “The market has changed beyond all recognition. It is now a vibrant place to be.”
Jane’s right hand woman ‘Mrs Toolbox’ Jac Barker Rourke said: “Blood, sweat, tears and bruises have gone into the redevelopment. The times we have finished a day’s work and left in tears, but we kept on with it and it is all down to her [Jane’s] vision that it has worked.”
Chair of organisers Valley at Work Rob Carder welcomed everyone to the awards and was master of ceremonies.
Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Barbara Ashworth recalled how Valley at Work came about, arising out of PEER - People Encouraging Enterprise in Rossendale.
She said: “I really felt part of this ceremony this year because of the amount of businesses that were finalists that I have a connection with.
“I think Bacup is really coming to the fore and it was good to see so many Bacup businesses as winners and finalists this year.”
Enterprising Woman winner was Ayesha Gavin, from Ayesha Communications. Her business also sponsored the Accessible Business category won by Dansworks Dance Academy of performing Arts CIC.
Ayesha is profoundly deaf and the audience waved hands rather than applaud when she went to the stage, British Sign Language for clapping.
Afterwards she said: “It hasn’t really sunk in that I have won this award. I am very surprised.”
Photographer on the night was Liz Hall from Liz Henson Photography, but she found herself on the other side of the lens when she scooped the Part-time Business Award trophy.
She said: “I have been self-employed on a part-time basis since 2006 and then ran the business full time from 2013-2016.
“After having my daughter, I returned to working part-time because I now work around my family commitments. I am over the moon to win the award.”
Valley at Work connects and supports Rossendale businesses and free meetings are held monthly.