BT North West Director 'stunned by OBE in Queen's Birthday Honours List
Mike Blackburn pays special tribute to staff and students at BT-sponsored Manchester school
Multiple roles win Mike honour for his work for North West’s economy
Mike Blackburn, BT’s North West regional director, has been stunned by the award of an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The OBE for services to the North West’s economy recognises his contribution to the economic health of the region through a wide variety of roles for many years.
Since he started as regional director in 2007 Mike has overseen the boom in access to high speed broadband.The digital revolution has already seen more than 2,428,000 households and businesses in the region gaining access to fibre broadband.
Mike chairs the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which is looking to boost jobs in the region by 100,000 in the next 10 years.
He played an important role in the International Festival for Business, sponsored by BT, which was a 50-day business festival last year in Liverpool highlighting the economic strength of the region. The success of the event has ensured it will return in 2016.
Mike paid tribute to his colleagues in BT and the business world, but he reserved special praise for the staff and students at Manchester Communication Academy.He is the Chair of Governors at the BT-sponsored school which opened its doors to students and the community in 2010.
Mike, who has led the BT North West Board since 2007, said:“There is a great team working at the Manchester Communication Academy supporting the young students and their families to achieve some exceptional results. I would like especially to recognise the tenacity, skill and professionalism of the staff at the Academy in Harpurhey. This BT-sponsored school and its students are the economy of the connected society of the future.
“I was stunned when I received the letter telling me of the award. It isn’t something you plan for so I was surprised and thrilled at the same time. Trying to keep it quiet for six weeks was the next problem, whilst we waited for the official announcement.
“I’m very fortunate to work with some really inspiring and collaborative people in the North West, both in the public sector and the private sector.
“I thank all of them and my BT colleagues for all of their support. They make it fun and rewarding.”
As well as his job leading the BT North West Board, which develops strategic relations with councils, business and community organisations, Mike has a whole series of high level roles to squeeze into, and outside, his working day.
Mike, who is based at the Dial House BT offices in Salford, is the chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP); Trustee of the Lowry Theatre in Salford; deputy chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team; and a Trustee of the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) since 2000.The NYAS is a UK charity providing socio-legal services.They offer information, advice, advocacy and legal representation to children, young people and vulnerable adults through a network of dedicated paid workers and volunteers throughout England and Wales.And in addition Mike sits on the North West advisory board for the Prince of Wales charity, Business in the community, and was chosen as the Prince’s NW Regional Ambassador for 2010/11 and 2011/12.
Press contact:Graham Taylor, NW Press Office – direct from NW England - 0800 085 0660.From outside the North West ring 01905 352361.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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