Lancashire innovators earn MBEs

Two Lancashire entrepreneurs, one who has helped shape safety standards in his industry and another who helped local manufacturers support the NHS throughout the Covid pandemic, have earned MBEs in the Queen's New Years Honours for 2022.

Annette Weekes is managing director of Nelson-based PDS CNC Engineering and Burnley-based Tooling Solutions. She is also a director of East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership where she chairs the body’s manufacturing sector group.

Her award recognises services to business, community, and leadership but specifically for her services through the pandemic and her contribution in establishing a Covid Manufacturing Cluster for Lancashire and South Cumbria.

During the pandemic, she teamed up with Dr Sherry Kothari of Lancaster University to establish a cluster that enabled regional manufacturers to repurpose their capacity to address desperate local shortages of medical equipment within the NHS.

She also played a key role in establishing Holiday Hunger East Lancashire to provide lunches for children across East Lancashire during October half term 2020. Working with other local businesses and hundreds of local volunteers, the group made and distributed 15,000 meals to 3,000 children.

Annette Weekes said: "It’s a privilege and a huge surprise to receive the MBE, a lot of what has been achieved in business and the community wouldn’t have been the case without a fantastic team and people collaborating. The big lesson from the pandemic is about supporting one and other and that we really are all in this together."

Brian Newell, chairman of Euxton-based Shackerley Holdings Group, has earned an MBE for services to the tiling and ceramics industry.

Shackerley, founded by in 1992, specialises in rainscreen cladding. It has won two Queen's Awards for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

Brian himself is chairman and founder of the Tile Association's technical committee and he has been involved with the many different committees that develop and establish new codes of practice and industry standards for the porcelain tile and adhesives industry, at a national level (British Standards) and at a European and International level (EN and ISO Standards).

His significant contribution to the development of standards for the worldwide ceramics industry was recognised in 2014 when he was presented with the BSI’s ‘International Standards Maker’ award.

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