OBE is jewel in crown for Fylde businessman

Beaverbrooks' Mark Adlestone and Sue Taylor on the Beaverbrooks Bike Ride

Beaverbrooks' Mark Adlestone and Sue Taylor on the Beaverbrooks Bike Ride

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A Fylde coast businessman is getting set for a trip to Buckingham Palace to pick up an OBE.

Mark Adlestone, chariman of jewellery chain Beaverbrooks, is to get the honour for “services to business and charity”.

Beaverbrooks, which opened its first shop in England in Blackpool in the 1920s ,sponsors the annual 10k on the Prom, the Beaverbrooks Bike ride and is a major supporter of the Illuminations.

Earlier this year the St Annes-based company’s charitable trust bought the HQ for the Fylde Coast Carers Centre, in Newton Drive.

The company, which employs 900 people across 67 stores, gives 20 per cent of its post tax profit to charity through a variety of sources and encourages its staff to be actively involved in choosing charities and supporting them.

Mark, who will receive his honour on October 9, said: “I am absolutely thrilled and very touched that someone has nominated me.

“When you nominate someone it takes quite a bit of effort and there is a process to go through,so I am very grateful.

“When I got the letter I was astonished but thrilled, it’s a great honour. But I had to keep it quiet for about four weeks and although I let my wife know I could not tell my three daughters! That was hard as you can imagine.

“The thing that I am most pleased about is that it is for services to both business and charity. I have long felt that the world of business should work hand in hand with the worlds of philanthropy, values, ethics and community. As a business, we embrace this philosophy and I am thrilled that this honour celebrates this fact.”

He said the family firm had always taken its business and its role in society seriously and this corporate responsibility was informed by the family’s Jewish faith.

He said: “There has always been a charitable ethic in the company, driven most recently by my dad Gerald and my business partner Andrew Brown who got the MBE in 2008 for his charitable work, but we have made it more systematic.

“There is a Jewish saying that it is better to give £1 a hundred times than to give £100 once. It is all about the involvement, getting involved is critical to the human experience.”

The company has donated in excess of £9m to charities since the year 2000 and each store chooses the charities they want to support by a democratic process.

He said the staff were encouraged to get involved, with 16 hours of paid time offered to those who do. He said: “It lets us engage with other organisations we would not otherwise know about and of course it is very rewarding. We are also involved with the Workplace Giving scheme and have been twice asked to give a talk at the House of Lords about how we are so engaged with that through our holistic approach.”