Eighteen business owners, policy-shapers and industry leaders have been announced as guest speakers during the week-long Lancashire Business Week programme of events.

Running from Monday 23 November to Lancashire Business Day itself, Friday 27 November, the series of discussions, debates and celebrations will both champion the county’s successes to date and plot its post-coronavirus future.

Among the first wave of speakers announced are influential figures from the public sector, education and a broad range of industries.

They are: David Harland, CEO of Eden Project; Gill Hall, owner and cheesemaker of Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses; Kam Kothia, chair of Star Academies; Michele Lawty-Jones, director of Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub; Mo Isap, founder and CEO of IN4.0 Group; Karen Buchanan, principal of Burnley College; Neil Burrows, assistant principal at Burnley College; Susan Scurlock, CEO and founder of Primary Engineering; Lee Chambers, founder of Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing; Dave Scholes, founder of Mindsight Connect; Ian Steel, keeper of the flame of Atkinson’s Coffee; John Morrissy, director of change and organisational development at Lancashire County Council; Michael Finnigan, founder of i2i; Steve Fogg, chair of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership; Jamie Grimshaw, investment executive of FW Capital; Iain Round, partner of Beever Struthers; Ben Blackman, operations consultant of Lancashire 2025; and Dave Walker, managing director of +24 Marketing.

Each will share their expertise and insight as part of a programme which features daily Breakfast Blasts, a lunchtime roundtable discussion, and a celebratory grand finale featuring special guests to conclude the week.

Events are grouped into themes.

Monday November 23 will focus on the county’s Opportunities and Challenges during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuesday 24 will take a look at the wider Jobs and Skills picture, and Wednesday will take a look within workforces and discuss Wellbeing and Inclusivity.

Thursday’s events will cover Leadership and Change, and the extended Friday lunchtime session will round off the week with a positive look ahead under the banner Celebration and Aspiration.

The events will be held online and anyone holding an interest in business and the local economy is welcome to join in and participate. The week is designed for attendees to be able to meet and network with other businesses, be inspired by great stories and celebrate all that is great about the red rose county.

Simon Entwistle, twice named Lancashire Tourism Superstar, will also give the Lancashire proclamation; and more special guests will be announced soo

Lancashire Business Week is backed by a cohort of businesses from around the county, including headline sponsor, CG Professional. The Patrons are: AMRC North West, Beever and Struthers, Burnley.co.uk, Burnley College, Daisy Communications, FW Capital, IN4.0 Group, Lancashire 2025, PDS Engineering. Utiligroup is a supporter. The media partners are Downtown in Business, Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce and lovelocalnetworking.

Richard Slater, publisher of Lancashire Business View and organiser of Lancashire Business Week, said: “Lancashire’s strength as a county is its people: hard-working, industrious, creative, knowledge and approachable. We’re delighted to be showcasing the best of these qualities through the guest speakers at our events.

“We’ll be covering some hard-hitting topics, analysing the county’s future as well as celebrating its successes. With the calibre of speakers we have announced so far – and with more names to be revealed closer to the event – we’re sure of a great week that will inform and inspire everyone who attends.”