Lancashire Leaders: Life changing leadership

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Recycling Lives is a business like no other. Not only is it an extremely successful recycling business that reprocesses 10,000 tonnes of steel a month, it runs a charity programme with the prison service helping people get back in to employment and accommodation upon release.

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Charged with running the £30m turnover business and the charity is managing director Will Fletcher, who stepped in to his current role from the corporate world. “I was previously employed at Morrisons in the senior finance team, and as part of a training programme that looked at working in the community, there was a placement at Recycling Lives.

“When I came here I really hit it off with founder Steve Jackson and loved the idea of making profits for the business and putting something back in to the community in terms of the charity, which helps homeless people get back in to employment.

“My background is in finance and commercial strategy, so I look after thecommercial team, the finance team and ensure the company is working to achieve the business plan.

"There’s a far more entrepreneurial approach here. It’s family-owned and they’re a phone call away so we can make really quick decisions and turn on a sixpence, and that’s something I really enjoy. We can implement new ideas immediately and respond to the market very quickly.”

Managing a business that adopts the responsibility of supporting a charity, certainly doesn’t come without its challenges.

Will says: “The biggest challenge we face is the metal market, especially with the uncertainties at TATA Steel. The whole market is suffering from a lack of demand and over-supply, so the challenge is continuing to grow through such a difficult market.

"Because we’re such a fast-growing business, there are also challenges around how you develop people and put the infrastructure in place to support the growth and spend your money wisely. There are always compromises to be made." For the full article from our regular magazine feature 'Lancashire Leaders' please click here.