THE Institute of Directors has launched is annual search to find the best directors in the North West – with hopes Cumbria can better its double success in 2017.

The IoD is seeking inspiring and pioneering leaders from across the region to enter the 2018 North West Director of the Year Awards.

This year Cumbria had two winners.

Ross McMahon, chief executive of food manufacturer Kendal Nutricare, won the Start-Up Director of the Year award and Sue Howorth, of Windermere-based business development company Coulson Associates, won the Director of the Year, small company category.

The prestigious annual awards celebrate and recognise the achievements of businesses, ranging from start-ups and family enterprises, to organisations in the public and third sectors.

Entries for the 2018 award close at the beginning of next year.

Chris Ward, chairman of the IoD in Cumbria, said: “It’s a great opportunity to showcase Cumbria’s talent so I’d like to see a strong Cumbrian contingent represented at the awards from different sectors, sizes of business and demographics.”

Ms Howorth said: "It was such an honour and delight to win and it was a real testament to all that the team and I have achieved in recent years, as well as a fantastic accolade for me personally.

"The great thing for me is that it has allowed me to reflect and evaluate the future of the business and gave me the motivation and confidence to implement the changes I wanted to make to develop and evolve myself and the business going forward.”

Entries can be made on the North West section of the IoD’s website.

Regional director for the IoD Claire Ebrey said: “Year on year, we see an increase in entries which is a real testament to the high-quality leadership talent that we have here in the North West."