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Burnley one of UK's top 'tech towns'

Burnley's Vision Park
Burnley's Vision Park
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Burnley has been identified as one of the UK's top towns for the growth of its digital technology sector.

The Financial Times' Tech Nation 2018 repor identifies the UK's leading 16 'tech towns' that have a higher than average number of digital businesses with a technology sector growing faster than the economy as a whole - with Burnley listed among the top digital technology areas in the country.

The digital sector is growing rapidly

The digital sector is growing rapidly

Burnley has a large number of businesses at the forefront of the digital sector including the world renowned AMS Neve who make digital sound desks for the film and music industry, employing highly skilled digital technicians, and FDM Digital Solutions Ltd, one of the country's most advanced 3D printing companies.

FDM engineer some of the most advanced 3D parts to the aerospace, automotive and medical sectors.

Mark Crabtree, OBE, managing director of one of Burnley's largest digital businesses AMS Neve said: "This is great news for Burnley. The town has been working hard to grow and shine a light on its digital sector in recent years and this news proves the hard work is paying off.

"Burnley has established a Digital Cluster Group which is probably the most advanced in Lancashire and we are working to make the town a premier location for such businesses to locate providing a contrasting offer to the big city style, including the new Landmark project which is underway and Vision Park in Burnley's Knowledge Quarter.

Burnley’s digital economy has also had a massive boost after Mark Crabtree recently announced ambitious plans to transform an iconic local building, the former Burnley Grammar School, into a thriving, hi tech hub for digital SMEs and micro-businesses to be named the Landmark.

“The Landmark project is a way to help Burnley grow its digital skills base even further, to ensure our digital skills don’t ‘leak’ out to say Manchester but keep the talent and skill here in Burnley," Mark added.

“Digital companies, ‘Swarms’ are becoming the new fast growth paradigm. The Landmark will be a place where we can create a close knit central team drawing on a pool of self-employed talent. The bigger the pool, the more successful the companies.

"We are working to link with Rob Binns’ successful private venture Cotton Court in Preston and the publicly and university funded Landing at Media City in Salford, through a twinning scheme. If you have space in one of these workspaces, you can have a desk in any of the others when doing business in the corresponding area.”

Burnley Council leader, Coun. Mark Townsend, said: "Burnley came second in the UK last year for digital jobs growth, so I'm not surprised we've featured as a top Tech Town - I'm delighted.

"Burnley is embracing digital technology which will have huge rewards for the town's economy, making us a more competitive and prosperous place.

"The digital economy is leading the growth of Burnley's economy and we've been working to raise the profile of the town as a successful digital cluster, to rival the clusters of Manchester, Leeds and even London, creating new business space such as Vision Park to house growing digital businesses."