UCLan and Preston City Council to launch inaugural ‘Northern Lights Business Festival’

Posted on - 15th November, 2021 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - Education, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, UCLan, University campus
University Square, UCLan

‘Northern Lights Business Festival’ is set to light up Preston with entrepreneurial ideas as the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) School of Business and Enterprise collaborate with Preston City Council for the inaugural event.


The event is set to take place on the University Square between Wednesday 17 November and Saturday 20 November.

To coincide with the build-up to the Preston Christmas lights switch-on, the festival will include a UCLan Students’ Union-organised craft and food market on 19 and 20 November, taking place on the University Square between 11am and 4pm.

Read more: Preston Here for Humanity to host reverse advent calendar for those in need

Organising the festival is UCLan’s Dr Eliza Morgan, Reader in Innovation and Enterprise, who said: “It’s been our aim to develop a city-wide business festival for some time but of course the pandemic intervened in our original plans. 

“Now, as the region’s businesses emerge into the ‘new normal’, we’re hoping this inaugural event will be the catalyst for entrepreneurial minds of all ages to come together to share ideas and best practice for the benefit of all.”

The festival opens on 17 November with a schools day involving 164 Year 6 schoolchildren from five local primary schools.

The young entrepreneurs will be asked to develop a creative and exciting family event to attract visitors to Preston for a Christmas lights switch-on.  A panel of senior UCLan managers will judge the children’s efforts with the best ideas coming to life in the next festival, scheduled for 2022.

Other key festival highlights include a business breakfast followed by a leadership conference, themed around the subject ‘Leading in Dangerous Times’.  Attendees include a wide range of regionally based speakers whilst delegates and facilitators are drawn from public, private and third sector organisations across a range of leadership roles.

Dr Morgan added: “Just as the Lancashire Science Festival is now an established ‘go to’ event for people across the county, we aim to replicate that impact over the next three years as we develop the Northern Lights Festival. 

“Our ambition is to expand collaboration with regional partners including businesses, public and third sector organisations and local residents to meet the City’s objectives for recovery and growth.”

Anyone interested in helping to shape the vision and future development of the Northern Lights Festival should email: 

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