Lincoln businesswoman honoured with MBE

The chief executive of a Lincolnshire chain store will be awarded a MBE (Members of the Order of the British Empire) for their services to the county.

Lincolnshire Co-op’s CEO, Ursula Lidbetter, was appointed on the New Year’s Honours list for 2012, due to her “services in business in Lincolnshire”.

She said: “This is a tremendous honour which is a credit to Lincolnshire Co-operative as a business. It is recognition of our ethos and what we do in the community.

“We make an effort to support other local businesses, such as county suppliers and contractors.

“We also use our knowledge to work on behalf of the business community as a whole, such as through the Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln BIG, the Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Business in the Community.

“On a personal note, I am delighted to be recognised in this way. It’s a privilege to work for the Society and I’m proud of what we have achieved as a co-operative business.”

MBEs go to people working hard within their communities rather than stars of the screen, stage, music or sport. These can be through various initiatives such as volunteering, fundraising, social action and philanthropy.

As well as Lidbetter, the list included a greyhound trainer, stone mason, a master glazier and the managing director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

11 per cent of honours went to those working in education, and 43 per cent were awarded to women.

KBEs and CBEs are also featured on this year’s Honours List.

Ursula, who was born in Lincoln, has been a part of the Co-op since 1985, becoming chief executive in 2004.

She is also Chair of the Lincoln Business Improvement Group, Chair of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.

Lincolnshire Co-op recently celebrated its 150th with a Big Birthday Bash and giving grants to various community projects and groups. It also recently gave out £2.3 million in dividends to its members to celebrate a successful trading year.

The Co-operative, which started as a foodstore, is now a society with 205,000 members across the county (and beyond).

The foodstores are the core part of the society, but services also include pharmacies, travel, funerals and neighbourhood post offices.

To find out more about the honours process, visit Direct Gov’s website.