A well-loved governor at Burnley College has announced his retirement after over 15 years.

Chair David Meakin has a background as a qualified accountant and a degree in mathematics, and enjoyed a 35-year career within the NHS, retiring in 2005 as director of finance and deputy chief executive of the local health authority.

His time as a governor has seen shifts within the educational landscape of East Lancashire, including the 'Building Schools for the Future' project, and the relocation of the college from its long-standing home in Ormerod Road to a purpose-built campus in Princess Way, Burnley.

David said: "It's been a privilege working in a college that not only has a vision but puts it into practice.

"Our engagement with employers has grown significantly, and we've worked with some truly innovative companies.

"We aimed to grow our student base, and we've been successful in that regard."

As the chair of governors, David has witnessed significant changes in the funding for education and the college’s approach to Building Futures and Changing Lives, reaching out to those across the region, of all ages and backgrounds, to support them in achieving their goals.

He continued: "Seeing student success, even amidst the challenges of Covid, has been incredibly rewarding.

"From the Themis Awards to graduations that lift the entire town, celebrating our Students at these events has been a highlight of my time here.

"Getting the core business right is key, and I'm proud to be associated with such a successful organisation.

"We're in great shape. Recruitment numbers are up, and our finances are in a strong position."

David Brown, his successor as chair, is expected to bring valuable local authority experience and excellent people management skills to the role.

Among the first projects he will see completed is the new university-level teaching hub, which is currently taking shape in the college courtyard, adding three more floors to the existing building.

And one of his first duties as chair will be attending the annual Themis Inspire & Achieve Awards which recognise the outstanding Apprentices and employers who are guardians of the area’s industrial prosperity.

Under the leadership of principal Karen Buchanan, David believes the college will continue to thrive.

David said: "Karen has made many positive changes and is a key driver in the business community.

"She's excellent at managing the college while keeping an eye on the future."

As for his own future, David plans to pick up Spanish lessons again.