WEC Group has been crowned Red Rose Large Business of the Year Award Winner 2016.

WEC Group is is celebrating after beating off stiff competition and winning the Red Rose Awards Large Business of the Year category for the second time.

The judges commended WEC on its continuous investments in state-of-the-art technology following over £11m of investment throughout the company over the past 12 months.

This includes investments in capital equipment such as a fully automated six metre bed laser cutting machine, CNC machining and waterjet cutting technology for the Group's Blackburn sites as well as further investments at the new Darwen-based powder coating division.

WEC Group also won the award based on its employee benefits package, which features the innovative employee benefit loan scheme (FairQuid) that was set up in 2014 alongside Jubilee Tower Credit Union in Darwen to help staff combat high-interest debt by offering a low cost alternative for borrowing money.

A maximum of 20% of the employee's annual salary can be applied for, and 20% of this maximum for every year of service is the total borrowing limit. There is only a 10% administration fee charged for each period year of borrowing, which is much lower than high-interest payday loans or credit cards.

Over £120,000 of loans have been granted to 100+ WEC employees since its launch, proving the initiative to be a major success.

WEC Group also won the award based on its continuous investments in its unique Training Academy. Formed in 2006, the in-house academy is the only apprenticeship scheme of its type in the UK offering a five year programme in welding/fabrication and CNC machining.

A recruitment drive for apprentices to join our Darwen & Rotherham Academies in September is currently underway.

In addition to winning the Large Business of the Year Award, WEC Group were finalists in three other categories including Growing Business, Corporate Social Responsibility and Manufacturing Business of the Year and were up against some fantastic Lancashire companies.

To see the full image gallery from the evening, please visit the official LBV Red Rose Awards website.

Congratulations to all the finalists, winners and everyone involved in the awards!