Heather Mills to speak about her life and career at Sunderland Business Festival event

Wearside businesswoman Heather Mills will take centre stage as she shares stories from her life and career in Sunderland next month.

Heather, from Washington, will discuss the growth of her vegan food company VBites as well as the creation of her vegan algal oil business and make up range, along with her life in general at a special event at 1719, Sunderland’s former Holy Trinity Church, on Thursday, October 13.

The talk – which will run from 11am to noon – is part of a wide programme of events for this year’s Sunderland Business Festival, which takes place from October 12-14.

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Heather Mills originally found fame as a model before hitting the headlines when she lost her lower left leg after a collision with a police motorbike in 1993.

She adopted a vegan lifestyle, believing it would aid her recovery, and and set up VBites, which has grown to become become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of meat, fish and dairy-free foods, currently sold across 24 countries.

She met former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney through her vegan campaigning and the couple were married in 2002 but divorced six years later.

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Ellen Thinnesen, chair of festival organiser Sunderland Business Partnership, said the talk would be a fantastic opportunity for Wearside’s business community to hear about how Heather has overcome the challenges she faced in building a successful company: “VBites is an incredible company and this will be a rare opportunity to hear Heather talking about setting up the business and hopefully will inspire other entrepreneurs,” she said.

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Heather Mills with some of her firm's vegan cakes

“Heather has also set up VBites Ventures, which has helped other plant based start-ups so this is a great chance for anyone wanting to operate in this field to find out more.”

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The event is free but tickets must be booked in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/heather-mills-tickets-411141765087

The talk is one of many events taking place during the festival, which includes a recruitment fair at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, October 12, and there will be expert presentations, panel discussions, ‘on the sofa’ conversations with industry leaders and behind the scenes tours throughout the three days.

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The full programme can be viewed at www.sbfestival.co.uk