The Lancashire Ambassadors are a powerful network of leaders who understand that success for Lancashire will lead to success in business and a stronger more prosperous Lancashire for all.
BAE Systems – Dave Nuttall
Barnfield Construction – Tim Webber
Blackburn Rovers – Steve Waggott
Booths – Nigel Murray
Conlon Construction – Michael Conlon
Forbes Solicitors – Pauline Rigby
Panaz – Tony Attard OBE
Scorpion Automotive – Mark Downing
Stonyhurst – Simon Weber
WEC Group Ltd – Wayne Wild
VEKA UK Group – Neil Evans
Passionate about Lancashire, with a business located here and a desire to help drive future success? We’d like to welcome you as a Lancashire Ambassador >> Find out more here
Pauline Rigby - Partner & Head of Corporate
Forbes Solicitors has offices across the North but our roots are firmly based in Lancashire. We offer the full range of legal services to individuals, commercial clients and a number of specialist sectors where we excel nationally.
Pauline heads up the Corporate team at Forbes Solicitors and handles a wide range of corporate and commercial work right from business start ups through to acting for businesses that are expanding or disposing of their business. More specifically those areas include formation, banking, joint ventures, contractual matters, equity fundraisings and investments, re-organisations and restructurings, disposals and mergers and acquisitions.
Pauline has also developed and is known for her experience in assisting clients and Insolvency Practitioners in insolvency matters. In particular, she specialises in acting on behalf of businesses and Insolvency Practitioners when buying or selling businesses in distress and/or restructuring.
Pauline also assists a number of Lending Institutions on a broad range of matters including drafting and negotiating banking documentation and carrying out and reviewing legal due diligence and structure documents on mergers and acquisitions and corporate restructures. Pauline acts for a wide range of clients including public companies, owner managed businesses, banks and financial institutions, shareholders, investors and management teams.
Tony Attard OBE - Founder and Group Chief Executive
Formed in 1986, Panaz Limited, has spearheaded the design and technical advancement of flame retardant fabrics for the worldwide hospitality, leisure, cruise ship and healthcare sectors. The company today exports to 46 countries, operating worldwide through subsidiary companies in Europe and the USA and a global network of agents. Panaz has been presented with two Queen’s Awards for International Trade and Innovation, marking the company’s success in both export achievement and enterprise.
Tony is the founder and Group Chief Executive of Panaz Ltd. However, Tony’s activities and interests extend far beyond his Burnley boardroom. Tony is the current Chair of Marketing Lancashire and is Chair of Lancashire 2025, the Bid for Lancashire to become City of Culture on 2025. As such, Tony is a passionate advocate of Lancashire and business in Lancashire as well as a true Lancashire Ambassador. Tony was made an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2010 New Year’s honours and held the position of High Sheriff of Lancashire in 2018. Tony also sits on the Board of Creative Lancashire as well as NWTexnet, the British Contract Furnishings Association and the General Assembly of Manchester University.
Tony’s other positions and interests include:
- National President of the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers charity,
- Member of the Guilds Court and Manchester University Department of Material Science Industrial Advisory Group
- Member of Manchester Metropolitan University Department of Enterprise Advisory Group,
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Institute of Directors,
- Associate of The Textile Institute
- Member of the Institute of Management.
Simon Marsden - Enterprises Director
Set in the beautiful Ribble Valley, Stonyhurst College is an independent co-education Catholic boarding school and home to 700 pupils during term time. However, beyond the College’s excellent academic offer, very few people are aware of the breadth of commercial activity encompassed under ‘Stonyhurst Enterprises’.
Simon Marsden commenced his career in banking, moved into an education based private equity venture, followed by bursar appointments in two prestigious large day schools. He joined Stonyhurst in 2016 as Bursar and Clerk to the Governors.
Simon is a fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Business Management, and holds qualifications in accountancy, human resources, leadership coaching and business planning. Simon has been Chairman of the Northern Bursars’ Association and sits on a selection of independent schools’ advisory panels. He is a foundation governor of St Joseph’s, the oldest catholic primary school in the United Kingdom.
He and his wife Julia have four children, two of whom attend Stonyhurst.
Neil Evans - Managing Director
VEKA has been leading the global development of PVCU window systems for over 50 years, through design, innovation and customer focus. With factories in over 40 countries across Europe, Asia, America and Russia, VEKA is the world’s largest manufacturer of extruded PVCU products. VEKA Plc is the UK arm of the company, based in Burnley.
Managing Director Neil Evans joined VEKA Group as Sales Director in October 2016 and was promoted to Managing Director in 2020. With significant experience in the fenestration industry, Neil previously worked for VELUX where he spent 10 years as their UK Sales Director and prior to that some years as their Operations Director. During his time at VEKA, Neil has reshaped the Sales & Customer Service function, taking on added responsibility for Commercial & Technical departments since joining.
With his fellow Directors of the VEKA Board, Neil continues to strengthen the company’s reputation as market leader and is helping shape the Group’s future direction, with customers at the heart of every decision. Neil’s passion lies in building teams and creating the environment that ensures the customer gets the best of the business. He strives to identify opportunities for change, growth and improvement; to engage stakeholders, influence outcomes, and continue to set new standards.
Neil’s experience and expertise in sales, project management, procurement, customer service, technical functions, policy setting, lean process development, business analysis, operational leadership and sales leadership, mean that he can focus his attention on both the development of internal processes and the direction of external growth. Neil and his team are reinvigorating the company’s business and sales strategies and encouraging greater capability and confidence at all levels.
WEC Group Ltd
Wayne Wild - General Manager
WEC Group is one of the largest engineering and fabrication companies in the UK. Headquartered in Darwen, Lancashire, the group has been providing fabrication, laser cutting, precision machining, waterjet cutting, architectural metalwork and metal finishing services for over 40 years. WEC Group also manufactures their own range of CCTV Mounting Solutions, Rail Structures (Signal gantries and OLE Electrification) as well as Street Furniture.
After spending 12 years working as the Sales Manager of Otokumpu, an international stainless steel company based in Sheffield, Wayne joined the WEC Group in August 2005 as the General Manager of the WEC Laser Division.
Originally from Blackburn, Wayne joined WEC Group when the company had an annual turnover of £8m and 135 employees. In a short amount of time, Wayne has worked his way up to the position of Group Commercial Director & Shareholder and has helped the company reach new heights, with now 950 staff & £95m turnover in 2019.
Wayne heads some of the Group’s most lucrative businesses and he spearheaded two large acquisition deals in 2015 and 2016 (MTL Advanced in Rotherham, and HTA Group in Coventry) which have seen the company grow from 445 employees to 950 in just 5 years.
As an avid Blackburn Rovers supporter, Wayne was one of the founders and co‐chairman of the Rovers Trust and was also the Chairman of rising local football club AFC Darwen from 2014 to 2016, helping guide them to promotion and win their league cup. Entrepreneur at heart, Wayne recently refurbished the AFC Darwen football pitch and set up a new business 3G Pitch Hire, giving access to local schools and grassroot clubs to a FIFA quality football pitch.