Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Students benefit from Villa Group link


One of the country's top Event Management professionals has shared his expertise with UCLan students.

Richard Simkin, Head of Operations at The Villa at North End and Preston Guild Hall, was welcomed by Jane Shaw and Rod Train to the University to discuss his experiences in the industry.

Richard has enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks, starting off his career in the family hospitality business before branching out to work for Fleetwood Town FC as they climbed the football ladder.

He progressed into Restaurant Manager positions with Twelves in Thornton-Cleveleys, Liverpool FC and Blackpool FC, before being headhunted by Simon Rigby.

The serial entrepreneur and multi-millionaire has utilised Richard in variety of roles, including setting up the outside catering operation at Preston North End FC and the takeover of the Guild Hall.

In addition to talking to students about his role in the Guild Hall takeover and some of the problems he came across, Richard explained how Villa Group have taken over a loss-making business and turned it into a successful operation.

Other councils from around the UK have subsequently contacted Richard to look at their 'Guild Halls', with his latest task being the identification of failing businesses and putting turnaround strategies in place.

Richard also outlined the Rigby Organisation, which has diverse business-interests including hotels, catering, an energy company, bookmakers and farming.

He commented: "I value the links we have with UCLan and it is a privilege to be asked along to talk to Tourism, Hospitality and Events undergraduates who are the future of our industry."

Students who attended the session said they found it an extremely useful and interesting talk which will really help with their latest assignments.

Richard subsequently returned to UCLan to take part in our first ever Employers Forum event. For the full story please click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment