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Unlocking Lancashire’s Potential: A Recap of Downtown in Business Event

Local Leaders from the business community across Lancashire gathered at The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre for an exclusive event discussing core issues shaping Lancashire's trajectory – discussing the Devolution Deal and its impacts on the Visitor Economy and Talent Retention.

In the heart of Lancashire, on the 23rd of January 2024, Local Leaders from the business community across Lancashire gathered at The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre for an exclusive event orchestrated by Downtown in Business. This event was not just another luncheon; it was a nexus for public and private sector leaders to converge and dive into the core issues shaping Lancashire’s trajectory – discussing the Devolution Deal and its impacts on the Visitor Economy and Talent Retention.

The Leaders Lunch kicked off with a deep dive into Lancashire’s Visitor Economy. The discourse went beyond attracting visitors; it was a strategic exploration of attracting and retaining the talent that propels Lancashire forward.

Frank Mckenna, set the tone for an afternoon of insight and collaboration, steering the panel discussion, bringing forth the impact of the Visitor Economy on Lancashire’s growth agenda.

Key Insights from the Experts:

Simon Lawrence, Director of Growth and Regeneration initially took centre stage, along with Aidy Riggott Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth and Peter Buckley County Councillor, Lancashire shared an overview of the Lancashire Devolution Deal along with nuanced insights into elevating Lancashire’s allure for visitors. A thoughtful exploration that set the stage for the subsequent discussions.

Panel Dynamics:

The spotlight, however, extended to our esteemed speakers – Steven Hesketh, The Hospitality Hero, and Sue Grindrod, MD at Blackpool BIDs Ltd. Steven’s disruptive vision for transforming hospitality globally, coupled with Sue’s strategic perspectives, added layers to the conversation, sparking ideas such as the potential value of an Accommodation BID for Blackpool.

Steven Hesketh – The Hospitality Hero:

With a remarkable 30-year journey in the industry, Steven Hesketh is not just a disruptor but an industry advocate on a mission to reshape hospitality globally. His insights into attracting and retaining talent showcased a commitment to fortifying the sector through traditional values, community collaboration, and nurturing the next generation of hospitality professionals.

Sue Grindrod – Navigating Lancashire’s BIDs:

Sue Grindrod, leading Blackpool BIDs Ltd., brought her wealth of experience to the table. Her strategic prowess and understanding of the Lancashire landscape provided valuable context to the ongoing developments in the region. Her thoughts echoed a commitment to holistic growth and collaboration within Lancashire’s business improvement districts

Networking and Collaborations:

The event was not just a platform for absorbing knowledge; it was a melting pot for networking and forging connections. The roster of attendees included influential figures from various sectors including Sales Geek Founder and Lancashire Ambassador Richard Few, representation from Blackburn AC, Marketing Lancashire, Michael Gregory from Limitless PR, Krol Corlett, Lindsey Kid MD from HM3 Legal, Laura Weldon of Studio LWD, James Cadwaladr for Potentiam and Jamie Grimshaw Together Money.


As the event concluded, it left behind a trail of insightful discussions, promising collaborations, and a shared commitment to the growth and resilience of Lancashire’s Visitor Economy. The invitation extended by Downtown in Business was not just an invitation; it was a call to collectively contribute to shaping Lancashire’s economic landscape.

Stay Informed, Stay Connected:

For those who missed the event, fear not. Downtown in Business continues to be your gateway to stay informed, connected, and actively involved in shaping the future of Lancashire. Watch this space for future engagements and opportunities to contribute to the unlocking of Lancashire’s vast potential.

Coming in February Lancashire Property Club – Contact for further information.

Downtown in Business


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