The name “Billingtons” has endured in Oldham since its bearers Albert and Nora painted it over the entrance of their dance academy in the first half of the 20th century. Almost a century later it remains and their name lives on – from dance school – to storage hub – to health care and events centre, although the business has changed hands three times since Nora Billington retired in 1970, their name lives on – Billingtons has become a local brand.

We kept the name because it means something. It has value, it has values, it has an emotional connection to the building and the town. We fell in love with the Billingtons story, its history, its people and it has inspired every decision we’ve made when considering how to transform this historic building with integrity, respecting its heritage and those who cherish it.

It’s a story of creativity, passion, community, togetherness, love, family and laughter. It’s a tale of high and lows, tears of joy and heartbreak, countless hours of hard work, ingenuity and resourcefulness. It is the story of life in a northern town, connected by a creative business and community hub in an old brick building on Ascroft St, Oldham.

It is this story that has inspired the launch of the Billingtons Business Awards: a legacy of passion, creativity and community.

Just as when learning to dance, all businesses start with one small, tentative step. Those steps are unfamiliar, unsteady and fraught with trepidation and doubt. Starting a business is a big deal. Working for yourself is a big deal. It takes courage, belief, resourcefulness, creativity and above all, persistence and hard work. We respect everyone who takes those steps, regardless.

The BBA’s acknowledges small businesses and what makes them successful. Success in business is often measured by growth, expansion, profits and numbers. But is that the true measure of a successful business? Every business owner has been on their own journey, has their own goals and defines success in their own way. These are the stories that we find inspirational and want to share with you, culminating in November 2022 at the Inaugural Billingtons Business Awards, a night of storytelling, celebration and showcasing success.



Between now and September, Billingtons Oldham will be searching the town for nominations for each of the above categories and we need your help. We’d like you to nominate the businesses and business people you love and tell us why.

You can nominate as many as you like, we’ll shortlist a number of them and share their business and their unique story via our social media channels. 

We’ll ask the public to vote and whittle the shortlist for each category down to three, all of whom will be invited to attend the ceremony in the brand new Billingtons Oldham Ballroom in November 2022.