THE youngest award winner of the evening was Ellie Entwistle, whose career is soaring.

The 18-year-old based with Bring Digital was this year's Young Apprentice/Person of the Year Award.

The award category was introduced by Aimee Holden and Edward Halsall of Stateside Foods, who spoke about the benefits of apprenticeships to young people and companies ­— saying they hoped the award would encourage more companies to explore the apprenticeship scheme.

She joined the firm at the age of 16, as a digital marketing apprentice in 2016 and is already way ahead in her career than those graduating from university.

In just two years, she's rapidly progressed through the ranks from apprentice to junior, and most recently, to a fully fledged digital PR executive. She is described as a "highly regarded member of the digital PR team".

Ellie said: "It's amazing, I've been at Bring for two years and I can honestly say I have accomplished so much which I didn't think never thought I would ever accomplish.

"I'm so excited to be here, a bit overwhelmed.

"I started my apprenticeship four weeks after high school and absolutely took to it and completed it and it has been absolutely awesome.

"I have friends saying they are going to university to study business, I have done this in two years, when they graduate and get jobs I will be managing them."

Bring Digital is an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Spa Road with clients all over the world. The firm has worked with a range of big-name brands such as DW Fitness First, Ann Summers, and JD Sports.

Ellie was also shortlisted for the Rising Star award with The Drum, one of the industry's most prestigious publications.

She specialises in B2B clients and has an intuition for what makes a great story, with her ideas being described as "fresh and original, pushing the boundaries of what makes a newsworthy B2B PR story".

FULL COVERAGE - read the winners' stories

Editor's award - John Carr 

Business of the year - Darts Corner

Businessperson of the year - James Bancroft 

Apprentice of the year - Ellie Entwistle

Employer of the year - ExcluSec 

Manufacturer of the year - Pure Fabs 

Retailer of the year - Market Place 

Family business of the year - HCS 

Innovation award - Bolton College

Customer excellence award- Market Place

Not for profit - Bolton Young Person's  Housing Scheme 

Community award - Bolton Family 

SME business of the year - Handrail creations 

Start up of the year - A Year of Dates