AS a former business editor, I am delighted that the Telegraph & Argus will once again play host to the biggest celebration of business success held in the Bradford area.

The engine room of the regional economy, with the fourth largest concentration of manufacturing employment in the UK, Bradford is a great place to do business.

The city and the surrounding area has many advantages.

Our university and colleges work closely with businesses keeping them ahead of the curve and ensuring they are well-equipped for technological change.

The city has an adaptable and industrious workforce, a diverse local community and a rapidly improving digital infrastructure, including hundreds of kilometres of pure fibre optic cable that will help future-proof the city for the digital age.

Not surprisingly, the Bradford district is already home to scores of businesses which have enjoyed tremendous success both here at home in the UK and on the international stage.

The annual Telegraph & Argus Bradford Means Business Awards have honoured the district’s s top performers – both large and small – across a broad spectrum of sectors for seven years now and this year’s event, to be held at Aagrah Midpoint on Thursday evening, promises to be the best yet.

This year each of the ten awards categories attracted a strong list of entries from a diverse range of high-achieving businesses and individuals – both large and small.

We love to read about the big beasts of the business world, but one of the greatest pleasures in hosting the Bradford Means Business Awards is uncovering the hidden gems who – until now – may have hidden their light under a bushel.

As well as providing readers with the best Bradford business coverage, in paper and online, every day, the Telegraph & Argus – together with our partners Bradford Council and the West and North Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce – stage these annual awards in recognition of the huge contribution businesses make to our city, our communities and the surrounding area.

However, we couldn’t do it without the support of the companies and organisations that sponsor the individual award categories – far-sighted businesses happy to give something back to the local business community.

Selecting winners from such a strong line-up was a difficult task and taking a closer look at the shortlist one can see there really are no losers in this year’s awards.