Lancashire leaders named on King's birthday honours list

By Tim Aldred

17 Jun 2024

Simply Doughnuts Export Award

An internationally-successful doughnut manufacturer, a key figure in Darwen's regeneration and two senior council figures are among those bestowed honours by the king.

Shiraz Master, managing director of Simply Doughnuts, and Wayne Wild, a vocal champion of Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone, have both earned MBEs, alongside Alistair Bradley, executive leader of Chorley Council and Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council.

Blackburn-based Simply Doughnuts has previously earned a Queen's Award for Enterprise and won awards for its global success. Now Shiraz has been recognised with an MBE for services to the promotion of food and drink, to business and to philanthropy.

Wayne Wild was appointed as the chair of Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone late last year. He's not only helped the Blackburn side of the charity to flourish, but was also instrumental in expanding its work into Darwen and later securing it a permanent home.

He also led a campaign for a Darwen Town Deal, he helped secure the maximum available £25m. He leveraged this to create a £110m investment plan to rejuvenate the town with nine capital infrastructure projects over the next five years.

Wayne, who receives his MBE for services to young people and to the communities of Darwen, said: "I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this recognition. The work we do at Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone is truly a team effort, and this award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our incredible trustees, board volunteers, and patrons. Our young people are the future, and it is our privilege to help them realise their full potential.”

Under Alistair Bradley's watch, Chorley has secured £20m of Levelling Up funding for town centre regeneration project, built modern extra care, medical and community facilities, a state of the art business and industrial hub, and invested in and refurbished Astley Hall.

He said: "Having been born and brought up in the borough, raising my own family here and serving as leader of Chorley Council for over 12 years, I am immensely proud and believe this really is an award for the Borough of Chorley as a whole.

"It is recognition of the great things being done in Chorley and all that our communities, businesses, council members, staff and residents have achieved and so I'm delighted to accept it on behalf of those I serve. Over the years I have been fortunate to work with some amazing people and I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way."

Lynn Williams became Blackpool's first female council leader when elected in 2020. She has since been a pivotal figure in the town securing more than £250m for its regeneration projects and to create new jobs.

Lynn, who entered politics fuelled by her daughter's complaints that there was a lack of provision for young people has also been involved in improving children’s services, headed a review of youth services, led the It Stops Here campaign to tackle abuse and was a founder member of the Magic Club, which is now a hub for 400 young people in her Claremont ward.

Ged Heffernan, managing director of Fern Innovation, has received an OBE for services to business and to technology.

MBEs have also been awarded to Helen Rebecca Gould, founder of the LPM Dance Company, for charitable services to People with Parkinson's and Sarah Randall-Paley, director of finance at University of Lancaster, for services to Higher Education.

Lee Duerden, co-founder of XLCR Vehicle Management, was awarded a BEM as a philanthropist and for charitable services to the community in Pendle. He said: "The profound difference that one person and one company can make in its community is incredible. I have the honour and pleasure of leading an amazing team, and whilst I might be the one getting the medal today, it wouldn’t have been possible without each of them getting onboard with my dream to help make that difference to the people and place that we call home."

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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