Lawrence Tomlinson is awarded honorary doctorate by the Universit
Fri, 05 Aug 2011 11:37:00 BST
l-r Chancellor Sir Patrick, Lawrence Tomlinson and VC Prof. Bob Cryan
Businessman and philanthropist, Lawrence Tomlinson, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University during awards week, but it wasn’t business on the agenda when he and Chancellor Sir Patrick Stewart met at the Honorary Awards Dinner; the noted “petrolheads” were all about the cars!
Although Mr Tomlinson made his name as a major innovator in the field of care homes, Sir Patrick, who equalled Jeremy Clarkson’s time as a ‘star in a reasonably priced car’ for BBC Two’s TopGear back in 2003, was more interested in the mark he’s made on the motor racing scene.
With his background in engineering, Mr Tomlinson has had a lifelong passion for car design and motor racing and in 2005 he acquired the British car-maker Ginetta. Now the 52-year-old marque employs over 60 people from its state-of-the-art factory in Leeds and exports GT-winning racing cars all over the globe. Ginetta Supercars was born in 2009 with the launch of the Ginetta F400, which itself has been showcased on Top Gear.
Mr Tomlinson grew up in Batley and attended Batley Grammar School before going on to study engineering at Huddersfield College. He went on to work in the engineering industry, but a new career direction came when he set up a company which purchased a care home from his parents. He went on to operate a further six homes under the banner of TriCare and having seen a gap in the market for a developer who could build quality care homes he also established LNT Construction.
He went on to launch other businesses including LNT Software, which develops and sells bespoke software for the care home industry, LNT Solutions which provides climate protection systems for the worldwide transport network and Orchard Care Homes which he sold in a management buy-out in 2007 for £180m.
He re-entered the care sector in 2009 when he set up the innovative Ideal Care Homes, now the UK’s fastest growing operator. This business was a response to Mr Tomlinson’s concerns about the lack of good quality care provision on the market.