Heseltine 'deeply honoured' by Liverpool fellowship

Lord Heseltine receives his honorary fellowship from Liverpool John Moores Photo: PA Images

Former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship at a Liverpool university for his "outstanding contribution" to the regeneration of the city.

The honour, awarded to him by Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), comes just a year after Lord Heseltine was given the Freedom of Liverpool.

Lord Heseltine's association with the area started in the early 1980s when, as environment secretary, prime minister Margaret Thatcher made him "Minister for Merseyside" following the Toxteth riots.

The fellowships are given in recognition of outstanding achievement by an individual in a given field or profession and to those who exemplify the university's ethos to "dream, plan and achieve".

Lord Heseltine said: "I am deeply honoured to receive this fellowship from a prestigious university in a city which I have been proud to see rise and prosper.

"As an adopted son of Liverpool, it has been fantastic to see this transformation which has come about through engaging the community and forming effective partnerships, which LJMU also does effectively through its research and teaching."

A spokesman for the university said: "The Rt Hon Lord Heseltine of Thenford CH PC receives his Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the regeneration of Liverpool.

"He has played an important role in the regeneration of Liverpool over the past three decades and was largely responsible for bringing about the transformation of the Albert Dock and the International Garden Festival.

"At his LJMU Roscoe Lecture in 2008, Lord Heseltine provided insights on the political decisions behind Liverpool's regeneration, calling the city a 'national model of urban renaissance'."

The Conservative Party has struggled to win votes in Liverpool since the late Baroness Thatcher's government which is held responsible for the decline of traditional industries and mass unemployment.

The fellowship was conferred on the peer during LJMU's graduation ceremony at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.

This year's other recipients included the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, and TV and radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill said: "Each of the new Honorary Fellows represents a different profession, a different vocation, a different approach to engaging with the challenges of modern life and it's this diversity that truly reflects the spectrum of activities carried out by LJMU through our teaching, research, knowledge transfer and outreach initiatives.

"What unifies all of our new Honorary Fellows is the passion they have for their work, their commitment to using their expertise to make a difference. As such, they are exemplary role models for our students and staff. I am delighted to formally welcome such inspirational individuals to the university."