Queen pays visit to Lancashire businesses

UCLan’s Small Firms’ Summit welcomed the Royal party to Burnley to discuss policy with a number of high profile figures.

Her Majesty the Queen was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles for the visit of Lancashire, with Burnley FC, Accrington market, and a barge trip from Finsley Gate Wharf to Slaters Terrace amongst the party’s destinations.

Prince Charles later attended a regeneration conference at Weavers’ Triangle as the Queen and Prince Philip headed to UCLan’s Burnley campus, where the Small Firms’ Summit was taking place.

The summit discussed the government’s policies on small business issues of education and skills and engagement with employers

Devised and organised by Len Collinson, chair of UCLan’s advisory group, the event brought together representatives from smaller companies to explore topics of common interest and concern.

Owner-managers and senior directors of more than one hundred businesses took part in presentations and discussions on methods for taking businesses forward, achieving better results and the importance of improving relationships between education and employers.

The keynote speakers were Stephen Falder, founder of hygiene manufacturer Byotrol, and Bryan Adams, founder and chief executive of online marketing agency Ph Creative. The event was led by former political editor of BBC North West, Jim Hancock.

Twelve discussion groups gave participants the opportunity to consider crucial questions on their needs and expectations. These included how the government could encourage education institutions to enhance the employability of graduates, suggestions for dealing with problems of over–regulation and red tape and which single measure by government could make a large positive impact for smaller companies.

Her Majesty talked with UCLan graduate Kieran Fletcher, who emphasised the support he received from the university when setting up his social enterprise, Funda Coaching. The Queen also met the principals of three other local companies.

Len Collinson said: “Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive and there has already been call for an encore next year. The visit from Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip was a fantastic addition to an effective day.”