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People in Business : Michael Huckerby

People in Business : Michael Huckerby

The Cheshire Magazine profiles some of the region’s biggest names in business

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Michael Huckerby - Director, The Lawrence

Michael previously owned Simple - one of the venues credited with kicking off Manchester’s trendy Northern Quarter - and also ran digital and design business Creative Spark in the UK and USA. He now runs the Lawrence in Lancashire. The name Lawrence pays homage to the name of three men who were a major influence in Michael’s renovation of the hotel, and well known in the areal; Reverend Lawrence Shuttleworth of Gawthorpe Hall in Burnley, the famous J.R.R. Tolkien’s uncle, and Lawrence was also the name of Michael’s late father.

What led you into your industry?
I started off as a pot wash at The Pines Hotel Chorley, working mainly weddings. I was 14, and I thought it was a magical place where people came to have fun, that’s where I got the hospitality bug.

Who was an early business inspiration for you?
The obvious would be Richard Branson as he is epic, but closer to home my Auntie Edie who had her own shop in the 70s when female-led business was scarce. My Mum and Dad also owned their own supermarket, so that inspired me to do things on my own. My first General Manager Nick Testa ultimately taught me about hospitality and the importance of making someone feel special while turning a profit. 

What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received? 
Peter Burling, Director of Brazen PR once told me “be careful what bridges you burn as you never know when you might need to cross it again”. At the time I was in my 20s and didn’t really listen, now I think it’s a great mantra.

What’s the secret of great leadership?
When someone finds out can they let me know? I think it changes over time - managing millennials is totally different - I have staff from 16 to 60, so I guess what I find works is managing them all differently.

Has there been a truly pivotal moment for your business? 
I got involved with a design agency that had three staff when I started. By the time I left, we had offices in the UK and USA and more staff than I can remember.  After doing it for ten years, I became very unhappy and trapped by a large salary. I decided I wanted to sell my shares and leave, which led me to where I am now.

Which areas of your business will you focus on in 2019?  
This year is all about weddings- we are converting the old barn into a 100 seater wedding room and extending our bar area. 

The Lawrence

26-28 Church Street, Padiham, Lancashire, BB12 8HG 

t: 07366983956  e: hello@thelawrencehotel.co.uk

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