A WIRRAL businesswoman has been named as one of the UK's most inspirational leaders.

Sandra Kirkham, whose company Progress to Excellence Group has its headquarters in Birkenhead, has been chosen to join the elite national list of Faces of a Vibrant Economy 2017.

She is among 100 people chosen by Grant Thornton and an independent panel for their work to build a more purposeful and socially responsible Britain.

They represent diverse sectors and industries and she joins the nation's entrepreneurs, technologists, policymakers and business visionaries – all united in their commitment to developing a vibrant economy in the UK.

Sandra said: "My vision for a vibrant economy is all about unity - bringing together private, public and charitable sectors.

"We often share the same beliefs and goals so let's unite and scale rather than divide and fail.

"Innovating and growing together is the true key to a vibrant economy.

"Together we can have a huge impact on social and economic mobility - we can take the economically inactive and ensure they become economically active through effective education and skills development.

"I am privileged that Progress to Excellence Group provides me with an ideal educational vehicle to fulfil my ambition of making social mobility happen."

Progress to Excellence Group, based at Pacific Road Business Hub, has subsidiaries covering industries including training, education and safety services.

Heading up the business, Sandra uses her strong Wirral connections - along with a genuine passion for helping others - to give back to the local community, achieved by supporting numerous charities and community groups and mentoring others to support them to grow their own companies.

She added: "It's all about making a difference by helping people do their very best in the workplace and develop new skills that keep them at the top of their respective games."

Sacha Romanovitch, chief executive of Grant Thornton UK LLP, explained: "To inspire the next generation, we need to do more to showcase and celebrate leaders from UK businesses, public and third sector organisations so they can see how people and organisations can contribute to the growth of our economy and society in a positive way.

"That's why we began our Faces of a Vibrant Economy initiative.

"Our Faces are exceptional leaders, driving positive results against a clearly defined purpose.

"Their commitment and passion makes us want to be like them, to work with them and to learn from them.

"These leaders show us how business can be a force for good in society, how creative approaches to public services and commitment to investing in your people can drive superior results and how passion, coupled with purpose and a great idea, can change the world for the better."