The challenges we face as a society demand new approaches and a shift in how businesses – both big and small – act.

Co-operatives and social enterprises can play a huge role in changing the way our economy works. By putting economic power directly in the hands of local people and driving local economic growth, its businesses like these which can build a more productive, more resilient economy.

That’s why I’m delighted that Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT), where I’m the General Manager, has been nominated for an award at this year’s Social Enterprise Awards.

LBPT was formed in 2014, initially to save the double engine house. But as the development took pace and in order to sustain the project, the upper part of the floors were converted into business space for local enterprise to take root.

The board have now created a community benefit society to further push regeneration of the mill. They currently have 65 businesses and social enterprises in the mill, including a sports floor, business floor and an arts and culture floor.

We beat stiff competition to make the shortlist which attracted more than 400 entries from all over the country. The Awards was created to recognise sector-leading excellence and innovation across a diverse range of criteria. I’m pleased that LBPT is a finalist in the ‘Community-Based Social Enterprise Award’ category.

Shortlisting for the award recognition of our work and testament to the huge talent of enterprise that we have here in Leigh. The co-operative way of working is its success, and without our tenants this accolade would not be possible.

Leigh Building Preservation Trust will join other finalists and VIP guests at a prestigious awards ceremony in London’s iconic Roundhouse on Thursday 30 November, when the winners will be revealed.

I am so proud of everyone connected with Leigh Spinners Mill and looking forward to the future of the project.