Leyland is preparing for a royal rendezvous.
HRH The Duke of Kent will be visiting both the town’s British Vehicle Museum and the Veterans Cafe on Wednesday, June 5.
And during his trip to Lancashire the Duke will also visit Dig-In North West at the Ashton Park Walled Garden, Preston and FirstLight Trust’s Hub, Lancaster.
It is understood at the King Street vehicle museum, the Duke will meet the new Mayor of South Ribble, councillor Harry Hancock, representatives of South Ribble Borough Council, South Ribble MP Seema Kennedy and representatives of the museum before having a tour of the building.
He will then move on to the Veterans Cafe at the Roccoco Coffee Lounge, Chapel Brow, where he will meet former Royal Artillery Lance Bombardier Phil Burton, who set up the cafe, and veterans.
He will also meet representatives of the Brothers of Charity Services - Roccoco is a food-based enterprise of the charity.
A delighted Phil Burton posted this message on the Leyland Hub public facebook page regarding the Duke’s visit to the veterans cafe: “IT’S NOW OFFICIAL.
“With months of trying to keep this under wraps. I can now proudly state that the Leyland Veterans Cafe will be getting a Royal Visit from HRH The Duke Of Kent. This will take place on the 5th of June 2019. Timings to be confirmed.”
Keith Moyes, manager of the vehicle museum, told the Guardian: “Yes, we are highly delighted in anticipation of the visitation by the Duke of Kent.
“This will be the second time he will have visited the museum - the first time was in 84 and no doubt he will notice the transformation from then until now, since we have just completed our £2.3 million renovation in order that we can make the area a more attractive place to visit.
“We do hope your readers will follow in his footsteps and come and visit this newly-refurbished museum on their doorstep.”
Mr Burton, who has received a Point of Light Award from the Prime Minister for his work to tackle loneliness, founded the Veterans’ Cafe, which brings former members of the armed forces together, to talk, share experiences and access support from charities and the NHS.
He said: “When I first started the venture with the Veterans’ Café, I never thought it would grow into something this big. I originally wanted to set this up for the veterans, so they had a place to meet, and talk to like-minded people with the same day to day issues.
“This has now brought the veteran community together, and is allowing veterans of all ages to get the help where needed.”
The vehicle museum reopen earlier this year following its major refurbishment scheme. financed by a £1.8m National Lottery grant.