Burnley’s “can do” business attitude has been praised at a visionary trade mission to London.
Speaking to Burnley Bondholders and potential investors, Minister of State for Business Michael Fallon said Burnley was an example to the rest of the country as to what can be achieved by private and public sector organisations working together.
The praise came at a special Brilliant Burnley Roadshow which saw 30 leading Burnley business and civic leaders host a trade and investment evening at the Royal Society in London.
Mr Fallon told the audience he had been extremely impressed by Burnley’s resilience and determination in recent years.
He said the Burnley Bondholder scheme had driven major private sector jobs growth in the area at a time when most towns and cities had seen numbers decline.
Mr Fallon commented that Burnley’s success as being named Most Enterprising Area in the UK 2013 had been fully deserved and reflected the drive by local authorities and leading business figures in the town to make positive change happen
Speaking at the event, Burnley Council’s chief executive Mr Steve Rumbelow said Burnley had made great strides, but now was not a time to be complacent. “We must see this award as a starting point not the end of our mission to improve Burnley’s prosperity, reputation and future,” he said.
He told potential investors Burnley was a “good place to do business” and anybody looking to relocate their business should look to Burnley first.
Also speaking at the event was Alexandra Jones, chief executive of the centre for Cities think tank who highlighted the fact Burnley was in the top 10 nationally for the level of new private sector jobs created.
Host for the the evening was BBC presenter Tony Livesey, who also anchored a Question Time-type session with leading Burnley business chiefs.
After the event, leader of Burnley Bondholders Mr Mark Crabtree of Oscar-winning AMS Neve, said the bold event had been a great success. “We have taken Burnley to London, not just to showcase what we have achieved, but to bring new business and jobs to the town to create even more growth. It shows we mean business.”