Nominations open for NW LGBTQ+ Business Awards

More than 350 people attended the first North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards, organised by Merseyside entrepreneur Drew Cockton, in 2021 and now nominations are open for this year’s event. Tony McDonough reports

North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards
More than 350 people attended the first-ever North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards


Liverpool city region entrepreneur Drew Cockton has announced there will be a second North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards in 2022.

Nominations are now open for the awards which were held for the first time in October 2021 at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa in Wirral. More than 350 people saw 14 accolades handed out at the event which was held in association with Liverpool Football Club.

Based in Wirral, Drew Cockton launched his luxury fragrance business Owen Drew in 2016. offers scented candles, luxury soaps, perfumes, bath oils and other home fragrance and bath and body products. In May 2021, Drew secured £50,000 investment for his business on BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

Drew decided to set up the North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards to celebrate the accomplishments of the LGBTQ+ community in business during the pandemic. They were also intended to send a clear message that prejudice and intolerance should not be tolerated and must be challenged wherever encountered.

February is LGBT history month, an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of gay rights and the associated civil rights movement and Drew felt this was a fitting time to open up the nominations process.

This year,15 prizes are up for grabs in categories including Best New Business, Young Business Person of the Year and LGBTQ+ Ally Award with companies large and small being encouraged to enter. 

“Last year we celebrated the contributions of a wide variety of LGBTQ+ owned and allied businesses, from one man bands to larger, more established companies,” said Drew.


Drew Cockton
Drew Cockton at the North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards


“After a dreadful 12 months following on from the pandemic, it felt good to celebrate the wins of our region’s SMEs and give thanks to their contributions in making the North West such a great place to live.

“We also raised funds for the Albert Kennedy Trust which supports young LGBTQ+ people who have been made homeless by their families.

“The 2021 awards followed in the autumn after an unfortunate spate of homophobic attacks in Liverpool in the summer, violence which was met with widespread condemnation by local people.”

Drew argues that whilst great progress has been made, there is still much to be done. He points to worrying statistics in a 2019 Stonewall report which states that one in five LGBTQ+ people had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their sexuality or gender identity and 40% of those identifying as trans had been a victim of an incident.

Businesses large and small are being invited to enter the 2022 North West LGBTQ+ Business Awards for free. The awards are set to take place later this year at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool with a ceremony attended by 500 guests. For more information click

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