THE best of Bradford’s businesses enjoyed yet another glitzy evening of celebrations as the eighth annual Telegraph & Argus Bradford Means Business Awards took place on Thursday.

Held at the Aagrah Midpoint, in Thornbury, in association with Bradford Council and Bradford chamber of Commerce, the event showcased what is special about the district’s businesses and entrepreneurs where shortlisted companies vied for the crown in 10 categories with the nailbiting finale as ever being the announcement of the ‘winner of winners’.

That respected accolade this year went to Gordon Rhodes & son, which was also crowned Manufacturer of the Year.

The company had risen literally from the ashes after suffering a devastating fire at its spice and seasoning manufacturing premises last year.

Jo Lees, who works in marketing and communications with the company said: “To be perfectly honest we are blown away to win.

“To get the manufacturing award was brilliant, but this, winner of winners, and in front of so many of the district’s top businesses, is absolutely amazing. I can’t stop smiling.

“Ian Rhodes, our managing director and the rest of the family will be thrilled.

Keynote speaker for the evening was David Baldwin, chief executive officer of Burnley Football Club and former CEO of Bradford City FC.

He said business was all about adversity and opportunity and the reality of the working life which was all about experiencing challenges.

He added that adversity was something to embrace and that investing in the workforce and recognising achievement was also key.

“Seeing people achieve, you build on that attitude and go further,” he said.

He spoke about his time at both Bradford City FC and his present position at Burnley FC where each time he faced adversity through relegation.

But he said setting clear foundations and objectives was how he moved both clubs forward.

As head of the Bradford Economic Partnership initiative he highlighted the importance of businesses and education capitalising on the young population of Bradford - 23 per cent being under the age of 16 - and encouraged everyone to sign up to Bradford Manufacturing Week this October.

It aims to partner schools with businesses to organise factory tours, work placements, and work experience.

Sharing the speaker’s role was Ian Ward, general manager of The Broadway shopping centre and chairman of the Bradford BID (Business Improvement District) Development Group.

He spoke about why Bradford needed a BID and how, if businesses voted for it in a ballot which opens on September 13, it could secure more than £2.5 million through a levy and other funding mechanisms.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council.

She spoke about getting Bradford “on the map” through Northern Powerhouse Rail.

“We need to make sure it stays on the map and keep fighting for a city centre station here,” she said.

The evening’s compere, former Telegraph & Argus editor Perry Austin-Clarke who said Bradford had a lot to shout about, noting the city was recently named as the best city in the UK to start a new business by Barclays Bank business analysts.

“There’s no doubt that business is leading the district’s renaissance,” he said.

Current T&A editor Nigel Burton added: “It’s been a tough year for business, not just in Bradford but across the whole of the UK .

“But I am an optimist and I see lots to be positive about in Bradford.”

He spoke of the One City Park development moving ahead, as was the former Odeon redevelopment.

The city was benefitting from The Broadway and Sunbridge Wells, as well as the nearing completion of St George’s Hall.

Mr Burton also spoke at length of the forthcoming 150th anniversary of the T&A and how the city had changed since it first launched.