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Michael Pemberton, BEC Chief Executive has received the British Empire Medal in the Kings' New Years Honours

Left: Michael, pictured with his wife Sarah

Michael Pemberton, CEO of BEC said :-

“I’m incredibly proud of the work we do at BEC to make a difference for our West Cumbrian communities.  To be recognised for this contribution is an incredible honour and a wonderful surprise.”

BEC Chief Executive recognised in Kings’ New Years Honours

Michael Pemberton, our Chief Executive has been included in the Kings’ News Years Honours list – being awarded the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) in the King’s New Year’s Honours for his work in the community and driving forward regeneration in West Cumbria.

Ensuring positive change in West Cumbria

British Empire Medals (BEM) mark the exceptional contributions and service of people from across the UK. They recognise people who have made achievements in public life, committed themselves to serving and helping the UK, and who make life better for others by being outstanding at what they do.

Michael took up the helm as BEC Chief Executive in early 2015 and has steered the company through major change during this time, successfully leading the company through the withdrawal of public funding and the global pandemic. Michael has overseen the acquisition of key sites in Whitehaven and the redevelopment of the former Bus Station in Whitehaven – a nationally recognised, multi-award-winning scheme.

Michael continues to drive the company forward with purpose and drive, leading the team with passion and a constant focus on creating lasting change for West Cumbrian communities and it is this unswerving dedication to ensuring positive change in West Cumbria for which Michael has been recognised.

Throughout Michael’s career, he’s worked in private, public and third sectors, MOD and non-government organisations. During Michael’s time in the British Army, he served as a Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Officer and was deployed on operations to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Michael continues to serve as a British Army Reserve Officer for CIMIC (British Army Civil Military Engagement) supporting conflict resolution and rebuilding after conflict. and Michael has also shown his commitment to the local community and beyond through various voluntary roles in recent years including Chairman of Age UK West Cumbria and Non-Executive Director for Derwent Forest Development Consortium.


Outstanding commitment and dedication

Nigel Catterson, Chairman of BEC said: “It is with great joy that I have the honour to announce that Michael Pemberton, CEO of BEC, has been awarded the honour of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire. Michael has been BEC’s Chief Executive Officer for eight years; during that time, he has built an enviable reputation for BEC.”

The current honour was created in 1922 to replace the original medal established in 1917 as part of the Order of the British Empire. This is an honour that has been reinstated in recent times to recognise those who have worked hard for their communities.

Nigel added: “Michael has always shown outstanding commitment and dedication in following the dream to make BEC a genuinely inclusive organisation committed to improving life and aspirations within the community.

“This has not always been an easy task, and he has faced many challenges along the way, which would have seen lesser men walk away. This honour is truly deserved and hopefully will be reflected in the growing profile and opportunities developing within the communities of West Cumbria.”

An incredible honour

Michael said this is an incredible honour: “I can’t quite put it into words how exactly I feel. Overjoyed, humbled, grateful and delighted is what immediately comes to mind. I’m incredibly proud of the work we do at BEC to make a difference for our West Cumbrian communities. To be recognised for this contribution is an incredible honour and a wonderful surprise.

“This is also about our incredible team and partners at BEC, who are involved in extraordinary regeneration for the people and communities of West Cumbria. We have so much to be proud of here at BEC, whether that be our work to bring to fruition the pioneering Bus Station business hub in Whitehaven, our work on maintaining and operating the Westlakes Science Park and all our ongoing development projects such as Whittles’ Digital and Gaming Hub in Whitehaven, The Carlton in Maryport and many more.”

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