Andrew Roberts, managing director of Pennine, has been shortlisted for the Businessman of the Year title in the Made in Bury Business Awards (MIBBA).

It is the first time in the five-year history of the MIBBA’s that the individual contributions of business men and women have been recognised.

Nominees for the award were required to demonstrate not just their business achievements and acumen, but their contribution to their community and industry. They also needed to display leadership skills and be seen as inspirational role models.

The winner will be announced on November 20th when the awards climax with a celebratory a black tie dinner.

Mr Roberts’ shortlisting acknowledges the role he is playing in growing and diversifying the Pennine business.

Founded in 1976 as a two-way radio specialist, the company today offers a broad range of specialism which include unified communications, mobile telephony, hosted voice and data facilities plus managed IT support services.

Mr Roberts joined Pennine as an apprentice in 1978 and, having earned successive promotions, led a management buy-out as managing director in 2003.

Under his stewardship Pennine has grown into a diversified group which turns over some £17m. Last year he oversaw the sale of the business to Salford-based comms giant, the Nycomm Group of which he is also now a director.

He has long placed Pennine at the heart of Bury’s local community. The company has sponsored a number of local causes and events, including Bury Hospice, East Lancashire Railway, the Fusiliers Museum and Head for the Hills music festival.

He also contributes his time and expertise as a governor of the University of Bolton and in promoting the UpRising charity’s leadership and mentoring programme to young people.

In addition he is President of the Bury Chamber of Commerce and chairs Bury Business Leaders which advises Bury Council on strategic business and economic matters.