Co-op boss and ex NWDA chief makes New Year Honours list

PETER Marks, the out-going chief executive of the Co-operative Group, was among the  business leaders recognised in the New Years Honours list.

The Yorkshireman, who will stand down after 45 years with the co-operative group in early 2013, was awarded a CBE for services to the retail sector.

He said: “This is a tremendous honour, not just for me personally, but for all my colleagues and directors of the group, who have shared by vision and who have worked so hard for the success we have enjoyed in recent years.”

Mark Hughes, the last chief executive of the now defunct North West Development Agency was awarded an MBE.

Mr Hughes, who oversaw the wind down of the agency’s activities in 2011 after the coalition government scrapped the nine development agencies, was recognised for services to business in the North West.

For several years he was the executive director of economic development at the agency and took over following the resignation of Steve Broomhead in 2010.

An MBE has also been awarded to Tracy Mort, a Bury-based businesswoman, who has been honoured for services to the UK economy. She runs two beauty products businesses, Grace Cole and Affinity Bay, and has brought much of her production back to the UK.

Around 30% of Cheadle-based Grace Cole’s products are made in the UK, while Affinity Bay focuses on premium products made in the UK.

Two nuclear industry figures were recognised in the awards: Stephen Henwood of Preston, the chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, received a CBE for services to the nuclear industry, and to charity; and Dr Michael Weightman of Chester, Her Majesty’s chief nuclear inspector, has received a Knighthood for services to nuclear safety.

An OBE has been awarded to Steven Jackson, founder and chief executive of Preston-based Recycling Lives which gets long-term unemployed and homeless people back into work.

MBEs have also gone to Philip Shapiro, chair of Manchester’s Cornerhouse cinema for services to the arts, and Carol Ann Highton of Runcorn, founder of the Brian Shields Trust which campaigns against loan sharks and advises people with financial problems.