Must-see video shines light on Burnley's 'thriving' early evening experience
The joint venture, organised by Burnley co.uk, Discover Burnley Town Cenre, and the Burnley Express, aims to showcase the town centre's varied evening time offering in the hope of enticing customers out earlier when bars and restaurants re-open.
Sitting at the heart of the campaign is an unmissable video, filmed last year by Kev Furber of Creative Talent, that features a glimpse inside venues Palazzo, Astoria, Penny Black, Illuminati, The Hideaway, William's Lounge Bar, Empire Theatre Champagne Bar and Corkhouse.
The plan had been to release the footage in the run-up to Christmas, but with uncertainty surrounding Covid and lockdowns it was decided to delay until the New Year.
Some 40 cafes, bars and restaurants sit within a mile of Burnley town centre, and as the sector slowly begins to re-open it is hoped this campaign will benefit the entire town, attracting a new customer base ready to explore what the area has to offer.
Rachel Bayley, Burnley Place Brand Manager, said: "When we filmed the video back in September, we were hopeful we could push it out for the October half-term and Christmas trade. Little did we know that we'd have another two national lockdowns and our hospitality sector would once again have to close.
"I am so pleased that all of the venues that supported the Early Evening Experience campaign are still going and ready to re-open.
"Burnley has an array of restaurants, cafes and bars, many of which are independent, and it's going to be fantastic to see them safely filled with people once again. We'd encourage people in the borough to support both Burnley and Padiham town centres as we reach each milestone on the roadmap out of lockdown."
Restaurants and pubs can serve customers outdoors from Monday.
People must be seated, but they will not need to order a substantial meal with alcoholic drinks, and there will be no curfew.
Customers must also follow either the rule of six, or be in a group of any size as long as there are no more than two households present.
From Monday, May 17th – if the roadmap remains on track – hospitality venues will be able to seat customers indoors, with June 21st the date restrictions could be fully lifted.
Speaking about the 'Early Evening Experience' campaign, Neil and Kiera Crossley, from William's Bar in Yorke Street, said it was brilliant that bars and restaurants were working together to help improve the town.
"We are big supporters of the early drinking scene. It’s something that when we set about developing William’s we wanted to try and encourage over time and we are glad to see that other bars etc are wanting the same.
"We all need to work together to create change. We genuinely believe there’s many good things to come from Burnley's social scene. To make this change we all need to come together and support each other. Burnley is a great town so let’s give people a great place to come out to and enjoy.
"We think early drinking offers and incentives, early music and entertainment etc from bar to bar will, hopefully, eventually attract a consistent circuit.
"Maybe tapping into the eagerness of the lockdown lifting will bring people out early, and that’s the time to really push it and keep it going. We need to get rid of 24-hour opening as well; it was so much better before it was introduced."
A number of initiatives have been launched in recent weeks with a view to boosting Burnley's evening time economy.
The 'free after 3' car parking scheme started this week allowing motorists to park for free on all council-run pay and display car parks in Burnley town centre from 3pm, every day of the week.
The Time's Up campaign, aimed at abolishing 24-hour drinking in the town, has also been gathering momentum with more than 1,000 people signing a petition in support of the proposal.
Palazzo owner Pino Cafasso said for Burnley to become a true evening time destination it was vital the bars and restaurants continued to work together to create an atmosphere that keeps the public coming back.
"Burnley has needed to address that problem of people coming out into town later for years," he said. "The late licences certainly don't help, but I think when everywhere begins to re-open after lockdown, people will see that there is lots to do in the town early evening.
"There's certainly a lot more than there used to be, and it's great that venues are working together more.
"We can't wait to re-open. I'm gutted it won't be on Monday, but we have everything ready to go as soon as we're given the green light.
"Those first couple of months are going to be extremely busy, and it's important that we all build on it."