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Chair of MLT made an Honorary Free-woman of the Borough

Dame Julie Kenny, Chair of Maltby Learning Trust is made an Honorary Free-woman of the Borough

We couldn't be more proud of Dame Julie Kenny, Chair of Maltby Learning Trust as she is made an Honorary Free-woman of the Borough, the ultimate accolade that Rotherham Borough can bestow on one of its citizens.

The motion was resolved at a virtual Full Council meeting last week.

Last year, the self-made Rotherham businesswoman became a Dame Commander of the British Empire, the second-highest honour in the land, for her crucial role in securing the future of the Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham. The Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Jenny Andrews, said: "Dame Julie Kenny is well known and respected throughout the country for her hard work and dedication to numerous roles over the years.

"She has provided an outstanding service as a major employer here in the borough and is an inspirational businesswoman. I can think of no-one else more deserving than Dame Julie to be put forward for the honour of Freewoman of Rotherham."

The award will be formally made at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council on a date to be decided.

Leaving her Sheffield home at 18, Julie travelled to the opposite end of the country and found a job as a junior secretary in a Cornish law firm. Ten years of part time study led to the second career as a lawyer.

Returning to South Yorkshire with a belief in a new security system, Julie set up Pyronix with her husband in 1986. Becoming a single mother of three on the break-up of her marriage, she grew Pyronix, which is still based at Hellaby, into an award-winning organisation supplying 65 countries. When she sold the company in 2016 its turnover was £25m. She was awarded a CBE in 2002 for her services to industry in Yorkshire and Humberside.

Previous recipients of the honour include local businessman and chairman of Rotherham United, Tony Stewart, World Cup referee, Howard Webb and community figure Brian Chapple.