Shortlisted for the prestigious 2009 Lever Prize this year was the Futuresonic festival / FutureEverything, a project founded and directed by Drew Hemment from the ImaginationLancaster lab at Lancaster University.The highly acclaimed prize is awarded to flourishing North West cultural organisations which the NWBLT considers worthy of international recognition. The judges must consider a range of factors including regional individuality, high standard of existing work, exciting future developments, creative proposals for working with the NWBLT membership throughout the year and where the Lever Prize can add most value. Co-sponsored by NWBLT and Arts and Business North West, with support from Culture North West, the winner receives the opportunity to collaborate with the region's top companies, in addition to a distinctive trophy and a total prize given by the sponsors of £20,000. Stuart Chambers, Chief Executive Officer, NSG Group and member of the 2009 Lever judging panel explains, "One of the hallmarks of a successful region is the breadth and quality of its cultural offer. Each year the Lever Prize attracts an extremely high standard of entries, which is testament to the wealth and calibre of cultural offerings here in the North West."