Guy Topping, the managing director of one of the world’s finest garden centres, has signed up to help showcase the best of the red rose county during Lancashire Business Day on November 27.

The Barton Grange leisure complex boss will take his seat at a panel discussion and share his thoughts and experiences during a debate on county’s economy. Already confirmed for the panel are Antony Chesworth, founder of EKM, Sara Prowse, chief executive of Hotter Shoes, and Glyn Jones, development director at BAE Systems.

Guy leads Barton Grange, recognised as the first garden centre opened in the North West and regularly named as the best of its kind in the world.

He began working for the family firm at the tender age of four, and has sat on the company’s board for the last two decades, during which time Barton Grange has grown to include a leisure development featuring luxury cinema screens, restaurant, bar, curling rink and other sporting activities.

He is also the chairman of a project which aims to bring a Youth Zone to Preston.

Lancashire Business Day promises a day of celebration as organisations throughout the county come together to share their stories and enjoy all aspects of the red rose county with specially themed food and entertainment.

Event organiser Richard Slater, who is also the publisher of Lancashire Business View magazine, said: “We are delighted that Guy will be joining the Lancashire Business Day activities. It speaks volumes for the county that personalities of this calibre are so enthusiastic about joining in a day of celebration.”

Richard added: “Guy has a lot to say about doing business in the county and the panel debate will be unmissable. He joins Antony Chesworth, a self-made success story, Sara Prowse, who chairs a £100m-turnover business, and Glyn Jones who has a key role within the county’s largest employer.”

Lancashire Business Day, which takes place at Ewood Park on November 27, will also feature Financial Times journalist Andy Bounds and repeat ‘tourism superstar’ award winner Simon Entwistle as guest speakers.

Many Lancashire companies have pledged their support to the event. Most recently Express Gifts and PDS Engineering have been confirmed as patrons.

Managing director of Express Gifts, Paul Kendrick commented: “Express Gifts are honoured to be patrons of Lancashire Business Day, we are proud of our Lancashire roots and are always looking to connect with neighbouring businesses in the county.

This event is so important, it brings together businesses of all sizes, of all ages and gives us a chance to celebrate together, alongside the opportunity to learn from each other too. It’s important to stay connected to our community and strive to always shop local – not just as individuals, but as businesses too.”

Peter Scott Printers and Boost have also been recently named as event supporters joining Farmhouse Biscuits.

The other Lancashire Business Day Patrons are Beever and Struthers, BigTank Video Productions, Cardboard Box Company and HSBC.

Media partners for the event are Business Lancashire, Downtown in Business Lancashire, East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Institute of Directors, Lancaster and District Chamber, lovelocalnetworking, North and Western Chamber of Commerce and Shout Network.