I started this week by introducing three Fylde apprentices to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, during an event at BAE Systems in Warton on Thursday.

The Prime Minister was in Fylde to launch a new Degree Apprenticeships scheme while BAE Systems announced plans for a new training academy at the Enterprise Zone in Salmesbury.

It was fantastic to be able to introduce David Cameron to the highly skilled young people from Danbro accountants in Lytham, Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels at Springfields and Submarine Manufacturing & Products – SMP LTD – in Newton.

He also met trainees from BAE Systems who are involved in some of the most advanced engineering taking place in the UK at present and I was delighted he was able to take the time to visit the site.

That night I attended the Red Rose Business Awards at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and was pleased to see Danbro – which recently transformed the former Land Registry building, Jubilee House, in Lytham for its new headquarters – named Lancashire Employer of the Year.

Other successful Fylde companies included Cuffe and Taylor concert promoters in the Creative Sector Business of the Year category and Kirkham health supplements firm Natures Aid winning the International Achievement Award.

The following day I visited Pear Tree Special School in Kirkham where I launched a fundraising appeal for a new sixth form centre, in association with the Lytham St Annes Express.

While Pear Tree is already a shining light in specialist education, they need the very best facilities if they are to continue giving the excellent support they do to our disabled and vulnerable young people.

Unfortunately, the current facilities for 16 to 19 year olds are woefully inadequate and I am making it my mission to ensure they raise the further £220,000 they need for a state-of-the-art new facility.

I was delighted to hear this week that the Lytham St Annes Express has been named Johnson Press Weekly Newspaper of the Year.

It is a testament to the team behind the paper that every week it provides informative and entertaining stories which continue to keep its audience gripped. This fact is borne out by the readership figures which are holding up well during an extremely difficult time for local newspapers.

I myself always look forward to sitting down with my mum at home in St Annes with my copy each week and I would like to thank all those readers who continue to support our weekly paper.

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