Businesses back festival as inaugural event looms

FOB Article

A new festival dedicated to celebrating and supporting entrepreneurship in Lancashire has earned the backing of some of the county’s biggest businesses, along with a host of prominent entrepreneurs lined up as guest speakers.

The first-ever Lancashire Festival of Business will take place on Thursday 1 February at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Clayton-le-Moors. It will feature talks, panel debates and masterclasses covering topics such as funding, recruitment, leadership, strategy, boosting sales and getting started with ESG.

Delegates will be inspired by the stories and expertise of Lancashire figures such as Edwin Booth, executive chairman of supermarket chain Booths, Paul Fox, CEO of the rapidly-growing Fox Group, Jen Briggs, head of HR and partnerships at Lancashire's leading hospitality group, James' Places and Paul White, once a Modern Milkman and now founder and CEO of PatchApp UK.

Rob Binns, founder of Cotton Court, and Caroline Noblett, the new managing director of fulfilment business Granby have also recently been unveiled as guest speakers.

The festival has been created by Lancashire Business View in partnership with Boost, Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub, and is supported by chartered accountants PM+M and award-winning law firm Napthens.

Organisations including Brown & Co, CG Professional, Chorley Council, the Department for Business & Trade, Rossendale Borough Council and South Ribble Borough Council will be exhibiting on the day, sharing their expertise and answering questions for those in attendance. 

Jamie Allison, partner and head of real estate of Preston head-quartered Napthens, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this fantastic event, as we look to celebrate and support businesses and promote entrepreneurship across this great county of ours.

“Lancashire is a hotbed of innovation, and by coming together at unique gatherings like this, we can share information and opportunities, tackle challenges and bring together people from a wide range of businesses to discuss experiences and offer advice.

“On our part, we’ll bring the best expertise, guidance and inspiration from a wide cross-section of the legal profession, including employment law, HR, commercial, rural, licencing and corporate, to ensure Lancashire’s thriving business community continues to grow and be supported to go further.”

Helen Clayton, managing partner of Blackburn-based PM+M, said: “PM+M is delighted to be supporting what promises to be a fantastic event in celebration and support of business and entrepreneurship across the Lancashire business community and beyond.

“We look forward to welcoming many businesses from across the county to collaborate in sharing expertise, ideas and inspiration.”

Andrew Leeming, Boost programme manager, said: “The Lancashire Festival of Business will be a unique opportunity for those growing, scaling or starting businesses to gain insight and intelligence on key issues for the Lancashire economy.

“The strength of the lineup of speakers so far is a testament to the passion that our business leaders have for our county. I’m looking forward to hearing their inspirational stories and tips as well as meeting with new entrepreneurs and leaders who are growing brilliant businesses across Lancashire which Boost hasn’t yet supported.”

The festival will feature a main stage (the inspiration zone) alongside Boost zone, masterclass stage (the learning zone), one-to-one zone and refreshment zone.

Confirmed speakers so far are:

  • Rob Binns, founder, Cotton Court
  • Edwin Booth, executive chairman, Booths
  • Jen Briggs, head of HR and partnerships, James' Places
  • Helen Clayton, managing partner, PM+M
  • Paul Fox, CEO, Fox Group
  • Mark Gibbons, senior specialist, Access 2 Finance
  • Andrew Leeming, programme manager, Boost
  • Caroline Noblett, managing director, Granby
  • Adam Turner, managing director, Chorley Group
  • Paul White, founder and CEO, PatchApp UK

Stephen Bolton, managing director of festival organisers Lancashire Business View, said: “We are delighted with the response from the business community and are grateful for their support of this brand-new event.

“We were ambitious in our aims for this festival: bringing together the very best expertise, guidance, market intelligence and inspiration from across Lancashire’s business support community and beyond to help inspire current and future entrepreneurs.

“The heavyweight backers of the festival and the calibre of speakers who will be sharing their insight on the day highlight what a fantastic event this is going to be.”

Tickets for the event are now available here, at £40+vat for individuals and £70+vat for a pair of tickets.

For sponsorship opportunities including exhibition options please contact Stephen Bolton on [email protected] or 07966 090175 or Joanne Hindley on [email protected] or 07442 949697.

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