The ability of Lancashire’s manufacturers to innovate will be key to continuing growth within the industry, according to the owner of a firm which works alongside many top manufacturers.

Carole Myers, managing director of Conception Marketing, said she saw “innovative thinking and determination” from manufacturing, engineering and technology businesses which she works with on a daily basis.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show manufacturing output grew by 2.3 per cent in April compared with the previous month, the biggest increases since July 2012.

Conception Marketing is sponsoring the Manufacturer of the Year category at this year’s Be Inspired Business Awards, the BIBAs, which got its second round of judging underway yesterday (Monday, June 20).

Carole said: “Pharmaceuticals and the energy sector were the areas of manufacturing which we saw driving this growth and all are known for innovative thinking.

“This is what manufacturers in Lancashire and the wider North West have become known for and it is this type of thinking that will continue to drive growth; we cannot rely on low-cost, high-volume manufacturing, adding value is what we are all about.

“In the opening rounds of the BIBAs, I have already seen exactly this type of thinking and I cannot wait to see more when my fellow judges and I undertake our second round of judging this week.”

Carole will lead the judging panel which visits the eight finalists for the Manufacturer of the Year category on Thursday, which includes East Lancashire-based Suprafilt and The Senator Group and animal pharmaceutical firm VetPlus.

The judges for the BIBAs’ Best Use of IT, Creative Business of the Year and Exporter of the Year categories have visited their finalists this week and the judging will continue until July 13 when the Business of the Year judges head out.

The awards will be handed out at a prize-giving ceremony at The Blackpool Tower on Friday, September 16.