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Liverpool creative agency Uniform has been nominated for a prestigious Designs of the Year award, held by the Design Museum. The awards, considered by many to be the 'Oscars' of the design world, showcase the most innovative and progressive designs in the world across digital, architecture, fashion and other categories.

A writer from Manchester has won a trip to Hollywood and a production budget of £25,000 after winning international film competition The Pitch. Simon Cookson's short film idea "The Light" was considered the best by a top industry panel which included Preston-born Oscar-winning animator Nick Park.

The Manchester Evening News has risked a backlash from its online readership with the announcement that only Facebook users will soon be able to comment on its stories. The MEN revealed today that its website will be getting a "cleaner and less cluttered" website later this month, with a new, bigger typeface and a greater emphasis on latest stories and mobile optimisation.

North West PR specialist Dave Sanders has been awarded a Fellowship by The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Sanders, who has been an active member of the CIPR’s North West Regional Group for over a decade, chairing from 2007 to 2011, has also been re-elected unopposed to serve a second year as the Institute's Treasurer.

Motion design studio Mighty Giant will be providing all the graphics for CBBC's new series Fierce Earth, which starts this Thursday. Based at Manchester's Sharp Project, Mighty Giant won a four-way competitive pitch back in September to produce bespoke 3D graphics for every episode. Two 10-part series were commissioned and the resulting workload meant the studio had to double its team from two to four to cope.

MediaCityUK owner Peel Media has reported a dramatic rise in revenues as the impact of the BBC's move to Salford begins to kick in. The latest filed accounts reveal that revenues grew by almost 100%, from £9m to £17.1m in the year to March 31. The accounts cover the period when most of the BBC's move to the 36-acre site actually took place, including departments such as CBBC, Sport, 5 Live and the North West news.

Beattie Communications has recruited consumer PR expert Lyndsey Evans to lead its Manchester team. Evans has over 14 years’ experience in delivering PR and marketing communications strategies for B2B, corporate and internal communications campaigns and offers a particular specialism in consumer PR.

Online marketing conference ionSearch has announced keynote speakers from Expedia, Hootsuite, Adobe and the BBC for its return to Leeds in April. Founded by online marketing agency Blueclaw, the conference will expand to a two-day programme for its second year and will take place at The Carriageworks Theatre.

Manchester digital agency Athernet has undergone a rebrand and will now be known as Fabric. The 10-year-old company decided on a new name to reflect its move from pure web development into mobile phone apps, creative design and digital marketing.

Katrina Michel has been announced as the new CEO of Marketing Cheshire. A former chairman of CheethamBell JWT in Manchester, Michel has also held positions at DDB, Publicis and Ogilvy, and in 2007 launched communications and brand consultancy Planning Express.

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