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Preston OBE appointed board chair of Leyland sports charity Active Lancashire

Posted on - 5th October, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Health, Leyland, Preston News, South Ribble News, Sport
Brian and Adrian Leather

Leyland sports charity Active Lancashire has appointed a Preston OBE as its new board chair ahead of a 10-year expansion strategy.

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Active Lancashire has appointed Brian Cookson OBE, who brings a wealth of experience to the role, most notably in the world of cycling.

He was President of the British Cycling Federation and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the global governing body for cycling.

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Brian Cookson OBE. Pic: Henry Iddon

Brian was awarded an OBE for services to cycling in 200, playing a role in improving the perception and integrity of the sport during the last decade. And he developed opportunities for previously neglected areas within the sport, such as women’s cycling and cycling in developing nations.

Following two years as a board member, Brian takes up the new role with Active Lancashire at a pivotal moment in the organisation’s 20-year history.

It will soon launch a new 10-year strategy that will drive the organisation forward and expand its growing responsibility in health, the local economy and physical activity in Lancashire.

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Brian Cookson OBE. Pic: Henry Iddon

Brian said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed as the next chair of the board at Active Lancashire.

“To be able to contribute to such a dynamic organisation that improves the quality of life for people in my home county is a wonderful opportunity indeed. 

“I am looking forward to working with board members, our driven and talented staff and our huge network of volunteers and partner organisations to take this vital work forward in the coming years.”

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Preston-born Brian was educated in Lancashire and later qualified as a landscape architect at Manchester Polytechnic.

He held senior positions at Manchester City Council, Derbyshire Council, Sefton Council and Pendle Borough Council, the Central Southport Partnership, and the charity Groundwork, based in Blackburn.

Throughout his career, alongside his passionate involvement in cycling, Brian specialised in large-scale regeneration that enabled communities to thrive through innovative housing programmes, conservation projects, community renewal programmes and economic development.

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Adrian Leather, Chief Executive at Active Lancashire, said: “I am delighted that Brian has stepped forward to become our new board chair.

“Brian’s personal commitment to grassroots sport and active lifestyles, combined with his experience in leading sport at an international level and his professional experience of leading regeneration in deprived communities, give me huge optimism for an exciting and challenging next chapter of Active Lancashire’s work, under Brian’s leadership.”

Brian will succeed Lesley Lloyd as board chair on 30 September 2021 as she departs the role at the end of her term in office.

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Lesley said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Adrian and his talented and dedicated team to build Active Lancashire into the professional, fast-growing organisation it is today.

“It has been a very busy and productive four years, and I would like to thank all involved for helping us to make such a positive difference to the lives of people across the county during this period.

“With a new strategy in place and Brian at the helm, I know Active Lancashire and the people who benefit from the services it provides will go from strength to strength.”

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Active Lancashire said: “On behalf of everyone, we thank Lesley for her inspiring leadership over the last four years and look forward to working with Brian in the next phase of Active Lancashire’s growth.”

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