Rare European honour for Burnley

Observatory comp
Burnley Town Hall, by Peter Seavers
Observatory comp Burnley Town Hall, by Peter Seavers

The French Tricolore flag will fly atop Burnley Town Hall alongside the Union flag later this month to help celebrate the town being awarded a top European honour.

The event at Central Library on October 15th will centre on the presentation of the “Le Drapeau d’Honneur” from the Council of Europe.

It is an honour to receive this special award that recognises our borough’s close links with Europe.

Mayor of Burnley Coun. Jeff Sumner

Burnley is one of only eight places across Europe to be awarded the European Flag of Honour in 2016.

The award marks the borough’s work to forge stronger links with its European neighbours and reflects, amongst other things, the years of activity by the borough’s twinning association, and also the links that Burnley businesses have to Europe. It follows Burnley being awarded the European Diploma last year. The event, which is free and open to everyone, will take place between 2pm and 4pm. Baroness Massey of Darwen will present the award to the Mayor, Coun. Jeff Sumner.

The Mayor said: “It is an honour to receive this special award that recognises our borough’s close links with Europe.

“It marks the hard work and dedication of volunteers who have forged closer relations between not only the countries and towns across Europe, but between individual people in different countries.

“This will further boost Burnley’s profile and reputation as an internationally known town, which is ambitious and striving for success, not only at home but further afield as well.”

During the afternoon, the wider celebration will include participation by children from St John’s Padiham and Whittlefield primary schools, an accordion player playing French music, a magic show for families, a film Le Petit Prince, and exhibitions.

The event is being organised by Burnley Twinning Association, with support from Lancashire County Council and Burnley Council.

The Flag of Honour is awarded by the Council of Europe to mark success in promoting union and understanding among the people of Europe.

Burnley has a long standing commitment to seeking positive relationships with its European neighbours. That commitment not only covers arts and culture, but also business and educational links.

The Council of Europe is not to be confused with the European Parliament, which is a separate organisation.

Burnley Council applied to the Council of Europe on behalf of, and in partnership with, the borough’s twinning association.

David Smith, from the twinning association, said: “This honour marks all the work that often goes on in the background to promote better understanding.”