Burnley MP namechecks local businesses as he calls for 'levelling up' during Prime Minister's Questions

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham spoke in Prime Minister's Questions this week about the need to 'level up' Burnley and Padiham.
Burnley MP Antony HigginbothamBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

The Tory MP was speaking in the House of Commons during PMQs, calling for an environment where businesses can flourish, referencing the Levelling Up Fund where Burnley has been placed in the top priority group for up to £20m. of government funding.

Speaking in the Chamber, Mr Higginbotham said: “Throughout this week businesses across Burnley and Padiham have reopened their doors to customers inside - from Usha and Molly Rigby’s to Bellissimo and Reel cinema. Would the Prime Minister join with me in wishing them all the best of luck as they get back on their feet.

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"And does he also agree with me that if we’re to support local businesses in the long term we need to create the environment and opportunities they need to succeed. And that includes schemes like the Levelling Up Fund and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee”.

Burnley has been placed in the top priority group to place a bid for a huge levelling up windfall of up to £20m. to support regenerating the borough.

This is alongside £3.6m. of Government funding which has already been allocated to help build the new development at Pioneer Place; and the High Street Task Force which has been setup to give tailored support and guidance to local leaders and business owners in order to revitalise the town centre.

Responding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Yes Mr Speaker, that’s why we’re investing for instance £3.6m. from the Getting Building Fund for the development of Pioneer Place.

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"Burnley will also benefit from our High Streets Task Force. But what Burnley and towns across the country need more than anything else is passionate leadership such as my honourable friend shows in championing their localities and getting the right investment in."

Commenting after PMQ’s, Mr Higginbotham added: “As the Prime Minister referenced we’re starting to see investment come in to the borough, with the Pioneer Place development and the High Streets Taskforce, which is aimed at supporting our town centre as we build back better from the pandemic. But we’re committed to going further, with the ability to place a bid for up to £20m. of investment through the Levelling Up Fund.

"I promised to level up Burnley and Padiham and will continue to push for the support our local businesses need in order to create a thriving local economy with opportunities for all.”