UCLan special academic awards for worthy recipients

17 July 2023

A well-known local businessman, a leader of domestic abuse services and a council chief executive have received prestigious academic awards from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Zuber Issa CBE, EG Group co-founder, Amanda Elwen, who has led and developed domestic abuse services within East Lancashire, and Mick Cartledge, Burnley Council’s outgoing Chief Executive, all had Honorary Fellowships conferred on them during this week’s graduation ceremonies in Preston.

Honorary Fellow Zuber Issa

Blackburn-based businessman Zuber, whose global company now operates in 10 different countries, was recognised for his significant contribution to business and charity, and in particular to Lancashire and the North West.

Alongside his brother Mohsin, Zuber co-founded Euro Garages, now known as EG Group, in 2001. From a single petrol forecourt in Bury, the EG Group has grown into a global enterprise with extensive site networks across Europe, the United States and Australia, with a group turnover of more than £27 billion for the year ending 2022.

In addition to owning and operating petrol forecourts around the world and other business interests, he is also a majority shareholder in Asda, owns the British premium fast food chain LEON and second largest UK retail bakery business, Cooplands.

He told the packed graduation hall in the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre: “It’s a pleasure to receive this award on behalf of business and charity. My only advice is to look at the opportunities, evaluate them and then take them because they don’t keep coming along. When you do, believe in yourself. Work hard and work with the people around you. Never forget your roots, remember where you’ve come from and spend time to give back to communities.”

Honorary Fellow Amanda Elwen

Amanda received her award to acknowledge her significant contribution to the development and management of domestic abuse services in Lancashire.

After completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Safeguarding Children, and a Master’s in Business Administration at UCLan, Amanda went on to lead Harv Domestic Abuse Services, a charitable organisation that supports victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse.

She has also developed the pioneering Emily Davison Centre, in Accrington, which brings together five specialist charities, all united in the common aim of ending violence against women and girls.

After thanking the University for her honour, she told the graduating students: “What an achievement! I have so many words of advice, but you are unique and special and different to everyone else. You have your own needs and ambitions, and your journey has led you to this exact place.

“The next part of your journey is about your choices and these choices must have your values at the centre. Go out there and be true to yourself, go and be amazing and make a positive difference every day.”

Honorary Fellow Mick Cartledge

Mick received his award to recognise his significant contribution and dedication to local government in East Lancashire.

He has spent 42 years working in local government, serving three authorities before moving to Burnley Council in 2001. He joined as the Director of Community Services and during more than two decades he held a number of senior positions and worked his way up to become Chief Executive in 2017.

Mick, who will retire later this month, has been a huge advocate and vocal supporter of UCLan’s Burnley Campus and the University’s growing presence within the town.

He has been a driving force behind the development of our Burnley Campus and a key supporter of our expansion, including the redevelopments of Victoria Mill, Sandygate Halls and Sandygate Mills. Mick was also integral in the award of Levelling Up funding to redevelop Newtown Mill into additional academic facilities for UCLan’s campus in Burnley.

He commented: “I was totally blown away when I received my letter regarding the award. As I reach my 42nd year in Local Government, we often take for granted the work we have done so I cannot tell you how pleased I was to receive this recognition and this Honorary Fellowship award.”

Honorary Fellow Victoria Derbyshire

BBC broadcaster and UCLan alumna Victoria Derbyshire also received an Honorary Fellowship to acknowledge her significant contribution to journalism and broadcasting.



The University’s degree and award celebrations saw more than 4,000 students don their academic caps and gowns across 14 graduation ceremonies.

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