Businesses are being given the chance to take part in the UK's first event risk and counter-terrorism management courses of their kind at University of Cumbria.

The university's principal lecturer in tourism management Dr Angela Athonsisz said as the country emerged from the coronavirus pandemic, it was the right time to introduce advanced training in security and resilience.

“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," she said.

“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."

She said the training would be particularly important due to the forthcoming introduction of "Martyn’s Law".

The law is named after Martyn Hett, who was killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack in 2017, and it will require all event venues to better document their risk strategies.

Dr Anthonisz said the university had engaged a number of highly knowledgeable experts to deliver the training.

These include chartered safety practitioner Edward Grant who was responsible for the safety strategy for Liverpool Football Club’s 2019 homecoming parade, which attracted a crowd of 750,000.

He has also worked on NATO heads of state summits and other major sporting and cultural events, including the London 2012 Olympics.

He is safety director of consultants Symphotech and has joined the university as programme lead and senior lecturer for events management.

He 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.”

Edward will be working alongside 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.

Three separate levels of training and awards will be available when the programme begins in September.

Dr Athonsisz said: “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.”