Wayne Wild, the esteemed Chairman of Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone, has been awarded the prestigious Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Kings’s Birthday Honours List. This accolade recognises Mr Wild’s services to Young People and to the communities of Darwen.

Humble Beginnings and Professional Accomplishments:

Wayne Wild’s journey is a testament to his resilience and dedication. Born and raised as the eldest of five siblings in Shadsworth, Blackburn, Wayne witnessed the gradual decline of his once-prosperous hometown. In 2005, he joined WEC, a small local engineering firm. Wayne’s leadership as Commercial Director was pivotal despite increasing unemployment rates over the following decade. He drove the company’s growth from £10 million in sales with 135 staff to £100 million with 1,000 staff by the time he left in December 2020. Today, WEC stands as a national group of 19 companies.

Wayne’s commitment to community development was evident throughout his tenure at WEC. He founded Fair Quid, a not-for-profit financial services organisation supporting local people.

Community Leadership and Youth Zone Involvement:

Wayne’s dedication to community revitalisation extended beyond his professional achievements. Leading a campaign for a Town Deal, he helped secure the maximum available £25 million. He leveraged this to create a £110-million investment plan to rejuvenate the town with nine capital infrastructure projects over the next five years.

Wayne’s passion for supporting young people led him to join the Board of Trustees at Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone, and, in January, RT Jack Straw handed him the reigns as Chair. Wayne was the driving force behind Darwen Youth Zone, established in 2021. As a result, one in seven young people in the borough accesses the free services across Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone, more than doubling the investment from Private sector leaders.

Wayne’s boundless energy and determination have secured £3million for the Youth Investment Fund, leading to the construction of a new World of Work Centre in Blackburn and, in partnership with the council secured a further £3million investment to transform Knott St a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the 10,000 young people of Darwen.

Upon receiving news of the MBE honour, Wayne Wild expressed his gratitude:

“I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this recognition. The work we do at Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone is truly a team effort, and this award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our incredible trustees, board volunteers, and patrons. Our young people are the future, and it is our privilege to help them realise their full potential.”

He added:

“I feel proud to be nominated and awarded this MBE. I am very thankful for the recognition.

“I would like to dedicate the honour to my family, the senior leadership team at the Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zones and members of the Darwen Town Deal Board.”

Hannah Allen, CEO of Blackburn Youth Zone, commented:

“Wayne Wild’s dedication to our community and young people is exceptional. His visionary leadership and tireless efforts have continued to strengthen and grow the reach and impact of Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone providing vital services to thousands of young individuals. This MBE is a well-deserved recognition of his outstanding contribution to our borough and its future.”

For more information about Blackburn & Darwen Youth Zone and to learn how you can get involved, please visit www.blackburnyz.co.uk.

For more member news, click here.
Published On: June 19th, 2024
Blackburn Darwen Youth Zone Wayne Wild