Brian Cookson Awarded Honorary Fellowship of UCLAN
Posted: 4th December 2009 | Source: University of Central Lancashire
Brian Cookson OBE was awarded the Honorary Fellowship for his contribution towards British Cycling and Local Development.
Brian was born in Preston in 1951 and was brought up in Ribbleton and Penwortham, attending Greenlands Infants School, Cop Lane Primary and Hutton Grammar. He qualified as a landscape architect at Manchester Polytechnic in 1973, and has pursued a career in a number of local authorities and regeneration agencies, throughout the North West. He is a lifelong enthusiast and worker for the sport and pastime of cycling.
Brian has volunteered as President of British Cycling for the last decade. He first became involved in leading the organisation when he was elected to the role of President following a period of huge turmoil. He played a pivotal role in rescuing it from near insolvency in 1996, establishing a new Board and working with colleagues to ensure the organisation has become one of the most successful Governing Bodies in the UK .
With 8 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals from the Beijing Olympics plus 19 Gold and 3 Silver Medals Paralympic, cycling was by far Great Britain's most successful sport in 2008. On top of the elite-level success, 30,000 people have joined the Everyday Cycling Initiative since it was created and Brian has overseen almost a doubling in the number of sports cyclists since April 2005. Cycling is now arguably the fastest growing sport and pastime in the country.
Mr Cookson received British Cycling's highest accolade, the prestigious Gold Badge of Honour in 2006, and was awarded an OBE in the 2008 New Year's Honours List for his work for British Cycling. Brian has long been involved in the world of cycling, becoming a member of the National Racing Committee in 1984 and served as a member of the Jury at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. In September 2009, he was also elected to the Management Committee of the International Cycling Union.
UCLan has benefited from Brian's work through the Healthy Campus Initiative, Green Travel Plan and Sustainable Development Agenda. In the future his work looks to benefit the University in the new Burnley Campus in Pennine Lancashire.
In his professional career, Mr Cookson has been closely involved in Environmental Improvement, Housing, Economic development, Town centres, tourism and events. From 1997, he led the regeneration programme for Southport. Since 2004, Brian has held the post of Executive Director for the Regeneration of Pendle Borough Council and is responsible for major projects, planning, housing and economic regeneration in the area.
He is married to Sian, with three adult children, Oliver, Sophie and Jack.
Reacting to the award, Brian said:
"I was very pleased to be awarded this honour by my home town University. To be asked to join a list of high-achieving people who are so well-respected in their fields really shows the esteem in which our sport is now held. I'd like to thank all those who have helped me over the years and in particular to thank my wife Sian for her support."