Lancaster University: Lancaster Exchange event explores how we are stronger together

The Lancaster Exchange was an online, interactive event organised by the University with nearly 80 attendees made up of representatives from local authorities, the health sector, businesses, charities, further education colleges and members of the public.

The event, which was the second of its kind, but the first to be held virtually, was opened by Pro-Chancellor of Lancaster University, the Rt Hon Alistair Burt and Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield and encouraged attendees to discuss how the university can work with its communities to build stronger, more inclusive, prosperous and sustainable partnerships, ultimately creating positive change across the region.

As well as a general question and answer session, attendees took part in one of three breakout discussion groups including:

Partnerships for our place – Exploring how collaborative partnerships across the region can strengthen our communities.
Partnerships for growth – Discussing how we can work together to create inclusive economic development and growth.
Partnerships for sustainable futures – Examining ways in which we can collaborate on environmental sustainability.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andy Schofield said: “Although different to a face-to-face event, the online version of the Lancaster Exchange certainly did not impact on the excellent discussions and collaborations that took place. The theme of being ‘stronger together’ resonated throughout all discussions and it was clear that if we are to tackle the issues we face, our best chance is if we do it together.

“The Lancaster Exchange provided a great opportunity to share ideas on how we build and strengthen our communities, with suggestions including the University doing even more alongside the voluntary sector and how we can benefit from the Government’s ‘Levelling up’ agenda. Discussions were held around creating further economic growth and how to retain skills, knowledge and investment within the local area as well as what we can do together to tackle climate change, including greener travel options.”

The event also provided an opportunity for Vice-Chancellor Andy Schofield to outline just some of the ways the University had been supporting local communities throughout the COVID19 pandemic.

“I’m so proud of how the University has been there for our communities in so many ways throughout the pandemic, most recently working with Lancaster Medical Practice to host a vaccination centre in the University’s Health Innovation One building, with over – 52,000 vaccinations given to date,” said Professor Andy Schofield.

The event also saw the official launch of the University’s new five-year Strategy, which reaffirms the University’s commitment to engage with our communities locally, regionally, nationally and globally to create positive change.

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