North West business briefs: Wirral Met College; Manchester Utd; LCR Pride; Sutcliffe; Airframe Designs; Rodgers Leask

Culinary Arts and Hospitality students from Wirral Met College showcased their skills and professionalism during a two-day ‘take over’ of the Devonshire Fell Hotel in Burnsall, North Yorkshire. The collaborative initiative aimed to provide students with hands-on industry experience and was hailed a success by both the hosting hotel and its customers.

Under the guidance of hotel staff, the students took on various roles, including table service, kitchen duties and bar service. Their successful integration into the hotel’s daily operations provided guests with a memorable hospitality experience and also offered students an opportunity to apply their knowledge in a real-world setting.

Gill Banks, Principal & CEO at Wirral Met College said: “We’d like to express our sincere appreciation to the Devonshire Fell Hotel for providing our students with this invaluable opportunity to gain practical skills and experience within a such a well-regarded establishment.”

Richard Palmer, Managing Director of Devonshire Hotels and Restaurants, said: “We are proud to partner with local colleges to offer students such a unique hands-on learning experience. The whole team at the Devonshire Fell Hotel have really enjoyed providing valuable on the job training and sharing their knowledge and experience. The students did an incredible job and the feedback we received from our guests was a real testament to all their hard work.”

In addition to their take over of the Devonshire Fell Hotel, Wirral Met College students regularly hone their skills through practical experience at the college’s Met at the Square restaurant.

Open to the public every Thursday evening, this culinary showcase provides students with further opportunities to refine their culinary techniques, showcase their creativity, and deliver exceptional service to members of the public.


Bruno Fernandes has presented Manchester United Foundation participant, Arissa, with a Community Captain award as part of the Premier League’s More Than A Game campaign.

In a special moment, the Manchester United captain presented Arissa with a captain’s armband and pennant in recognition of her dedication to Foundation and Premier League-supported programmes.

In the past four years, Arissa has turned her life around after initially being referred to the Foundation’s targeted prevention programme where she would take part in workshops around youth violence prevention and personal development. This transitioned to Arissa joining a Street Reds session in Moss Side, using her love of football to develop her confidence and leadership skills.

At the end of 2023, Arissa was successful in joining the Street Games Youth Advisory Board as an advisor, inputting to national policy around youth community sport and engagement. She said: “It’s been amazing to be here, meet Bruno and receive this award; it means a lot to me. Manchester United Foundation is not just football, it’s a safe space for a lot of kids. I’ve always said if I can help a kid like I was helped I think I’d be very grateful.”

Bruno said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet Arissa and hear all about her journey with the Foundation. It’s amazing what programmes like these can do for young people in the local community and how it can literally change their life. This is what Manchester United is about, supporting young people and being there for our communities and fans. I’m sure Arissa will go on to do great things in her life and I’m fortunate to present her with this award.”


The first round of grants from the LCR Pride Foundation Community Fund have been awarded to initiatives aiming to bring real change for LGBT+ people in the Liverpool City Region.

Up to £15,000 of grass roots funding was made available from the region’s LGBT+ charity as part of a major three-year partnership with partners Barclays. The first round of the LCR Pride Foundation Community Fund opened in January and has already received a large volume of applications from individuals and groups hoping to remove barriers that LGBT+ people face in their everyday lives.

Amongst the first projects awarded grants of up to £1,000 included: LGBTQi Domestic Abuse Open Support – Sefton (Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid) – Aiming to support victims of domestic abuse through dedicated LGBT+ drop-in clinics and resources for organisations across Sefton; PROUD to be Little Movers – Wirral (Wirral Little Movers) – Bringing together LGBT+ families in Wirral through social activities and fitness classes; Mersey Rose Inclusion Project – St Helens and wider (Mersey Rose Recreationals Cricket Club) – A cricket club focused on inclusion seeking to create a new space for LGBT+ people interested in playing cricket.

LCR Pride Foundation is encouraging more community-led initiatives to apply for funding, with applications still open until 5pm on Friday, March 8. Further information and support can be found at Andi Herring, CEO of LCR Pride Foundation, said: “It has been incredibly inspiring to hear of some of the amazing organisations across the region to improve the lives of LGBT+ people. As ever it is a difficult task deciding which groups to award funding to as every applicant is deserving, but we are excited to release this initial round of grants and look forward to supporting such promising projects.”

Ann O’Donoghue, Group Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Barclays, said: “It is an honour for Barclays to support the LCR Pride Foundation. The Community Fund is an opportunity to support and champion groups that are making a difference for LGBT+ people in Liverpool City Region.”


Sean Keyes

North West civil and structural engineering firm, Sutcliffe, has been successfully appointed to CHIC’s Newbuild Development Consultancy Framework.

As part of CHIC’s new eight-year framework, Sutcliffe will sit on two workstreams delivering structural and civil engineering services for a range of large estate regeneration projects, as well as providing principal designer services to assist with the planning and management of the pre-construction phase of all building work.

The CHIC Newbuild Development Framework aspires to establish a new Gold Standard development framework, prioritising the delivery of various development works and services to help tackle the housing shortage across the UK. Sutcliffe, selected through a competitive tender process, will be involved in diverse projects including newbuild, refurbishment and retrofit, placing prominence on quality, innovation and sustainability across the UK.

Sean Keyes, CEO at Sutcliffe, said: “We are really proud to have been appointed on the CHIC Newbuild Development Framework. Sutcliffe’s commitment to addressing the housing shortage and driving redevelopment and regeneration is the cornerstone of our work, and we have worked on some incredible projects across the UK that champion innovative solutions and sustainable methods of construction.”

Headquartered in Liverpool, with a prominent office in Manchester, Sutcliffe says it is focused on delivering sustainable homes that are fit for the future across the whole of the North West and UK.


Garry Sellick

Lancashire aerospace specialist, Airframe Designs, is taking part in a project aiming to be a world-first in aircraft part production through a 3D printing project with the National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme.

The 18-month government-funded programme is part of a project using a polymer for use in 3D printing to help the UK aerospace industry and the Blackpool-based business in its future growth and capability.

Garry Sellick, additive manufacturing manager at Airframe Designs, said: “We are building a database of materials which can be used in the parts being developed for the future. The project is aiming to be a world-first in airworthy part production using water soluble support in the 3D printing process with faster manufacture and less potential for damage than current manual methods.

“We’re proud that we’re pushing the boundaries for the aerospace industry and it is a testament to Airframe Designs that we can help lead this important development with our engineering excellence.”

The project developing the Victrex AM200 polymer will be ongoing until later this year when it will be reviewed as part of the programme, a £20m government-funded initiative developing more than 80 different aerospace technologies across the UK supply chain.


Rodgers Leask Liverpool team

Engineering consultancy, Rodgers Leask, has been awarded a place on a procurement framework with the University of Cumbria.

The opportunity was secured by the team at the firm’s Liverpool office – which specialises in civil and structural engineering – led by director Chris Pollett. The ‘Estates Multi Lot Consultancy Framework’ seeks to support a range of projects with the university including upgrades and refurbishments across students’ residences, academic buildings, public realm, sports facilities and commercial units.

The four-year framework is divided into seven lots, with Rodgers Leask successful on Lot 5, structural and civil engineering. Chris Pollett said: “This framework brings together a bespoke list of high level suppliers within the built environment that we are proud to be a part of. We are keen to support the university in building towards their goals for the future, and driving forward our own portfolio of public sector work especially in the North West.”

He added: “The team worked hard to produce this bid in what was a rigorous tender process. We expect a good mixture of smaller and larger projects across a range of the university’s diverse estate, which will be great experience for the team.”

The University of Cumbria is a multi-campus university, offering high quality, research-informed academic studies to around 10,000 students. It recently outlined its ambitious 2030 strategy which includes new campus developments in Carlisle and Barrow, as well as improvements to its Lancaster campus.