High-profile experts will be leading the UK’s first event risk and counter-terrorism management courses of their kind at University of Cumbria.
Against a backdrop of the country emerging from lockdown and widespread concern over protection, principal lecturer in tourism management, Dr Angela Athonsisz said it was the right time to introduce advanced training in security and resilience.
She explained: “The hospitality industry has been hard hit by coronavirus and will have to fight back with robust management plans for future operations and events with the focus on safety.
“As venues open up, the need for this sort of training has never been greater. From hotel operators to local councils, event organisers to attraction providers, everyone will have to be vigilant.
“Forthcoming Martyn’s Law, named after Martyn Hett, killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack, will require all event venues to better document their risk strategies.”
Dr Anthonisz said the university was responding to a plea from industry to introduce critical training and said she was delighted to have secured high-calibre experts to help deliver the ambitious new programmes.
Responsible for the safety strategy for Liverpool Football Club’s 2019 homecoming parade, which saw a crowd of 750,000, chartered safety practitioner Edward Grant heads the impressive line-up of prominent industry specialists.
He has worked on NATO heads of state summits and a raft of other major sporting and cultural events, including the London 2012 Olympics.
Safety director of Symphotech, Mr Grant works across the UK with Jockey Club Live and Lets Rock Concerts. He joins the university as programme lead and senior lecturer for events management.
Northwest-based Mr Grant said: “I am very pleased to be working with the visionary events team, leading on groundbreaking courses which will make significant contributions to the future safety of events in this country.”
He is joined by Steve Blake, Garry Jones and Phil Boardman, whose Storm4 Events company operates from Conwy in Wales. Garry and Phil are the longest serving trainers for the UK Police Counter Terrorism Security Coordinator’s course.
As well as dealing with security for The Queen, five current and former Prime Ministers and most members of the Royal Family, they have worked on major political party conferences, with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, as well as military and international police forces.
The two have coached in excess of 350 UK officers, plus 80 percent of all the country’s operational counter terrorist security controllers.
Dr Anthonisz said that their experience was awe-inspiring and students would have a lot to learn from their expertise in three separate levels of training and awards, starting in September and aimed at event organisers and managers.
She added: “Our courses from Ambleside campus have been developed with high-profile events in mind, such as political gatherings, prominent visits, major sporting fixtures, concerts and festivals.
“They will be invaluable for anyone working in events, whether they’re from the public or private sector.
“The demand has come directly from the hospitality industry and as we emerge from Covid-19 the need to consider safety and mitigate risk is greater than ever.
“This is a great industry which has had a tough time and to those predicting doom and gloom, we’re saying we are going to have to do things differently and emerge better prepared and more resilient.
“We all look forward to the rebound.”