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Lakes College Receives Queen’s Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace

News item details

  • News date: Feb '24
  • News author: Liam Waite


HER Majesty The Queen has presented Lakes College with a prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize, the highest national honour in further and higher education.  

The college, based in Lillyhall, Workington, was recognised for its development of highly skilled technicians in the nuclear and low carbon energy sectors.  

The presentation ceremony, which took place at Buckingham Palace, celebrated the successes of 22 colleges and universities across the UK by awarding them with Prizes for contributions to innovation and public benefit. 

Her Majesty The Queen presented the Prizes to each institution, with The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester at hand to oversee the celebrations and offer well wishes. 

A star-studded Prize-winners’ Dinner took place at Guildhall in London the night before, with a number of notable guest speakers in attendance – including Broadcaster Clare Balding and Director-General of the BBC Tim Davie. 


Chris Nattress, Principal at Lakes College, received the prize on behalf of the college and said: “To be presented with such a prestigious national award by Her Majesty The Queen for our work in training top-class technicians is a moment I’ll never forget. 

“I know our students, my colleagues and our partners present at the events held at The Guildhall and Buckingham Palace share my feelings of pride and celebration in being granted this award, reflecting many years of hard work and commitment. 

“This was a great day for Lakes College and all the communities and employers we work with, recognising our collective endeavours in sustaining such high-quality work.” 

Mike Priestley, Chair of Governors, was also in attendance and said: “It was a great delight to be part of the delegation, alongside some of our talented students, collecting this prestigious award. 

“The Board’s thanks are extended to all our staff, learners and stakeholders, whose combined efforts and success have contributed to this award recognising our contribution to the National College for Nuclear.” 

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak offered his congratulations in a letter provided to Prize-winners. He said: “I am immensely proud of Britain’s higher and further education sector. 

“As your work shows, there is some extraordinary work taking place in British colleges and universities today – and it is being conducted in a spirit of inquiry, public good and a quest for knowledge. 

“So let me thank all the Queen’s Anniversary Prize winners for everything you are doing.” 

Jacqueline Kendall, a learner studying the Foundation Degree in Civil Engineering and Asset Management at Lakes College, commented: “I am honoured and privileged to represent the college at the presentation of the Queen’s Award at Buckingham Palace.

“As a mature student it has been a big adjustment returning to education, especially as a mother of two children. 

“The college has been extremely supportive and made it possible for me to re-skill into a discipline I have always been interested in and allows me to pursue my chosen career as a Civil Engineer.”