Burnley is leading the way

11 April 2014

The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, Minister of State for Business and Energy, said Burnley is leading the way for businesses in Lancashire, at a Burnley trade mission showcase event in London yesterday.

At the event organised to highlight Burnley’s business investment opportunities to key business decision makers in London, Mr Fallon said: “Burnley has indeed a strong package to offer investors. It has a proactive and supportive business environment, a good infrastructure and highly skilled workforce.

“I think that Burnley is leading the way, where more businesses are being created than are closing down.

“In the 3 years since the beginning of the financial crisis private sector employment in Burnley has risen while it has declined elsewhere in Great Britain. I believe this is a result of the type of partnership and private sector leadership which we see here today, which is essential to driving growth in our local economies.  

“I wanted to be here on behalf of the Department of Business Innovation & Skills and on behalf of Her Majesty’s government to pay tribute to Burnley’s achievements and ambition. Burnley is a championship town that was once and we hope will again be in the premiership!”

Mr Fallon opened the Invest in Burnley event which was held at The Royal Society Headquarters, located at the heart of Westminster. The event was organised by the Burnley Bondholders, Marketing Lancashire and the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership, to attract further investment to Burnley and Lancashire. He paid tribute to the Burnley Bondholder scheme for its work in securing Burnley the title of Most Enterprising Area in the UK.

Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive, Centre for Cities, another key speaker at the event presented statistics which put Burnley 10th out of the whole of the UK for creating private sector jobs. Alex said: “This is an enormous achievement.  An impressive statistic and a real achievement to be up there in the top ten based on national data.”

Alex talked about how skills were vastly important to Burnley’s growth and praised Burnley’s investment in education and skills, through the new UCFB, UTC, and the Burnley College and UCLan Campus.

Alex also highlighted the importance of connections, emphasising the value of Burnley’s new rail link to Manchester as definitely being the right thing for the town and its future growth. She commented on the  incredible of quality of life in Burnley and the opportunities which will be opened up to commute to Manchester from Burnley, confirming the town will benefit enormously from the direct rail link.

Some of the biggest names in real estate and business investment attended the early evening event, including GVA, Morgan Tucker, Barratt London, UKTI, Clifford Chance, DHL, to hear about the transformations underway in Burnley and the range of investment opportunities available in the borough.

Edwin Booth, Chair of Lancashire’s Local Enterprise Partnership said:  “Burnley is key to the thrust of a thriving Lancashire. It has produced some tremendous businesses in advanced engineering and manufacturing. It has a tremendous reputation for getting things done through the quality relationship between with the public and private sector. Burnley sits at one end of an arc of innovation in Lancashire.”

Burnley Council Leader, Julie Cooper said; “Our aim is to get Burnley noticed in the right places. We have development sites to rival those of the big cities and this event was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our economic growth opportunities to intermediaries who influence major business decisions.”

Council Chief Executive, Steve Rumbelow, said: “The event has generated interest in Burnley which we hope we can turn into real investment. The key, following the event, is to get on the phones to the people we met yesterday to reinforce our message that Burnley is the place to invest.

“We aren’t resting on our laurels following our Most Enterprising Area Award, and events such as this will help spread the word that Burnley is open for business and a place where businesses can confidently invest.

“Things have already started to move with a key leisure investor who attended the event, planning to come to Burnley and see what we have to offer, and we hope there will be many more taking up the invitation to come and take a look for themselves.”

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