Burnley has come a long way this year and I know the town will pull together to support each other as we face the challenges 2023 will bring / Rachel Bayley Burnley Place Brand Manager

I can’t believe how quickly the last year has gone and I genuinely think this is down to how much has happened in Burnley during the past 12 months.

I thought I’d use my last column of 2022 to reflect on how far we’ve come as a borough. First up, we didn’t mess about, and straight away in January ground was broken at Pioneer Place. If you’ve driven or walked past the site recently, you’ll see how quickly it has shot up from the ground and the new lettering on the façade looks really smart. With a seven-screen cinema and five leisure units, it’s going to be an incredible asset for locals, students and visitors.

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This milestone was quickly followed up by some incredible national press. The Landmark was named by the Daily Express as one of the best co-working spaces in the UK, whilst Crow Wood was named one of the best luxury hotels close to Manchester. In fact, millions is being put into the expansion ofthe Crow Wood resort and we can’t wait to see the new leisure facilities in the new year, and eventually, the new spa and Bertram’s.

Burnley Place Brand Manager Rachel Bayley reflects on a year of big changes and developments for the town in her final column of 2022

Just around the corner from Crow Wood is Burnley College, which opened its new elite gym and spa and received the green light for its expansion, which can attract 2,000 more students to study in the town. I’ve had the privilege of visiting the new facilities several times and have been blown away bythe science labs, new health block and engineering capabilities, to name just a few.

In spring, Netflix came to Burnley to film the Bank on Dave movie and we’re hoping that gets released soon as it promises to be a real feel-good film. The feel-good factor continued when we welcomes the BBC to town after Jordan North completed his Comic Relief row, finishing his journey at Finsley Gate Wharf. It’s great to see high-profile people from Burnley speak so positively about the place.

We’re still only in March, but we then had the plans unveiled for UCLan’s expansion into Newtown Mill after Burnley Council purchased the building with levelling-up funding. Again, the speed at which the scaffolding went up and work started is impressive and it’s fantastic to see a derelict rundown building put to fantastic use.

We then saw nominations open for the Burnley Business Awards and you entered in your droves. It was great to finally all get together in summer to celebrate our resilience. A huge thank you again to all our sponsors and congratulations to the winners. Our latest edition of InBusiness Burnley is anawards special so make sure you grab a copy if you haven’t already. In May, the transformation of Padiham was unveiled, with much more work to continue. It looks beautiful and the town centre is now a fantastic bustling hub.

Of course, we then celebrated the Platinum Jubilee and I know many of us were sad to hear of the passing of the Queen later in the year. Burnley has been blessed with several royal visits over the years, with our new King passionate about our heritage and the Weavers’ Triangle. We of course would be delighted if he came back to visit us. In September, Burnley experienced a collective sigh of relief when we heard that Haffner’s Pies had been bought by local brothers Dean and Ted Cockett. They have big plans to expand this iconic brand and we can’t wait to see.

The 2022 edition of Burnley Lifestyle Magazine was published and covered the tale of Towneley, with the hall celebrating 120 years being open to the public next year. 2023 really is shaping up to be a big year for Burnley. Of course, the news of the passing of Sir Simon Towneley was sad to receivelast month, but I’m sure we can agree he lived a very long and interesting life and his legacy will always live on.

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And that takes us up to December, where we can celebrate all the highs of the year and reflect on the challenges. It’s a tough climate, but one thing I know is how everyone in Burnley comes together to support one another and I know this won’t be any different as we face the next few months.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.