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B&FC Board Member Antony Lockley awarded OBE in New Years Honours List

Published on 08/01/2024 by SGLAS


A senior Blackpool Council officer has been awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List for his services to local government.

Antony Lockley, Director of Strategy and Assistant Chief Executive, has received the honour for the pivotal part he has played in Blackpool’s ongoing regeneration.

He has taken a leading role in developing Blackpool’s Levelling Up pilot partnership with Central Government over the past two years, attracting more than £100m in regeneration funding for the town. He is also a member of the core team that recently secured a devolution deal for Lancashire.

Mr Lockley graduated from the University of Manchester in 2002 before starting his career as a national management trainee at Blackburn with Darwen Council in 2004.

He joined Blackpool Council in 2006 before leaving to become a university lecturer in 2008.

He returned to Blackpool in 2015 and was promoted to his current role two years later. Since then, he has held responsibility for developing Blackpool’s strategic vision, drawing in hundreds of millions of pounds of investment for major projects such as the new Conference and Exhibition Centre, Multiversity, and Civil Service Hub currently under construction in the town centre.

He has also led on housing investment and reforms, and construction of hundreds of new council homes. In 2021, Blackpool Council was named National Council Of The Year in the Inside Housing Awards.

In addition to his work in local government, Mr Lockley has held a number of unpaid non-exec roles in housing and education. He is currently a Corporation Board member at Blackpool and The Fylde College and an Independent Governor at Edge Hill University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and continues to guest lecture on housing, regeneration and public policy.

Mr Lockley is also the vice-chair of Village Manchester Football Club and a trustee of the Alpine Glacier Project.

He said: “I am humbled that others think I deserve this recognition. I work with so many fantastic staff, elected members and partners who deserve this honour at least as much as me. We all come into public service hoping we can make a positive difference, and I have been very lucky that I have been given that chance.

“Being able to play a role in the regeneration of Blackpool has been the highlight of my career so far. I would like to thank my wonderful colleagues, friends, and above all my family, for their unwavering love and support through thick and thin. Anything I may have achieved is built on your backs, and I dedicate this honour to you all”.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “I am delighted for Antony, a very deserving recipient. He has such passion and determination to deliver for Blackpool and improve the lives of our residents and communities.  I know he accepts this on behalf of all his colleagues and for the recognition of the incredible work undertaken, the importance of local government and what we can achieve, particularly through our Levelling Up strategy.”

Neil Jack, Chief Executive of Blackpool Council, said: “Antony is a passionate advocate for Blackpool and has been instrumental in making our case for investment from Government, and that is now being delivered on the ground as part of Levelling Up. 

“I am incredibly proud that Antony’s dedication to public service, and Blackpool in particular, is being recognised in this way; he represents many other committed public servants who work here to deliver a brighter future for our community.”

Cllr Paul Galley, Leader of the Conservative Group on Blackpool Council, said: “Antony is a visionary and truly deserves this Royal recognition for his crucial Levelling Up work by unlocking so much funding through his ability to build relationships.

“I'm hugely proud of him as I know he is accepting the award on behalf of all the hard working Council staff who give so much of themselves to help make Blackpool a great place to live.”